Share / Discuss

Spotlight On ... Evan Trager ’08

Evan Trager ’08, a second-year psychiatry resident at the UC–Riverside School of Medicine, received the Resident Training Award in Substance Abuse Disorders from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

What does this honor mean to you?

Personally, ever since my wife, Catalina Martinez ’08, and I became foster parents to two young children, I’ve been aligning my career towards researching ways to improve the mental health of foster children and children in the juvenile-justice setting. This award allows me to further my professional training, learning skills and techniques for the generation and analysis of clinical data; the project’s final output will be a research paper identifying potential risk factors for co-morbid (occurring at the same time) mental illness and substance use in foster children.  

How has Swarthmore shaped your career—and your life?

Its a little cliche (Quaker matchbox and all), but the most significant way was that I met my wife there. We’ve supported each other through good times and bad, and have developed similar career interests pursuing social justice.

What advice would you give current Swarthmoreans hoping to follow in your path?

If there’s a project that you’re interested in but not able to pursue because you lack a certain skill set, don’t let that be an absolute barrier. Perhaps you can be involved in another way, or there may be funding opportunities to learn the needed skills. In the larger picture, many organizations don’t just want to complete a single project; they’d much rather invest in your training so you can complete 1,000 projects down the road.