Skip to Main

Student Profile in Post-Traumatic Stress in BIPOC Communities

Adrianna Martin

Clinical Psychology Graduate Program

Mentor: Kelli Triplett, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: Psychology
Undergraduate Institution: Baylor University
Hometown: Houston, TX
Awards/Scholarships: Cultural Diversity Scholar- Social Justice Fellowship; Subcommittee member of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CARED)

Adrianna Martin

How did you become interested in science and/or research specifically?

Coming from a strong Jamaican background, I have always had an interest in minority mental health, specifically examining mental health disparities across different communities. However my interest fully developed during my masters program at UT Dallas where under Jiyoung Park, PhD, I conducted research focusing on the emphasis of diversity in school climate in relation with behavioral and academic outcomes of minority students. During this time, I also further developed my interest in examining cultural influences on stress and processing negative affect in minority communities, and how this relates to trauma, substance use, and suicide ideation. This led to my interest in clinical psychology. As a clinical psychologist, I will be able to examine and address issues through research, clinical work, and advocacy. This further solidified my desire to be apart of a field that incorporates helping others through scientific inquiry and evidence-based clinical intervention.

Tell us about your research project and its relevance to human health.

Broadly speaking, my research revolves around cultural factors that influence post-traumatic stress symptoms in minority communities, and trauma- focused evidence based treatments for adult and pediatric populations. When I started my program I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do research at Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence (Children's Health) focusing on the feasibility of tele-health trauma focused-evidence based treatment with young people in foster care. My goal is to have my current and future research address disparities in culturally adapted trauma based interventions, and therefore potentially result in the creation of appropriate interventions for minority populations.

Why did you choose to come to UT Southwestern for graduate school?

I chose to come to UTSW for graduate school for many reasons. The resources available at this institution aligned strongly with my interest of being trained in an academic medical center and getting a depth experience and exposure to working in an integrated healthcare system. Parallel to this, the Clinical Psychology program at UTSW also provides diverse clinical experiences that allows students to be exposed to various populations and backgrounds in a variety of settings (e.g., inpatient, outpatient, psychiatric ER). It has always been important for me to increase mental health awareness and provide increased access to services in minority communities. My training thus far in my program has given me diverse clinical experiences and knowledge to help me reach this goal.

In your opinion, what makes your specific program one of the top in the country?

UTSW's Clinical Psychology program’s unique structure and integration with an academic medical system makes it definitely stand out. This program offers a comprehensive training experience and the captive internship provides students with the resources to get exposed to various training experiences and prepares us to be well-rounded clinicians and researchers. My experiences thus far have included serving as a practicum student at Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence (Children's Health), and at Parkland Outpatient and Inpatient Services. I also am currently completing my first year of internship at UTSW Moncrief Cancer Institute. This exposure to various populations, disorders, racial/ethnic diversity and disparities has really expanded my knowledge and clinical abilities. As someone who is interested in serving in a diverse and interdisciplinary team setting in the future, these experiences and exposure to different care teams has been extremely valuable.

What do you love about your program or why should a prospective student decide to get their Ph.D. here?

The Clinical Psychology program is very intensive, so the cohort model this program utilizes allows for students to have integrated support and guidance throughout this very unique and rigorous four-year experience. Completing a PhD is much easier when you have a supportive and collaborative community of warm and intelligent students that understand exactly what you are going through, to help you along the way. As mentioned, there is also a vast amount of experiences available (both research and clinical) which allows for each student to explore varying interests and still receive a comprehensive training experience. Lastly, completing a PhD along with an APA-accredited internship within 4 years is a huge perk! The support and preparation students receive during the program allows them to succeed after graduation.

– Adrianna Martin, Clinical Psychology Graduate Program