Trish Yerges
The La Grande Observer

Elgin High School alumna Dr. Roselyn Smith has been chosen to be part of two of the most prestigious academic and altruistic programs in the world.

Smith, currently working as a clinical psychologist in Miami, Florida, was accepted into the Fulbright Specialist Program and the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities as a consultant in human resilience, critical incident and disaster mental health, preparedness, response and recovery.

“As a native of Elgin, I am so very pleased and honored to share the wonderful developments and global recognition in my professional life that have unfolded recently with my home community,” Smith said.

Smith’s growing experiences in the psychological field of disaster incidence resilience, which included work in post-Katrina New Orleans, motivated her to apply for admission on the Fulbright Specialist roster of consultants.

“It’s a very lengthy application followed by a peer review process,” she said. “One of the things that may have gotten Fulbright’s attention was my April 2010 invitation from a rehabilitation center located within 5 kilometers of Chernobyl (Ukraine) to present on disaster mental health intervention.”

Smith is the daughter of the late Arthur and Ethel Smith of Elgin. Her mother was a reporter and the former owner, editor and publisher of The Elgin Recorder weekly newspaper. Dr. Smith has extended family still living in Union County, including Dennis Cross of W.C. Construction of Elgin and century farmers George and Carla McDonald of Summerville.

Smith graduated with a degree in economics in 1984 from the University of California Los Angeles. She worked in public policy analysis and as a businesswoman before she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2004.

Following her doctorate work, Smith and retired U.S. Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Brian Flynn were invited as consultants by the Center for Disaster Epidemiology and Emergency Preparedness to develop and present a curriculum to help public health workers throughout the state of Florida in 2005 and 2006.

See complete story in Monday's Observer

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