Trauma Research Foundation

Team Members

Bruce Dixon - Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Dixon stands as an award-winning innovator, social entrepreneur, adventurer, storyteller, and a true aficionado of human performance. Born with an insatiable curiosity and an unyielding zest for life, Bruce's remarkable journey has taken him across the globe, weaving a tapestry of diverse experiences and vocations.

From the football field to the intricacies of financial services management, Bruce has fearlessly ventured into uncharted territories. His portfolio extends to leadership development, organizational behavior, coaching, and nonprofit innovation, showcasing a multifaceted career that mirrors his desire to support the thriving and well-being of all.

A seasoned storyteller, Bruce Dixon encapsulates his life experiences in narratives that captivate and inspire. His adventures have not only shaped his worldview but have also allowed him to amass a wealth of knowledge and insights. As a social entrepreneur, he brings a unique perspective to problem-solving, always seeking innovative solutions that create a positive impact on society.

Bruce's passions are deeply rooted in pushing the boundaries of mental, spiritual, and physical performance. His commitment to unlocking human potential is evident in every facet of his career, where he seamlessly blends his diverse skills and experiences. Whether navigating the complexities of professional football or spearheading nonprofit initiatives, Bruce is driven by a genuine desire to elevate individuals and organizations to new heights.

Carrie Steffensen - Chief Programs Officer

Carrie has held numerous leadership positions in the behavioral healthcare field, including developing continuing educational programs and managing national and international conferences. She is inspired by the opportunity to bring together researchers, clinicians, thought leaders and the greater community to grow the collective impact of the Trauma Research Foundation. 

Wendy D'Andrea, PhD - Chief Science Officer

Wendy's research focuses on the psychobiological alterations associated with exposure to complex trauma. This work has focused on changes in factors such as affect recognition and regulation, attention and cognition, relationship, and identity, with an eye towards using lab-based and physiological methodologies for assessment. 

Her work also attempts to unpack the contributions of marginalization to ways in which individuals adapt to adversity. This research unfolds both the lab as well as in the field, in psychosocial intervention settings. Dr. D'Andrea received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan and completed her postdoctoral training at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. She is an associate professor of psychology and director of clinical training at The New School in New York, NY. When not working, she loves to dance and cook (sometimes at the same time).

Susan Lagos - Director of Operations

Susan started her career at TRF in 2020 as CFO, responsible for all the finance and human resource functions. To further TRF’s strategic initiatives in 2024, she will transition into a new role as the Director of Operations. Susan’s leadership acumen creates clarity, brings focus, and sets priorities, equipping the team to achieve their goals. She will codify the processes, procedures, and systems to streamline operations and bring efficiency to the organization. She has the unique ability to simultaneously focus on the details while furthering the strategic big picture.

Susan is a thoughtful and effective hands-on leader. Her compassionate nature is committed to building a healthy team environment by fostering individual and team relationships. 

Mary Frangie - Community Engagement Manager

Mary is a natural project manager who brings warmth, insight, and keen attention to detail to her work. Mary's EQ and roll-up-your-sleeves style show up in her team collaborations and problem-solving abilities, leading her growth from Executive Assistant to Program Specialist to TRF's Community Engagement Manager. She possesses a refreshing combination of grounded wisdom, diligence, compassion, and fun.

Mary is an Integral Coach®, bodyworker, and lifelong learner. She earned a BA in Psychology/Women's Studies, an MA in Critical and Creative Thinking, and is a graduate of New Ventures West, Professional Coaching Certification, providing form and focus to years of teaching and facilitating for HR, the spa industry, and non-profits. She's dedicated to personal growth and body-based therapies, and you will find her assisting Licia Sky and Bessel van der Kolk in their private workshops.

Liz Coda - Program Assistant Manager

Liz holds master's degrees in both Secondary Education and Community and Trauma Counseling. After graduating from Northwestern University, she began her career as an 8th grade math teacher in Philadelphia as a Teach For America corps member. Her three years in a middle school classroom sparked her interest in trauma-informed care and creating trauma-informed environments for all. Liz also has experience working in prevention education with a domestic violence agency, a role that deepened her understanding of trauma and its impact on individuals.

Liz lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, spending time outdoors, and snuggling with her cats, Button and Rico. In addition to her work with TRF, she also works part time as a one-on-one running coach through Wellness in Motion, and trains and races competitively for long distance road races.

Conor McCann - Media Specialist

Conor has been working in various forms of media production for over a decade, with a strong focus on social media engagement and narrative. When not working on video projects, he spends his time writing music and enjoying the company of his rescue pup. 

He hopes one day to return home to his country of birth, Ireland.

Tammy Cassidy - Organizational Administrative Assistant

Tammy specializes in attention to detail, organization, and problem-solving. She values getting the job done with efficiency and expediency. She enjoys working as part of a team and looks forward to future collaborations as her role shifts from TRF’s Business Specialist to Organizational Administrative Assistant, where she will provide essential administrative and organizational support. 

Tammy’s passion for organization and administration also shines in her personal life, where she home-educated her three sons and is currently the office administrator of her family’s kitchen cabinet business. Her love and compassion for those in need are put into practice as she helps coordinate and serve with her church’s food distribution. In her free time, Tammy enjoys visiting with family and friends, walking on the beaches of Cape Cod, and savoring a perfect cup of coffee or tea!  

Araminta Jonsson—Marketing Director

Araminta is from the UK and has an Undergraduate degree from UCL in French and Spanish and, after living in Barcelona for 5 years and Colombia for 1, is fluent in Spanish and can muster passable French when needed. She has a Masters in Creative Writing and Journalism from the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra, and began a PhD in Psychology from London’s South Bank University, however her son Rory decided to surprise her before her first year was out so she still has the PhD to conquer.  

With her love for psychology, sociology and anthropology, Araminta has always wanted to know what makes people tick. What copy will convince people to buy something? What are the colours that make people happy, etc.? Combining her life experience and academic skills has been her mission for the past 8 years and, after working as a marketing consultant in a large European mental health and addiction events company, she set up her own digital marketing company, Mint. Creative Marketing, working predominantly in the mental healthcare space. She strives to learn as much as she can about the audience she is marketing to, believing that listening to people and offering them what they really want and need in life, is the best way to ensure that the relationship between marketer and client is always a good one.

Her favorite pastimes are hiking up the Malvern Hills, adventuring with her son Rory and connecting with herself and nature.  Her most recent favorite read is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Angelika Y. Sadar— Neurofeedback Coordinator

Angelika is a psychologist who has practiced neurofeedback and biofeedback for over 20 years.  She has developed and worked with numerous clinics to help them incorporate neurofeedback as a means of providing an essential tool to help clients advance towards their goals. She is the Executive Director of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society and has served on various boards related to mental health. 

In 2015, her practice was selected by the Swiss-based company, HBImed to become the North American representative of their assessment and teaching methods.

She is devoted to helping new practitioners learn neurofeedback with teaching, mentoring, and helping connect them with the neurofeedback community at large. Angelika has worked with all ranges of clients and especially enjoys her work with children, where she believes it is important to help them connect with the world in a way that is fun and helps them develop as individuals. 

Licia Sky - Co-Founder

Licia Sky is a Boston based somatic educator, writer, artist, singer-songwriter, and bodyworker who works with traumatized individuals and trains mental health professionals to use mindful meditation in movement, theater exercises, writing and voice as tools for attunement, healing and connection.

Bessel Van Der Kolk - MD - Co-Founder

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score.  ​Bessel van der Kolk MD spends his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences, and has translated emerging findings from neuroscience and attachment research to develop and study a range of treatments for traumatic stress in children and adults.

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