OPSVAW Announces 2017/2018 Graduate Student Awards


The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) has announced that it will fund two graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences during AY 2017 - 2018. The students include Alyssa Jones, a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology; and Helen Kras, a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Political Science.  The graduate students were selected through the competitive award cycle hosted annually by the OPSVAW:

Recipient Student:     Alyssa Jones, Department of Psychology

Type of Award:           Graduate Fellowship: Mary Byron Scholar

Project Title:               Developing a Comprehensive Model of Emotional Experience and  

                                         Regulation among Female Victims of Interpersonal Violence 

Faculty Advisor:          Christal Badour, Ph.D.

Alyssa is a second year Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology studying the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women.  Compared to men, women have a greater risk of experiencing certain forms of interpersonal violence (IPV) and developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although several studies have assessed components of emotional experience (EE) and emotion regulation (ER) among female IPV survivors with and without PTSD, most studies focus on limited emotion types (e.g., fear, anxiety) in limited contexts (e.g., in the lab or in daily life). This has resulted in a piecemeal understanding of the complex emotional landscape experienced by this group. Alyssa’s study seeks to increase currently limited knowledge regarding the nature of general and trauma-related EE and ER problems among women with IPV histories. This study will significantly advance existing research by adopting a multimodal assessment approach that combines self-report and physiological measures to assess several facets of real-time emotional reactivity and regulation in both the laboratory and in daily life.


Recipient Student:       Helen Kras, Department of Political Science

Type of Award:            Research Assistantship

Project Title:                Effect of Gendered Violence on Women’s Political Trust

                                         and Participation in Brazil

Faculty Advisor:          Abby Cordova, Ph.D.

Helen is a second year Ph.D. student in Political Science with a focus on women in politics in developing countries. She will be working under Dr. Abby Cordova on a project that seeks to understand the ways in which gendered violence shapes women’s attitudes towards the government and their political engagement. The literature suggests that as victims of violence seek help from the state to protect themselves from future violence, this should result in higher participate rates in politics (i.e., Bateson 2012). This literature, however, does not account for the likely distinct consequences of violence against women on political participation. In contrast to the conventional wisdom, Helen’s work posits that female victims living in regions where the government provides relative high-quality resources to protect them against violence will show more positive attitudes toward government and consequently higher political participation rates compared to areas where the provision of services to victims is lacking.

Since its Graduate Student Support Program began in 2014, the OPSVAW has funded eleven research assistantships and fellowships for graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences and four assistantships for professional students in the College of Law.  Graduate students eligible for OPSVAW funding include those seeking graduate degrees in the four departments/programs formally affiliated with the OPSVAW, including the Department of Psychology; the Department of Political Science; the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; and the African American & Africana Studies Program.  To be funded by the OPSVAW, graduate students must be working independently (dissertation) or under a departmental or program faculty member on research or scholarly projects related to violence against women. Professional students in the College of Law may also be eligible if they are working for the OPSVAW executive director.

The call for proposals for the AY 2018 – 2019 award cycle will be announced in March 2018. For additional information regarding graduate student support, contact Carol E. Jordan, executive director of the OPSVAW at carolj@uky.edu.  

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