After 9/11, Karla Vermeulen left her job as a successful magazine editor and her apartment in downtown Manhattan to move with her husband to upstate New York.
Left with a curiosity about the attacks, Karla wanted to understand why they occurred and how people functioned during them. As a result, she decided to go back to school to study psychology as a graduate student 10 years after finishing her undergraduate work.
The experience has given her a new perspective. As an older student, Karla has found that coming back to school has been a different experience than attending school as an undergraduate student. She's finding it "more rewarding and more enjoyable."
Recently, Karla has worked as a graduate assistant for the Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI). The institute, founded at SUNY New Paltz in 2004, prepares students, professionals, and community members in the helping fields to care for others following a disaster.
On May 6, Karla led a workshop titled "Warnings, Rumors, and Psychoeducation: A Research Perspective," the subject of her thesis. "When disasters occur, people need information; if they don't get credible, official information, they'll make it up," said Karla.
Influences: Her personal desire to continue learning
Hobbies: learning to play cello, cooking, and reading
Goals: To write serious work and make it accessible to the public