2013 APA Division 56 Media Awards Announced

The American Psychological Association's Division 56 granted seven awards for meritorious contributions to the field of trauma psychology. The 2013 Media Award recognizes those who create works that “educate the public in a scientifically sound manner about the psychology of trauma." The grantees are:

Jessica Hamblen, the Deputy Director for Education at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She received the award for her work on the public awareness campaign AboutFace. The campaign is designed to help veterans recognize their PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and to motivate them to seek evidence-based treatment. Through personal testimonials, viewers are introduced to a community of veterans who have struggled with PTSD, and turned their lives around with treatment. In the coming months, testimonials from additional veterans, family members, and clinicians will be added to the site, in addition to longer-form individual success stories.

Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning journalist and author, received this honor for his recent work on three episodes of This American Life and a related opinion piece in the New York Times. On This American Life, the two-part series “Harper High School” depicts the role of gun violence in a Chicago public school through a trauma lens.


Kotlowitz’s segment “In Country, In City” poignantly examines the parallels of two traumatized men, one a veteran of combat in Afghanistan and the other a survivor of the violent streets of Philadelphia.


In his February 2013 op-ed for the New York Times, Kotlowitz writes about the price of public violence: “But missing from this conversation is any acknowledgment that the violence eats away at one’s soul — whether you’re a direct victim, a witness or, like Anita Stewart, simply a friend of the deceased. Most suffer silently. By themselves. Somewhere along the way, we need to focus on those left behind in our cities whose very character and sense of future have been altered by what they’ve experienced on the streets.”