Arizona community comes together for conference on trauma healing

5th annual Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium to be held virtually June 8

June 4, 2021

Worldwide people have experienced the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in collective trauma to our physical and mental safety. Individuals on the front lines, specifically educators and school communities, have been tasked to manage these traumas while still being expected to achieve and reach certain benchmarks.

It’s a lot to handle. Image of a seedling growing at different phases Download Full Image

This year’s Trauma Sensitive Schools Symposium, titled “Healing Collective Trauma: Together Moving Forward,” is dedicated to exploring new ways of being for our communities, and how to heal from the many collective traumas experienced. It will be held virtually on Tuesday, June 8.

The symposium is part of a collaboration between the Phoenix Children’s and Arizona State University's T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics that works to ensure research is quickly translated into practice to improve the well-being of students and educators.

However, the process works both ways, says Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, an ASU associate professor and co-organizer.

“Arizona educators are ahead of science in regards to understanding how to create safe, supportive relationships and spaces," she said. "In working together, we can more quickly identify and test innovative strategies and ensure that these get disseminated broadly.”

portraits of a Black man and a white woman

Rick Griffin and Sarah Lindstrom Johnson

Presenters include a range of researchers and community experts who will share valuable insights with actionable steps attendees can take to help their communities navigate trauma.

The conference will begin with mindful activities and networking.

Rick Griffin, director of training and curriculum development for the Community Resilience Initiative, and Lindstrom Johnson will give keynote presentations.

Then attendees will join breakout sessions featuring the following presenters:


Natalia Chimbo-Andrade

Natalia Chimbo-Andrade
Director of community education and outreach for Community Bridges Inc.

"Resilience: Strength Over Stress"

This breakout addresses contributing factors of stress with teens, the role of social media and what it can lead to when not properly managed. The course teaches resilience-building and adaptation in the face of adversity and toxic stress, and their significant impacts on the mind and body.

Participants will learn techniques in mindfulness practices, the cultivation of positivity, and how to implement therapeutic life style choices for teens.


Lori Madrid

Lori Madrid
Licensed clinical social worker and CEO of Everybody Matters Inc.

"It’s Not Just Self-care; It’s Professional Sustainability"

In recent years, much has been reported on the rising levels of stress among those who work with high-needs children.

This breakout will review research related to compassion fatigue, secondary PTSD and vicarious trauma. More importantly, strategies for self-regulation and professional sustainability will be discussed.

Sanghoon and Shoman

Sanghoon Yoo and Shomari Jackson

Sanghoon Yoo
Founder of The Faithful City

Shomari Jackson
Project coordinator at Southwest Behavioral and Health Services

"Building Healthy Living Community by Trauma-Informed School Systematic Development"

This breakout demonstrates an ongoing community transformation model by a committed and strategic collaboration with all sectors of the community. The breakout leaders have been working together in the South Mountain area of Phoenix to build a healthy, trauma-informed and safely connected community.

The breakout offers a comprehensive model of this community initiative with detailed steps, lessons and tool kits.


Richard Crews

Richard Crews
Founder and principal of the Radicle Solutions Group

"Healing in the Fire: Creating Communities That Heal Instead of Hurt Institutions"

This breakout will focus on how institutions can co-create space within their communities that foster healing and create an environment where students, educators, institutions and communities thrive together.

Register for the symposium at Eventbrite

Shelley Linford

Marketing and Communications Manager, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics

Karen Bruhn retiring after 23 years of service to Barrett, The Honors College at ASU

June 4, 2021

When Karen Bruhn received the 2012 Arizona State University Faculty Achievement Teaching Award for her work as an honors faculty fellow at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, she said: “I feel really fortunate to be at ASU and be in a position at Barrett where I’m teaching small classes, I really get to know my students and yet I have the resources of a Research I university at my disposal.”

“What motivates me to do what I do? It just feels right. It feels like what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to do. And that’s a very good feeling.” Photo of Karen Bruhn After 23 years at Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, Karen Bruhn is retiring this summer. Download Full Image

Bruhn did what she felt was right — teaching and serving in leadership roles at Barrett Honors College — for over two decades. She is retiring this summer after 23 years at the honors college, where she served as an honors faculty fellow, principle lecturer, honors faculty chair and assistant dean. As an honors faculty fellow, she taught more than 1,000 students in Barrett’s signature course — The Human Event — for first-year students. She also taught Barrett Summer Study Abroad and a variety of upper-division classes on religion and culture.

“I came to what was then called the University Honors College right out of graduate school. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. It was a pleasure to get to teach bright, motivated students for all these years. It has been a great career and exactly what I should have been doing,” said Bruhn, whose last day will be June 30.

While Bruhn departs with her own good memories and good feelings, she is leaving colleagues with very positive sentiments about her too.

“To paraphrase the Ford truck ad: Karen doesn’t just set the bar, she is the bar. She is the bar we all aspire to as the highest-rated teacher at Barrett — and some may reach now since she is retiring. She is the calmest voice of reason whenever Barrett is in turmoil, she showed us all how to be a good faculty chair with a balanced view of Barrett politics, and she is an understanding and encouraging ‘parent-like’ mentor to the younger faculty,” said Mark Jacobs, dean of Barrett, The Honors College and ASU vice provost.

“She has been here for us for all of our careers at Barrett, and the legacy she will leave at the honors college is very simply her example: where the bar is now set for faculty and staff behavior and excellence,” he added.

Ted Humphrey, Barrett, The Honors College founding dean and ASU professor emeritus, hired Bruhn in 1998 and sings her praises to this day.

“Dr. Karen Bruhn came to her teaching and research career via a deep interest in the study of religion," Humphrey said. "Entering the PhD program in religious studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she found her calling and produced an excellent doctoral dissertation that set up her subsequent professorial career. She came to ASU and Barrett an exceptionally well-prepared, humanistically oriented scholar dedicated to teaching undergraduate students, which she did in unusually engaging and creative ways, so much so that she inspired her colleagues to examine their own approaches to the classroom.

“She was more than once selected Barrett’s outstanding instructor, while at the same time publishing high-level research. She has been a quiet but forceful voice in faculty governance. In all, she will be missed by all in the college, students who will not be able to benefit from her learning and wisdom, colleagues who miss her counsel, and administrators and staff who will miss her ability to mediate among the various, sometimes conflicting demands circumstances place on all those who make up the academy."

Mary Ingram-Waters, Barrett faculty chair and honors faculty fellow, said Bruhn is the honors college’s longest-serving faculty member whose influence is keenly felt by her colleagues and students alike.

“She has mentored practically everyone on the faculty and shared her wisdom and pedagogy. She is really good at celebrating her colleagues and giving credit where credit is due,” Ingram-Waters said.

“She inspires students to follow their interests. In The Human Event, she created a culture of support and gave space for students to be creative and intellectually curious,” she added.

Bruhn’s leadership and teaching will not be the only elements of her legacy at the honors college. She and her husband, Doug Ryan, have established a scholarship called the Bruhn Ryan Fund to benefit Barrett, The Honors College students.

Nicole Greason

Public relations and publicity manager , Barrett, The Honors College