Dr. Margaret Sherrer
Specialization: Social Work, Psychology
Home institution in US: Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, Vermont
Host Institution in India: Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kochi, Kerala       
Start date/Month in India: January 2013
Duration of grant: 4 months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Margaret V. Sherrer is an associate professor of psychology and human services at Lyndon State College, Vermont. She earned a B.A. in journalism at the University of Rhode Island and a M.S.W. in social work from Rhode Island College. In 2011, she received a Ph.D. in social work from Boston College, Massachusetts. Her dissertation examined the association between cognitive appraisal and traumatic stress symptoms among community clients with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia-spectrum and major mood disorders. Prior to her academic appointment, she was a clinician for 15 years in various mental health programs specializing in the assessment and treatment of severe mental illness, including co-occurring substance abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorders. Her background includes training and supervising mental health practitioners in the use of relevant evidence-based practices. Dr. Sherrer’s practice and research interests include differential responses to traumatic stress; psychosocial interventions for individuals with severe mental illness; mental health disaster response; and cross-cultural aspects of death, dying and bereavement. Her scholarly achievements include more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and two book chapters, including a chapter on clinical case management in the Clinical Handbook of Schizophrenia (Guilford 2011).

Dr. Sherrer’s Fulbright project, “Evidence-Based Mental Health Services in Kerala, India: Cultural Influences and Challenges,” involves a combination of teaching and research activities focused primarily on the development of mental health services for adults and their families in Kerala. Her proposed ethnographic study will examine how mental illness is conceptualized and addressed within the diverse, multicultural context of south India. She also hopes to share her expertise with faculty, students and clinicians in the field through guest lecturing and consulting.