Violence Prevention Research Lab


The Violence Prevention Research Lab is includes PhD, MSW, and BSW students, as well as students in Psychology and Statistics.

Pictured left to right: Amanda, Maya, Alexis, Sarah, Maddie, Matt, Wendy, Liz, Miah, Miranda, Simon, Ashley, Shongha, David, and Rachel

Graduate Research Assistants

Shongha Kim, MSW

Shongha Kim is a PhD student in Social Work.

Shongha is interested in researching cyber-victimization and mental health outcomes among early adolescents in school. Shongha is also interested in the role of peer relationships, friendships, and friendship qualities during early adolescence.

Simon Mwima, MA, MPH

Simon Mwima is a PhD student in Social Work.

Simon’s research interests include HIV prevention, care and treatment, social and structural drivers for STI/HIV vulnerability such as violence. In his work, he aims to utilize community-based approaches to co-create, implement and evaluate interventions for the most vulnerable adolescents and youth.

Wan-Jung (Wendy) Hsieh, LICSW

Wendy (She/Her/Hers) is a PhD student in Social Work.

Wendy’s research has focused on resilience and post-traumatic growth among racial minorities to develop culturally-driven and sustainable mental health interventions and preventions. She is interested in community-based research that influences mental health policies and clinical practices with trauma-affected populations in order to promote well-being and strengthen communities to withstand the impact of trauma.


David Mowry, BSW

David Mowry (he/him/his) is a MSW student.

David has worked on research involving violence prevention, bullying prevention policy analysis, and perceptions of safety and support among youth. He will continue to explore violence prevention and is interested in expanding his research in safety and support of youth to teachers and parents.

Miranda Robles, BA

Miranda Robles is a MSW student.

Amanda Yeazel, BSW

Amanda Yeazel (she/her/hers) is a MSW student.

Amanda is passionate about violence prevention and wishes to make an impactful contribution to society through research. During her undergraduate career, she worked with a local middle school to help support and further research among early adolescents. She also worked closely with a local agency exploring programs aiming to prevent dating violence among youth. During her graduate program, she will be working on exploring violence prevention throughout the state of Illinois.


Graduate Student Affiliates

Social Work

Jeanna Campbell, MSW

Carol Lee, MSW

Gaurav Sinha, MSW

Allison Salisbury, MSW

Psychology

Allyson Blackburn, BA

Agnes (Aggie) Rieger, BA


Publications & Presentations

  • Garthe, R. C., Smith, D. C., Salisbury, A., & Kim, S. (November 2021). Conducting a statewide needs assessment of violence to inform practice and policy. Interactive Workshop to be presented at Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Orlando, Florida.
  • Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). Abstract of Distinction: Mental health and victimization among transgender and gender expansive adolescents: Recommendations for reducing disparities within school contexts. Symposium at Society for Prevention Research, Virtual.
    • Rieger, A., & Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). The unrelenting context of victimization for transgender and gender expansive youth from eighth to twelfth grade.
    • Blackburn, A., Garthe, R. C., Kaur, A., & Sarol, J. (June 2021). Suicidal ideation among transgender and gender expansive youth: Mechanisms of risk.
    • Goffnett, J., Garthe, R. C., & Kim, S. (June 2021). The role of caring adults and a supportive school climate for transgender and gender expansive youth.
  • Kim, S., & Garthe, R. C. (June 2021). The impact of cyber-victimization from friends on depression and social stress among early adolescents. Paper presented at Society for Prevention Research, Virtual.
  • Salisbury, A. A., Mowry, D. T., Saxsma, M. G., Garthe, R. C., & Smith, D. C. (May 2021). Violence prevention in Illinois: Perspectives of community leaders. Paper presented at Social Work Day: International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Virtual Conference.
  • Hsieh, W., Garthe, R. C. (January 2021). Post-traumatic growth among adult women sexual assault survivors. Poster presented at Society for Social Work and Research, Virtual Conference
  • Garthe, R. C., & Kim, S. (presenting author). (October 2020). Cyber-victimization experiences among early adolescents: Associations with in-person peer and dating violence. Poster presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Goffnett, J., & Garthe, R. C. (October 2020). Dating violence victimization among transgender youth: The intersectionality of gender and geographic region. Paper presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Backode, E., Kim, S., Garthe, R. C. (October 2020). Preventing adolescent dating violence through parental connectedness in technologically connected communities. Poster presented at American Public Health Association Conference, Virtual Conference.
  • Rieger, A., Garthe, R. C., Blackburn, A. M., Kim, S., & Allen, N. E. (June, 2020). Health communication: A community and societal-level child maltreatment prevention tool? Poster to be presented at the 2020 Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic Workshop the State of Research on Prevention of Child Maltreatment: Current Knowledge and Future Directions to Inform Policy and Practice, St. Louis, MO. (Conference postponed).
  • Goffnett, J. & Garthe, R. C. (May 2020). Dating violence victimization among transgender youth: The intersectionality of gender and geographic region. Paper presented at LGBTQ Research Symposium, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. (Conference canceled).
  • Garthe, R. C., Kim, S., Tan, K., & Wegmann, K. (March 2020). Examination of early adolescents’ experiences with victimization and cyber-victimization from peers and dating partners by gender. Paper to be presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence, San Diego, CA. (Conference canceled)
  • Kim, S., Garthe, R. C., & Hong, J. S. ( March 2020). Problematic social media use and cyber-victimization among early adolescents: The mediating role of social stress. Poster presented at Society for Research on Adolescence, San Diego, CA (Conference canceled).

