Gwen Hunnicutt is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Gwen received her PhD in Sociology in 2003 from the University of New Mexico. Professor Hunnicutt studies various dimensions of gender violence, and is currently preparing a manuscript that explores the intersection of ecology, feminism and gender violence. Her most recent paper is titled, Intimate Partner Violence among Self-Identified Queer Victims: Towards an intersectional awareness in scholarship and organizing surrounding gender-based violence. Gwen teaches a variety of classes dealing with gender and violence, including The Sociology of Gender and Gender, Crime and Deviance.
Stacy Sechrist holds a PhD in Social Psychology and MA in Forensic Psychology. Her research interests lie in understanding violence and aggression, particularly in the context of interpersonal relationships. Prior to joining the UNCG Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships, she worked in market and educational research and her experience includes both quantitative and qualitative research methods and reporting. Stacy has also taught at the collegiate level, including courses in psychology and criminal behavior.
John Weil is a Senior Program Specialist with the UNCG Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships. He has extensive experience working in Child Welfare in various capacities, including as the Director of the NC Kids Foster Care and Adoption Network, as a Program Consultant with the Child Fatality Review program for the NC Department of Division of Social Services, and as a Supervisor and Forensic Investigator for Davidson County Social Services. The recent initiatives on which he has worked include the Project Safe Neighborhoods violence reduction initiatives, the North Carolina Safe Communities Initiative, the Middle District Advisory Team, and the Offender Focused Domestic Violence Initiative workgroup in High Point, NC.
Dr. Loreen N. Olson is an Associate Professor in the Communication Studies Department. She teaches graduate and undergraduate classes on communication theory, gender communication, relational communication, family communication and its dark side, qualitative research methods, and interpersonal communication theory. Dr. Olson received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She completed her Masters degree at the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Olson’s research focuses primarily on the communicative correlates of intimate partner and teen dating violence, the luring communication of child sexual predators, and the dark side of family communication. Currently, she is particularly interested in the role family communication about relational aggression can serve a buffering, protective role for adolescents, teaching them to recognize the signs of relational aggression and helping them learn how to avoid or end such relationships. She and her co-authors’ book, entitled The Dark Side of Family Communication, is due out in 2012. Dr. Olson is the current Editor of the Journal of Family Communication.
Our group held a recent retreat, and one topic of discussion was the research methodologies that our interdisciplinary team members have used to study topics related to interpersonal violence prevention. The list of methods used by team members represents the diversity of approaches and expertise of group members. The list included the following methods:
- case studies
- document/contextual analysis
- secondary analyses
- concept mapping
- semantic network analysis
- multi-site projects
- data mining
- community-based participatory research
- program evaluation
- grounded theory
As co-chair of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence across the Lifespan (NPEIV), Dr. Jacquelyn White has been working with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, practitioners, service providers, advocates and policy makers to create a virtual community to increase public awareness of interpersonal violence and facilitate communication among all those interested in connecting across types of violence. Dr. White, along with Dr. Hamid Nemati and Dr. Prashant Palvia of the Information Systems & Operations Management Department, has conducted an on-line survey of the members of the NPEIV to understand how the use of technology currently is being used to facilitate information sharing and to develop recommendations for how technology can be used to improve communication and information sharing. Their interest is twofold. First, they are interested in examining how knowledge contribution and knowledge retrieval occurs within the current network structure. Secondly, they are interested in examining how knowledge contribution and knowledge retrieval can be enhanced by the network structure to meet the needs of the organization. Given these contexts, two problems serve as the motivation for this research. First, how does the online network structure support current knowledge contribution and knowledge retrieval within the network? Second, how could the online network structure enhance knowledge contribution and knowledge retrieval to meet the needs of the organization?
This work has inspired Dr. White to do something similar at the local level. The result is Project: PREVENT, Preventing Violence by Engaging Technology. Project: PREVENT is a collaboration between UNCG and Guilford County. Drs. White, Nemati, and Palvia have been conducting a needs assessment of domestic violence service providers and victims of domestic violence in Guilford County to determine how Web 2.0 technologies and other technologies, such as smart phones, can be used to better meet the needs of the community. This research question will allow them to identify which service agencies victims currently communicate with and those they with which they wish further communication; what modes of communication they currently use; what issues or problems they have had working with these agencies; what technologies they currently use; and what are some of the barriers they have encountered. We will also obtain information about use of various technologies. Based on this information a prototype IT service is being developed for service providers will be expanded to add elements relevant to victims; victims and service providers will then participate in a usability study to provide feedback on functionality. These data will be the basis for further refinement of the IT service. The ultimate goal is to have a set of technologies available to service providers and victims of violence that will facilitate information seeking, information dissemination and communication between the various stake-holders. Their work has been supported by grants from the UNCG Office of Undergraduate Research, the Office of leadership and Service Learning, and the Office of The Vice-Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, also with a grant from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.