Russell T. Jones, professor of psychology in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, will travel to Washington, D.C., Thursday, April 6, to meet with members of First Lady Laura Bush’s Office of Special Projects.

Jones, a nationally recognized expert in disaster-related trauma in children, will be discussing observations, lessons learned, and future efforts regarding the ongoing psychological impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children from the Gulf region of the United States.

"It is indeed an honor and a privilege to meet with members of the First Lady's dedicated staff to discuss issues related to the psychological impact of Hurricane Katrina as well as ways of better preparing for future disasters," Jones said.

As a consultant with the Disaster Technical Assistance Center, part of the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Jones has made numerous trips to the Gulf Coast to assist in disaster relief efforts since Katrina struck last August. He has participated in two trauma-related workshops, and most recently, presented at a Congressional hearing on disaster relief.

Jones was called upon by the White House to help prepare the first lady before she visited children who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina last fall.

While at the White House, Jones will also be sharing early results of his work as a member of the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group administered by the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. This two-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, will track the broad spectrum of needs for a large sample of Katrina survivors.

Jones received his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, his master’s and Ph.D. from Penn State University, and completed his clinical internship at Brown University. He is also a Clinical Instructor at Yale University’s Child Study Center.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in many cutting edge areas, including those in nanotechnology, biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports the university’s research initiatives through the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Sciences, and the Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The college of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and intellectual properties law.