Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition (PFT) Fellow, Jennifer Gómez, receives Ford Foundation Fellowship

Jennifer Gómez joined Wayne State in the fall of 2017 as part of the first cohort of PFT fellows. Administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the 2018 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship is a prestigious award that recognizes her as a high achieving scholar with exceptional promise and a strong commitment to a career in university research and teaching. The fellowship celebrates diversity as a resource for enriching education and provides one year of financial support and opportunities to network and attend the Conference of Ford Fellows. This award marks an important milestone in the PFT experience at Wayne State.

Gómez received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in the Department of Psychology in 2017. Her research interests lie in trauma psychology, specifically exploring how relational and sociocultural contexts affect trauma outcomes in diverse adolescents and emerging adults. Gómez developed Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (CBTT) to include interpersonal trauma in conjunction with oppression to examine mental health outcomes. "Being a PFT fellow is truly a dream job for me as a junior researcher who wants to make my career at Wayne State," says Gómez. The Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship will support her work in developing and validating a culturally sensitive measure of CBTT on black emergent adults. "Known as the Cultural Betrayal Multidimensional Inventory," she explains, "This measure will engender needed research on mental health and personal growth in black people who experience both violence and discrimination."

The Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition Fellowship program (PFT) is an initiative from the Office of Scientific Training, Workforce Development and Diversity (STWD) in the Office of the Provost. The program seeks to create a pipeline of early career, urban disparity scholars who will contribute to diversity and bolster academic excellence in keeping with Wayne State's mission and strategic plan. The program provides fellows with the resources and support needed to make them competitive candidates for tenure-track faculty appointments. "The PFT program was designed to attract and support scholars like Jennifer, whose research and teaching are both vital in their field and inspiring to their students and colleagues," says Dean Ambika Mathur. "It is wonderful to see a Jennifer's success and promise recognized by the Ford Foundation."

To learn more about Jennifer Gómez and her research, visit

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