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Expert Alert.

Expert Alert

U of M experts available to discuss potential issues facing veterans

November 9, 2012

In conjunction with the celebration of Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 11, several University of Minnesota experts are available to discuss various issues facing and opportunities for veterans.

For interviews, please contact Steve Henneberry, University News Service,, 612-624-1690 or Caroline Marin, Academic Health Center,, 612-624-5680.

After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT) Program
Abi Gewirtz, ADAPT director, associate professor of family and social science

Gewirtz and her team are partnering with the Minnesota National Guard and Reserves to develop and test parenting resources for families of school-aged children who have gone through the deployment process. The team strives to learn about family resilience and to develop tools to support resilience among military families as they cope with the stress of deployment and reintegration.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Brian Engdahl, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, Brain Sciences Center

Engdahl is an expert in identifying and treating PTSD in veterans. He is currently part of the clinical staff at the Minneapolis VA Hospital.

Post-deployment driving
Erica Stern, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy

Stern’s current research project, funded by the Pentagon, is a national study of driving problems of combat service members who have anxieties behind the wheel after returning from active duty. Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reflexively display erratic, dangerously aggressive or overly defensive driving habits immediately following a deployment as certain objects on the road or unexpected situations remind them of threats from the combat zone.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mary Kennedy, assistant professor of speech, language and hearing sciences

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are considered the “signature wound” of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. TBI can cause a variety of physical and mental health concerns and is a growing problem, particularly among soldiers and veterans. Kennedy, who has studied brain injuries for 30 plus years, recently served on the national Committee on Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury, whose findings will help inform how federal agencies like the Department of Defense address the issue going forward.

Tags: Academic Health Center, College of Liberal Arts, College of Education and Human Development

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