Staff

Esther Giller – President and Director

As founder and President of Sidran Institute, Ms. Giller has led Sidran in the development of a broad range of programs and projects to benefit people with trauma-generated mental health problems, as well as to educate professional and paraprofessional caregivers and the public. Ms. Giller is particularly interested in and skilled at collaborative projects that bring diverse partners together to create programs to fill gaps in knowledge and expertise. She has developed innovative, collaborative projects to address trauma in settings as diverse as state psychiatric hospitals, corrections facilities, and faith communities.

She is a frequent speaker at meetings on violence prevention for medical and mental health care professionals and has often served on invited national experts’ boards convened by federal agencies.
Ms.Giller is a founding board member of the PTSD Alliance, a public education coalition that, in addition to Sidran, includes the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. This alliance was funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, Inc.
In the mental health field, Ms. Giller is coauthor of a trauma curriculum for clergy, Risking Connection in Faith Communities (Sidran Institute Press, 2006). She is editor of two monographs: Child Protective Services: A System in Crisis (National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse); and Enhancing Child Sexual Abuse Services to Minority Cultures (National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse); and one general interest book: Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out (Sidran Institute Press, 1991). She also has authored and co-authored many articles for professional and lay audiences on topics related to trauma and PTSD.

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, Ms. Giller has been frequently sought out by national, regional, and local print and broadcast media. She has been interviewed and quoted about trauma reactions in Time and Newsweek magazines, National Public Radio-NYC, MS-NBC, CBS “HealthWatch,” and many others.

Her undergraduate degree was earned at The Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree is from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tracy Howard – Book Sales / Office Manager

Ms. Howard joined Sidran’s staff in 2000 and provides customer service related to product sales. She also processes our book orders, acquires new titles, and does special promotional book marketing.

In the course of her work at Sidran she has actively participated in educational and advocacy opportunities. She has presented about the effects of trauma for school counselors, and has acted as an advocate for survivors at federal and state policy making meetings concerning mental health and substance abuse and institutional recidivism. She participated in the Women, Co-occurring Disorders, and Violence Study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), as an advisor to the Maryland study site, known as the TAMAR Project.

Ms Howard helped develop and facilitate TAMAR’s peer support program and has  provided trauma peer support workshops at national and state-wide mental health consumer conferences. She co-facilitated similar support groups in Frederick, MD, in and out of corrections settings.

Ruta Mazelis – Editor, The Cutting Edge / Trainer

Ruta Mazelis joined Sidran’s staff in 2004, continuing her role as editor of The Cutting Edge newsletter, which she founded in 1990. She is a popular speaker and trainer who presents nationally on behalf of Sidran on the issues surrounding self-inflicted violence and other self harming behaviors.

She frequently consults to the federal Center for Mental Health Services on topics related to abuse, dual diagnoses, self-injury and criminal–justice involved survivors. She provided extensive technical assistance to the SAMHSA Women, Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Project and is currently on the board of the National Trauma Consortium.

Ms. Mazelis has worked as a counselor in inpatient chemical dependency services as well as in an outpatient setting with adolescents. In addition to The Cutting Edge newsletter, she has published numerous articles and contributed to research studies about self-inflicted injury, women, co-occurring disorders and violence, and substance abuse treatment.

Ms. Mazelis received her degree from Cleveland State University.

Rachel Elise – Help Desk / Office

Rachel Elise joined Sidran’s staff in 2008. Rachel has been working for trauma survivors since 2006.  She has organized and facilitated several peer-support groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse and for eating disorders.  She also speaks publicly about trauma and dissociation. She has a bachelors degree from Towson University.

Stephanie Muszelik – Accountant

Ms. Muszelik, a CPA since 1978, worked with numerous accounting firms before joining Sidran.