Communication Professor Receives Department’s Largest Grant
J. Brian Houston, assistant professor in the Department of Communication has been awarded a $2.4-million grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to establish the Terrorism and Disaster Center (TDC) at the University of Missouri. The center will focus on enhancing mental and behavioral health preparedness, recovery, and resilience in children, families, and communities affected by disaster, and it will increase public awareness of these issues.
The funding, which began on Oct. 1 and will continue until September 30, 2016, designates TDC as a category II center in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Houston is principal investigator of the SAMHSA grant and will serve as co-director of TDC.
“This work is very interdisciplinary, so it is exciting to have funding to support bringing together a variety of academic and community perspectives,” says Houston. “It’s our goal to develop interventions, resources, and materials that benefit children, families, and communities experiencing disasters or other crises. This funding will help us achieve that goal.”
TDC will work with community and school partners in Joplin, Kansas City, St. Louis, and New Orleans to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions and resources. Houston will hire at least one graduate student, a mental health clinician who will help with intervention development, training, implementation, and evaluation, and a part-time instructional technologist to help with online content development. Puncky Heppner, Curators’ Professor of Education, will assist with cultural issue related to the grant.
This grant is the largest ever received by a faculty member in the communication department.
“It is humbling,” says Houston. “This department is incredibly strong and fosters an environment of multidisciplinary work. These conditions contribute to securing this type of funding.”
By Laura Lindsey, College of Arts and Science
October 25, 2012