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Tip Sheet

For immediate use

April 17, 2007

Faculty experts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
can help reporters with stories on the Virginia Tech tragedy

Acute and extended interventions after trauma
Psychological issues
Disaster management

Acute and extended interventions after trauma

Robert A. Murphy, PhD, (919) 419-3474, ext. 291 or, executive director of the Center for Child and Family Health, a consortium of UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke and N.C. Central universities that has expertise in helping people who have experienced a trauma. Murphy came to the center in 2004 after a stint at the Yale Child Study Center, where he was research coordinator for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, the Childhood Violent Trauma Center and the Child Development Community Policing Program. A nationally recognized child trauma expert, Murphy was associate research scientist and a licensed psychologist at the Yale Child Study Center. His research and clinical interests focus on the effects of violence and trauma on the development of children and adolescents.

Psychological issues

Dr. Robert Bashford, (919) 966-6807 or, professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, specializes in child psychiatry, post-traumatic stress and how to talk with children about tragedy.

Dr. Jack Naftel, (919) 966-5162 or, director, division of child and adolescent psychiatry, department of psychiatry in the School of Medicine, specializes in mental health of children and adolescents.

Dr. R. Reid Wilson, (919) 942-0700 or rrw@med.unc, is associate clinical professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and a clinical psychologist in private practice. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and panic attacks, fear of flying, phobias, social anxiety, worries, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychological responses to trauma and disasters and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Thomas M. Haizlip, (919) 733-5344, a professor in the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at the School of Medicine, also directs the child mental health training program at Dorothea Dix Hospital, a state psychiatric facility. One of his areas of expertise is on how to help families and children handle disaster situations. Haizlip said certain symptoms may be expected in children who are grappling with the tragedy: unusual fears and anxieties, sleep disturbances and reluctance to attend schools. Haizlip also could speak to the most effective ways that parents and educators can encourage children to talk about their feelings. Another faculty member with expertise in talking with children about traumatic events: Dr. Andrea Hussong, (919) 962-3989,, assistant professor of psychology.

Dr. Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, (919) 962-4947, LBR@, a professor of communication studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on interpersonal and family communication. He teaches a course on and has given training on how to help families and children manage the effects of natural disasters and disasters of human design. “The first rule is to get things back to normal as soon as possible, for institutions as well as individuals,” he said. “Routines are what keep us sane.”

Disaster management

Jim Porto, (919) 966-7354 or, director of the disaster management program in the School of Public Health. He can discuss issues including, communication in a high-profile and emotional situation and the effects of panic in a crisis.

James (Jim) W. Dean Jr., (919) 962-1187 or, associate dean of Executive Education, a management professor and a Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Scholar in the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Leadership, organizational change, strategic decision making, international management and organizational performance improvement are the focus of his research, teaching and consulting. For more about Dean's expertise, click to

Heidi M. Schultz, (919) 962-3234 or, director of the Management and Corporate Communication Program at Kenan-Flagler Business School. She teaches oral and written business communication. She is the author of two books, “Business Scenarios: A Context-Based Approach to Business Communication” and “The Elements of Electronic Communication.”


UNC Experts database: For an updated list of UNC experts who can help reporters with timely topics on deadline, go to This Tip Sheet will be updated as News Services learns of addition faculty members with related expertise.

News Services staff: (919) 962-2091 or