2018 SCRA Emory L. Cowen Award for the Promotion of Wellness



Volume 51 Number 2 
Spring 2018

Michelle Stratton

The 2018 SCRA Emory L. Cowen Award for the Promotion of Wellness


Dr. Michelle Stratton’s dissertation titled “Culture, Resilience, and Adaptation: The Voices of Rwandan and Congolese Refugees” was completed at the Pacifica Graduate Institute under the direction of Dr. Mary Watkins. Dr. Stratton’s dissertation is a sophisticated qualitative study of Rwandan and Congolese refugees in her home community of Manchester, New Hampshire. The project is the result of sustained engagement and inquiry into culturally-based sources of resilience, as well as consideration of how the ‘host’ culture can be more mindful of creating an environment that helps immigrants sustain, and not unreflectively assault, these sources of resilience. The dissertation exemplifies empowering and culturally sensitive methods to identify cultural resources and pathways for resilience that likely have important implications for trauma reduction and the promotion of well-being among refugees. The work exemplifies the core values of participatory collaboration between the researcher and the community, as well as respect for diversity and a strengths and wellness framework.

Dr. Stratton is in independent community psychology practice in northern California.