Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma


Firestorm is pleased to announce the release of a new book by Firestorm Expert Council Member Carolyn Mears, Ph.D. titled “Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma.”

The Aftermath of Trauma – Reclamation
Lessons learned for businesses, organizations, schools, communities and individuals

Firestorm Expert Council Member Carolyn Lunsford Mears, Ph.D., of DU’s Morgridge College of Education, has released a new book, entitled Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

In addition to her book, Firestorm is pleased to host a first webinar in a series featuring Dr. Mears’ work. This work considers the long-lasting consequences of traumatic events and shares strategies that have helped schools and communities recover.

Motivated by her own experience as a “Columbine Mom,” she has studied the effects of trauma in order to learn what helps and what hinders recovery in the aftermath of trauma.

In her webinars, Dr. Mears will discuss her anthology of stories of individuals who experienced firsthand the disruption caused by traumatic loss. Contributors include faculty at Virginia Tech, a dean of the New York Law School (eight blocks from the World Trade Center), as well as educators, students, and parents at Columbine, Platte Canyon HS, Jokela School Center (Finland), schools in post-Katrina New Orleans, and others. The book offers wisdom born of experience as well as insights acquired through years of study.

The first webinar will touch on the high-level aspects of trauma, with greater exploration of each area planned for future events in the series

1. What is trauma?
2. Reclaiming life after trauma
3. Patience and your own timetable
4. Individual stories
5. What to avoid
6. Resources

Dr. Mears is an award-winning researcher whose son was a Columbine student at the time of the shooting. She enrolled in DU in order to conduct dissertation research into the aftermath of the tragedy. Her dissertation, Experiences of Columbine Parents: Finding a Way to Tomorrow, was selected as the 2005 AERA Qualitative Dissertation of the Year. AERA praised her research for introducing a “distinctive new approach” to conducting insider research with both sensitivity and rigor.

Her subsequent text, Interviewing for Education and Social Science Research: The Gateway Approach, was selected as finalist for the 2010 AERA Outstanding Qualitative Book of the Year Award.

Dr. Mears holds a research position and is dissertation advisor and adjunct faculty at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education, a member of the Graduate School of Social Work’s Trauma Certificate Board, Firestorm Expert Council, and other professional organizations.

An inspirational speaker, she has shared her work with audiences across the U.S., Europe, and Australia.