Home > Faculty > Pooley, Apryl E., Ph.D.
Pooley, Apryl E., Ph.D.
Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Michigan Victim Advocacy Network

vaw_icon_pdf_sm  Curriculum Vitae


Apryl Pooley is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Michigan Victim Advocacy Network (www.MiVAN.org), a statewide project that supports advocates working with crime victims by offering trauma-informed training and other tools for working with victims. MiVAN is guided by a vision of social justice—creating a world in which all individuals, families, and communities share equitably in society’s knowledge and resources and are able to achieve their full potential for healing and growth.

Dr. Pooley is a trauma-informed scientist, author, artist, and yoga instructor. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from Michigan State University researching the effects of trauma on the brain and body and published research using neurofeedback therapy with survivors of domestic violence during her postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience. Dr. Pooley is a qualified expert witness in Michigan, serving to offer expert testimony on the neurobiology of trauma.

Dr. Pooley is passionate about educational outreach and institutional policymaking as it pertains to building a community that invests in the holistic healing of those who have survived trauma. She believes in the healing properties of yoga, art, music, and writing as therapeutic modalities for trauma recovery. Dr. Pooley serves on the Board of Directors of the Firecracker Foundation, a local nonprofit honoring the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by building a community invested in the healing of their whole being. The Firecracker Foundation offers therapy for children, support groups for caregivers and teen peers, yoga, advocacy, trauma-informed midwifery and doula care, and community education on child sexual abuse.  Dr. Pooley has been a featured TEDxMSU speaker, a published author (Fortitude: A PTSD Memoir), and a featured artist in the National Alliance on Mental Illness Healing Through Art exhibit. Dr. Pooley has completed 200 hours of yoga teacher certification training and collaborated with trauma-informed yoga instructor, Kintla Striker, to publish research on the therapeutic efficacy of yoga in trauma survivors.

Dr. Pooley’s work is driven by her belief that healing from trauma happens at both an individual and a community-level. The effects of trauma are not only contained within individuals but ripple throughout time and space, and as such, the solutions to responding to trauma must also include a trauma-informed community.

Selected publications

Pooley AE, Striker K, and Striker S(2019). Therapeutic efficacy of yoga in individuals with varied traumatic stress histories. Brain Body and Cognition, 8(1).

Brown J, Clark D, and Pooley AE (2018). Exploring the Use of Neurofeedback Therapy in Mitigating Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 28(6), 764–783.

Pooley AE, Benjamin RC, Sreedhar S, Eagle AL, Robison AJ, Mazei-Robison MS, Breedlove SM, Jordan CJ (2018). Sex differences in the traumatic stress response: The role of adult gonadal hormones. Biology of Sex Differences, 9(32).  

 Pooley AE, Benjamin RC, Sreedhar S, Eagle AL, Robison AJ, Mazei-Robison MS, Breedlove SM, Jordan CJ (2018) Sex differences in the traumatic stress response: PTSD symptoms in women recapitulated in female rats. Biology of Sex Differences, 9(31).  

 Selected trauma outreach and education

 “Healing the Brain, Body, and Community” (November 2019). Michigan State University RCAH Lookout Gallery’s We Can Begin Again: Moving Through Trauma exhibition. 

 “Building Safe and Resilient Communities in Response to Child Sexual Abuse” (October 2019). Michigan State University Museum public training. 

 “Understanding Child Sexual Trauma and Grooming” (March 2019). The Firecracker Foundation volunteer training. 

 “The Disconnect: Neuroscience of Traumatic Stress” (February 2019). Workshop for Mid-Michigan mental health practitioners. 

 “Understanding Trauma: Scientific, Clinical, and Interpretive Perspectives on Sexual Violence” (January 2019). Expert panelist at Michigan State University Museum speaker series. 

 “Researching the Neurobiology of Trauma: Does Personal Experience, Politics, and Identity Inform or Bias the Science?” (October 2018). MSU College of Natural Science Diversity in STEM speaker series. 

 “The Reciprocal Relationship Between STEM Research and Community Work: How the Respective Experiences and Identities of an Academic Scientist and a Nonprofit Executive Director Inform Each Other’s Work” (October 2018). MSU College of Natural Science Diversity in STEM speaker series. 

Michigan State University

© Michigan State University Board of Trustees. East Lansing MI 48824
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Visit msu.edu