Co-directors of TITAN

Dr Davis

Joanne L. Davis, Ph.D., Psychology

Dr. Davis is a founding co-director of TITAN, and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, director of the Trauma Research, Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment Center (TRAPT), and a member of the University of Tulsa’s Women and Gender Studies Board.  Her research interests include the assessment, treatment, and prevention of interpersonal violence and its effects.  In recent years she has focused on the assessment and treatment of chronic nightmares and other sleep disturbances in trauma-exposed persons.  Dr. Davis directs a study abroad course in Ghana during the summers.  She is interested in the psychology of community change in poverty stricken areas in Ghana. Her current studies with graduate and undergraduate students and other collaborators include a randomized clinical trial investigating two approaches to treating nightmares and sleep problems, treating chronic nightmares in persons with bipolar disorder, the prevalence and impact of campus interpersonal violence, the effect of interpersonal violence on sexual minorities, and evaluating factors influencing the decision to report rape.  She has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters in the area of traumatic stress and has written a book on treating chronic nightmares.

Dr Newman

Elana Newman, Ph.D., Psychology

Dr. Newman’s major area of work focuses upon assessing, understanding, treating and preventing maladaptive responses to traumatic life events in both adults and children. Most recently this work is focused on the intersection of journalism and traumatic stress studies (i.e., examining PTSD among journalists, reader response to news, and victim’s responses to news coverage), trauma education and self-care, program evaluation of a trauma-informed substance abuse criminal justice program, dissemination of best practice, and disaster mental health. For more information on Newman’s other work see Dr. Newman is also the Research Director for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia School of Journalism which has a research node/office at the University of Tulsa.

Dr Cromer

Lisa Cromer, Ph.D., Psychology

Dr. Cromer joined TITAN in 2010. Dr. Cromer studies resilience to trauma and adversity. In particular, she is interested in promoting resilience through cognitive and self-regulation training. Her intervention work primarily focuses on children and adolescents through emerging adulthood, and their families. Dr. Cromer’s current studies include treating trauma-related nightmares in children, training self-regulation in kindergarteners who live in poverty, and training resilience in college athletes. Dr. Cromer’s team is also conducting work with military families, working to reduce stress and improve attachment relationships between deployed service members and their young (stateside) children. Dr. Cromer is the director of the Study of the Prevention of and Adjustment and Resilience to Trauma and Adversity (SPARTA) Laboratory at TU. In 2012 she was awarded the American Psychological Association Early Career Achievement Award in Trauma Psychology.

Professor Strunk

Kathleen Strunk, APRN, CNS, Nursing

Professor Kathleen Strunk, Oxley College of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, is interested in the occupational health of health care and other providers in high trauma/ stress environments.  She has completed one funded study to investigate Personality Characteristics, Organizational Structure and Job Satisfaction of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). The purpose of the study was to investigate personality characteristics of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) and the organizational structure present in their work environments and which, if either, have an impact on job satisfaction and retention in this high stress work environment.  She is pursuing additional grant funding to expand the study to the RNs working in intensive care or critical care units at a Tulsa hospital.

Jennifer Airey, Ph.D., English

Jennifer L. Airey, Associate Professor of English, is interested in the ways in which literature describes, comprehends, glorifies, or protests experiences of trauma, and particularly sexual violence. Her first book, The Politics of Rape: Sexual Atrocity, Propaganda Wars, and the Restoration Stage (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2012), examines images of sexual assault in the political propaganda and theater of late seventeenth-century Britain, arguing that descriptions of women’s physical and emotional trauma pervade political discourse; women’s injured bodies become symbols of political struggles. Dr. Airey has published broadly on authors such as Wycherley, Dryden, Haywood, Centlivre, and Fielding, and she is co-editor of Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, the first scholarly journal devoted solely to the study of women’s writings.

Kristen Oertel, Ph.D., History

Kristen Oertel is the Mary F. Barnard Chair in Nineteenth-Century American history at the University of Tulsa and joined TITAN in 2016.  Her research focuses on the history of race and gender relations in early America up through the Civil War, and her most recent book, Harriet Tubman: Slavery, the Civil War, and Civil Rights in the Nineteenth Century, was published by Routledge in 2016.  Like Harriet Tubman, many of the historical subjects that Kristen studies and teaches about in her classes suffered trauma as they confronted racism, sexism, and violence in the past.  Kristen also examines historical memory and the ways in which painful histories have been erased by popular culture, and she works to unearth these histories and share them with her students and the public.

Mimi Marton, J.D., Law

Professor Marton is the Director of TU’s Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network (“TIRN”), a post graduate fellowship program in which recent law school graduates represent Tulsa’s non-citizen population in immigration matters. Professor Marton joined the faculty of TU College of Law in July 2014. Her expertise and scholarly work is the intersection between the law and mental health of all parties in immigration proceedings, clients, attorneys or law students, adjudicators and government attorneys, and the impact that intersection can have on legal proceedings. As a Masters of Social Work, Professor Marton co-founded and provided direct supervision in the University of Connecticut School of Law Asylum and Human Rights Clinic’s interdisciplinary program in which graduate social work students did an internship at the Asylum Clinic as part of the clients’ legal teams. For the past two years, Professor Marton has conducted semi-structured interviews of law, mental health and social work students, lawyers and mental health professions and several clients on the mental health and social work issues these populations experienced. In a chapter entitled Beyond Expert Witnessing – The Necessity of Interdisciplinary Practice in Sexual Violence Asylum Claims (to be published in the upcoming Adjudicating Refugee and Asylum Status: The Role of Witness, Expertise, and Testimony, eds. Benjamin N. Lawrance and Galya Ruffer, publisher Cambridge University Press), Professor Marton discusses the impact of non-legal issues in asylum representations of rape survivors.