The Aid Worker Resilience Project (AWRP) is part of the Trauma and Adversity, Resilience and Prevention (TARP) lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 


The lab collaborates with a number of community partners to study risk and resilience factors diverse populations as well as prevention programming that can help to mitigate the effects of trauma and promote healing and resilience. Click here to learn more.


Chava Nerenberg

Chava Nerenberg is a Ph.D. student in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before beginning her Ph.D., Chava worked for more than a decade as a Program Manager in the international development and humanitarian fields and as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She served throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she managed the Graduating to Resilience Project--a USAID-funded program researching the most cost-effective method to build resilience for Congolese refugees in Uganda. 

Chava's deep experience in multiple roles and sectors within foreign aid inspired her to return to graduate school to study mental health services and resilience for aid workers. She is passionate about helping aid workers develop their resilience in order to support the important work they do.


Chava holds a B.A. from Cornell University in Government and Asian Studies and an M.S. from American University in Development Management. She can be reached at chava@ucsb.edu

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Maryam Kia-Keating, Ph.D.

Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Her scholarship focuses on promoting resilience and thriving among children, families, and communities facing toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and collective trauma, including war, mass violence, and climate change related disasters.


Dr. Kia-Keating has worked with displaced populations. She utilizes participatory and human-centered design approaches to empower communities and form multisector collaborations to find innovative solutions to public health challenges and to reduce disparities. She served on the American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families who are Refugees from Armed Conflict Residing in the United States. She participated in the development of a Vicarious Trauma Toolkit funded by the Office for Victims of Crime to create evidence-based support for victim assistance professionals, law enforcement officers, and other first responders. Her multidisciplinary work and perspective draws from and has relevance for psychological science, design and social innovation, integrated behavioral health, education, global studies, and public health.

Dr. Kia-Keating’s research has been funded by NIH. Her articles have been published in high impact academic journals, such as the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychologist. Her interviews on significant psychosocial topics such as violence and mass trauma, and ways to build youth resilience, are in outlets with high volume readerships, including the Washington Post, ABC news, and CNN. She is on Twitter @drkiakeating and you can reach her at maryamkk at ucsb.edu.

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