The Fall 2011 recipients were as follows:
Project Title: Sex and Trauma Differences in PTSD Treatment
Project Description: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most prevalent anxiety disorders, affecting about 8% of Americans during their lives. A serious and chronic disorder, PTSD can disrupt relationships, impede employment, prevent the accomplishment of life goals, and lead to other mental disorders such as depression or substance abuse. The dozens of available therapies and psychoactive drug treatments makes practitioner and patient decisions about treatment options difficult and complicated. Though previous research has indicated that women and men experience PTSD in different ways, there is a noticeable lack of information on how gender affects a treatment’s success rate. Research in the fields of sociology, neuroscience, and psychology suggests that gender influences the way people process anxiety and traumatic events, as well as the type of trauma to which they are exposed. This differentiation leads to gender differences in PTSD experience. In this project, I investigate differences in treatment efficacy based on gender and trauma-type using meta-analysis techniques. This research could help practitioners choose the best treatments for their patients and will contribute to the scientific discourse on gendered differences in cognitive processing and mental health.
Major: Undeclared (most likely CAST and THEA)
Project Title: Social Change and Indian Street Theater
Project Description: For my project, I will be interning with Nalamdana, a non-profit organization in Chennai, India, for two weeks in August of 2012. Nalamdana uses theater as a tool for social change, addressing issues such as women’s health, youth education, and tsunami rehabilitation, in plays as well as theater workshops, films, and radio entertainment. My main goal is to study Indian street theater techniques and how they work to create positive change for women in Indian communities. During my time in India, I plan to teach theater and dance to young girls, work on theater activities and materials used by women living with HIV/AIDS, and possibly perform in one of Nalamdana’s plays. Upon returning to Oberlin, I will teach a workshop involving the techniques I learn about in Chennai. I also plan to incorporate these skills into the work I do with the dance mentorship program Girls in Motion at Langston Middle School.