Graduate Students

Graduate students at the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care assist with project coordination, research, evaluation and the provision of training.

Student Interns at ITTIC

Photo of Vanessa.

Vanessa Krnjaich

Vanessa is a part-time MSW student at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and is currently completing her advanced year field placement with ITTIC and Erie County Adult Protective Services. She holds an AS in social sciences '08 from Erie Community College, a BS in social work '12 from Buffalo State College and is a certified Case Manager through Boston University. Vanessa’s experience ranges from working with homeless youth in Buffalo to working with senior services through Erie County and she is currently a caseworker in child welfare with Erie County. Vanessa’s interests include adverse childhood experiences and trauma-informed care with at-risk youth populations involved in the child welfare system. Vanessa is also interested in the improvement of child welfare at a policy level. She currently represents ITTIC on the #macroSW Twitter chats on Thursday evenings, and is an active participant of the Trauma Informed Community Initiative of WNY.   

Student Affiliates at ITTIC

Photo of Erin.

Erin Bascug

Erin is an MSW/PhD student at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and a previous MSW student intern at ITTIC. She holds a BA in psychology from Drew University and an MS in human development and family studies from the University of Delaware. Previously, Erin served as associate director of the Department of Educational Initiatives and Research at the Council on Social Work Education. She also has experience in the fields of sexual assault prevention and response, domestic violence victim advocacy and psychological health outreach for military service members. Erin’s interests include trauma-informed research, adolescent intimate partner violence, sex trafficking and the behavioral health effects of early traumatic experiences. Erin is currently continuing the work she started as an intern, facilitating Seeking Safety/Parenting trauma support groups with pregnant and/or parenting women who are participating in inpatient residential treatment for opioid use disorder.

Josie Diebold


Josie is a PhD student at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work and a previous intern at ITTIC. She graduated with her master's in social work from the University at Buffalo in May 2018 and she holds a BA in psychology and in religious studies from Canisius College. Her practice experiences have been with a foster/adoptive agency, as well as a mental-health residential facility. Her research interests are systemic racism, white privilege, adverse childhood experiences and a trauma-informed framework. Josie currently coordinates the Trauma Talks podcast series.