Middle school student takes on PTSD as a research project
July 13, 2012
Filed under New Work by Military Youth
Hannah Rauhut walked around the Horsemanship Event held at Webber Field, Ft. Benning carrying her gear that consisted of a FLIP camera and recording devise with a list of questions. She was set to interview Sam first and then to find others that had experienced PTSD that would speak to her. Rather than ride horses that day which is one of her loves, she spent time gathering and collecting information for her research project on a subject most teens would shy away from: PTSD, the invisible wound.
Weeks later, Sam calls. Hannah has just presented her final multi-media report:
“Military PTSD: The War After the War” to Mrs. Libbie Kurinec’ 8th Grade Gifted Education class. “Its awesome” Sam says “and it made me cry! She made a 100!” CSM (RET) Sam Rhodes is the head of Resiliency for Ft. Benning, and attended Hannah’s presentation at Faith Middle School, Ft. Benning, Georgia. He is the author of “Breaking the military code of silence”, and a Veteran who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2006, counsel other soldiers today and was featured in her film that accompanied her report.
Mrs. Kurinec, a seasoned teacher at Faith Middle School, (DODEA – Ft. Benning, Georgia) has for many years included this type of “I-Search project” for 8th grade gifted students. Each student has to choose a topic to research for his or her end-of-the-year multi-media I-Search project. They also must write a high-level research paper on the topic. They are to choose a topic for which they have a passion, and then they must produce quality products to include a professional-quality PowerPoint presentation, a high-standard tri-board, and at least one creative product of their choosing. They are encouraged to spotlight a talent they may have, and to embed a video into their PowerPoint’s if appropriate. Many students choose to do interviews, live or pre-recorded.
“Hannah took on her research topic, PTSD, with a passion.” Mrs. Kurinec commented and then continued, “she was committed to it from the project’s infancy stage until the day of the presentation…about two months. Her in-depth research and the quality of her products were exceptional. Hannah far exceeded the standard for this project, and the standard was high. Not only was her research over the top, but also her professional delivery style set her apart from her peers. She opened her presentation with a capturing oral interpretation of an excerpt from a diary of a soldier with PTSD. I cried; not only because of the poignant excerpt, but because of her superior interpretation of it.” Note: a video of her presentation is available on www.abackpackjournalist.com/hannah
“Hannah did it all… her talent was her oral interpretation (competition-level), the embedded video in her PowerPoint of her interviews, along with the live interview with CSM Rhodes. Her tri-board, PowerPoint, and research paper were at the highest level…all receiving 100. In fact, everything she did received the highest ratings possible…100.” Mrs. Kurinec concluded.
Mrs. Kurinec has been teaching these types of projects for about 15 years now, and only three students have reached the status of professional overall, and Hannah is one of the three. Hannah’s work epitomizes what the I-Search project should be. Mrs. Kurinec’s ratings for the presentations are: proficient, polished, highly polished, and professional.
Fast-forward to Atlanta Braves – Braveheart Celebration at Turner Stadium, May 28, 2012. Hannah joins Stacey Sharpe, an experienced USARC youth and A Backpack Journalist intern to report on the events of the day! Hannah and Stacey worked in a team on and off the field interviewing Gen (RET) Peter Chiarelli former Vice Chief of Staff for US Army. Today he is the CEO of ONE MIND RESEARCH. The subject matter? PTSD. After the interview, Gen Chiarelli commented “someone here has done some research. Those were great questions!” He smiled at Hannah, and pictures followed. He also requested a copy of her report!
Next, Dr. Barbara Rothbaum, Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory University, spends time with Hannah and she too commented on the obvious knowledge on the subject shared in the questions for her interview!
To access Hannah’s report that earned her the respect of a retired Four-star general whose new assignment is brain research and a distinguished professor at Emory University, click here. Thanks Hannah for sharing and your passion and dedication for this important subject: PTSD the invisible wound.
About A Backpack Journalist:
A Backpack Journalist early in 2012 decided the education of PTSD to be added as a module. We continue to teach writing, song writing and digital story telling, and ultimately produced a music video on the subject. We attended and reported on the DCOE Conference on Warrior Resiliency and continue today to support veterans and their families. The A Backpack Journalist curriculum is a part of a pilot test in fall, 2012 for veterans with PTSD and their families. A Backpack Journalist has a student intern program for military youth, and Hannah has joined the team! Hannah Rauhut is the daughter of Col Michael and Sandra Rauhut, Ft.Benning, Georgia.