In collaboration with Stay the Course, an agency dedicated to serving Veterans and their families, researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington are studying a novel approach to stress management used by Veterans, Service Members, and First Responders – motorcycle riding. Wind Therapy as its sometimes called, has many enthusiasts and proponents, but the benefits of riding to manage stress is understudied.

Student researcher, Christine Highfill, and her mentor, Dr. Donna Schuman, were awarded the competitive 2021 Cheryl Milkes Moore Endowed Professorship in Mental Health Research Grant to fund this project. Christine has family ties with Veterans, Service Members, and First Responders.  Dr. Schuman is a Veteran spouse and mother of a military member. They are joined by Master of Social Work student, Sapphire Munguia, who is also military-connected. The team will learn about Wind Therapy through surveys and interviews with Veterans, Service Members, First Responders, and their families.


Meet the Team

Donna Schuman

Dr. Donna Schuman

Dr. Schuman is a spouse and a mother of combat veterans. She holds licensure in clinical social work and professional counseling and holds certifications in addiction counseling, biofeedback, and neurofeedback. She has almost two decades of clinical behavioral health experience and has previously worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Army. Her research is focused on studying the biopsychosocial impact of trauma and the phenomenon of heroic traumatization. She is dedicated to improving trauma treatment outcomes for service members, veterans, and first responders through psychophysiological and technological interventions.

Christine Highfill

Christine Highfill

Christine Highfill retired as a military spouse in 2014. She has since earned her Master degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington (2019) and a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling, Military Resilience from Liberty University (2016). She is currently a PhD student at UTA. She studies complementary therapies for Veterans, like Wind Therapy and Equine Therapy, and also researches Military-Connected Domestic Abuse.

LaTisha Thomas

LaTisha Thomas

LaTisha Thomas is an experienced clinical social worker with over 13 years of experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She holds a licensure in clinical social work and is a trauma specialist with a certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is the owner and lead clinician of Tomorrow and Beyond, PLLC, a psychotherapy clinical practice providing mental health services to individuals and couples along their healing journey. She is currently a PhD student at UTA. She studies psychotherapeutic interventions for the elder and Veteran population.

Jodie Wofford

Jodie Yblood

Jodie Yblood has worked for One Tribe Foundation for over 3 years. She is a senior in the BSW program at Tarleton State University. Jodie is the partner of a Navy veteran, daughter of an Army veteran, and mother of an active-duty Army soldier. She is the Wind Therapy manager and QPR ("Question, Persuade, Refer") trainer for One Tribe. Her future plans are to become a licensed counselor specializing in treating mental health disorders and trauma, and suicide prevention.

Siraj Alyami

Siraj Alyami

Siraj Alyami, Psy.D, served as an Army Officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Veteran, and is an avid motorcycle rider. He designed a motorcycle-riding intervention for veterans with PTSD for his Applied Doctoral Project. Dr. Alyami received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Norwich University and his Doctorate from the University of Arizona Global Campus. He works full-time for the Department of Veterans Affairs and teaches part-time at Norwich University. He is also an Editorial Board Reviewer for Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy and is a member of the American Psychological Association’s Division 19 (Military Psychology).

The Study

Wind Therapy Team


The research team conducted a research study about the experience of riding a motorcycle to manage stress symptoms. The purpose of this research was to better understand the experiences of individuals who participated in therapeutic motorcycling, sometimes referred to as “Wind Therapy. The survey and qualitative data collection phases have been completed and the study is in the data analysis phase.