Undergraduate Research Assistants & Interns

Madisyn Welsh
Matt Saxsma
Alexis Krones
Liz Guenther

Madisyn Welsh (She/Her/Hers) is a Senior majoring in Social Work with a minor in Criminology, Law, and Society. Her research interests include violence prevention, criminal justice, and juvenile social-emotional well-being. Specifically, she is interested in learning more about the experiences of juveniles within the criminal justice system as well as programming available for adolescents and families affected by the criminal justice system.

Matt Saxsma (He/Him/His) is a Senior undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Statistics. Matt is interested in researching the associations between various forms of violence in romantic relationships. Specifically, he want to examine the role of attachment in these relationships.

Alexis Krones (She/Her/Hers) is a third year Senior undergraduate student majoring in Social Work. Alexis’ research interests include youth dating violence and gender non-conforming youth. Alexis is also interested in prevention and intervention programs for early adolescents.

Liz Guenther is a BSW candidate minoring in Community-Based Art Education. She is interested in empowering communities and eliminating health inequities to impact community violence. In the Violence Prevention Lab, Liz is currently working on a project with the Chicago Botanic Garden to evaluate the HEALTH (Healing Environments Ambassadors Learning Through Horticulture) program. Her research poster at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium focused on methods of evaluation for horticultural interventions and won “Outstanding Presentation.”

Sarah Aronson

Maya Korol

Miah Emano

Ashley Jung

Sarah Aronson (She/Her/Hers) is a third year Senior majoring in Social Work with a minor in Anthropology. Her research interests include youth cyber victimization and youth dating violence. Sarah is also interested in program interventions that take place in the school setting for youth.

Maya Korol (She/her/hers) is a Junior majoring in Psychology and Political Science. Her research interests lie in the implementation of mental health research in tangible policy outcomes. She is specifically interested in adolescent mental health in institutional settings, like school and the juvenile justice system.

Miah Emano is a Senior Undergraduate Student in Graphic Design. Miah is curious about the relationships that exist between people and products and hopes to pursue a career in packaging design. During her final semester at UIUC she continues to investigate visual communication through the various forms of research, craft, and play she practices daily.

Ashley Jung (she/her/hers) is a Senior Undergraduate Student in Graphic Design. Ashley is an experienced Graphic Designer and multi-disciplinary creative who is passionate about producing work that gives back to the community. Her interests include creating impactful visual brand solutions and brand identities to help convey purpose and or meaning through design. In her last year of her undergraduate studies, she hopes to refine her visual communication skills to pursue a career in branding design.

Cindy Su (She/her/hers) is a Sophomore Undergraduate Student in Graphic Design. Cindy is interested in designing and developing websites and applications that involve user interface and user interaction. Starting from the summer of 2021, she joined the developer team at the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and worked with the design team on building the website for ICJIA using vue.


Publications & Presentations

2021
  • Baltierra, J., Aronson, S., Welsh, M.  (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on cyber-victimization experiences among middle school students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Guenther, L. (2021). An Investigation into the Potential of Horticultural and Nature-Based Interventions for Well-Being and the Methods to Evaluate Their Effects. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Krones, A., Aronson, S., & Yeazel, A. (2021). An Exploration of Dating Violence Norms Among Early Adolescents. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Shusterman, B., & Mikuta, E. (2021). Impact of Social Media on Adolescents Eating, Sleep, and Exercise Patterns During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Yeazel, A., Krones, A., & Aronson, S. (2021). Associations Between Parenting Practices and Acceptance of Dating Abuse Norms Among 7th Grade. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2020
  • Brown, J. (2020). A Critique of the Youth Empowerment Model. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Maldonado, M. (2020). Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Incarcerated Women. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Mowry, D., (2020). Relationships Between Teacher Support, Informal Social Control and Students’ Perceptions of Safety. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Reubling, A., & Yeazel, A. (2020). An Examination of The Associations Between Positive and Negative Friendship Qualities and Cyber-Victimization from Friends During Early Adolescence. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Saxsma, M., & Welsh, M. (2020). The Relationships Between Self-Esteem, Mental Health, and Cyber-Victimization Among Middle School Students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Yeazel, A., & Reubling, A. (2020). Associations Between Mental Health and Attendance Among 6th Grade Students. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
2019
  • Garcia-Greenawalt, L., Razack, S., & McLain, B. (2019). A Systematic Review of Women Involved in the Criminal Justice System: Intersections with Intimate Partner Violence and the Child Welfare System. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Alumni of the Lab

  • Jessica Baltierra
  • Jahnellia Brown, BSW
  • Leyda Garcia-Greenawalt, MSW
  • Elena Gonzalez
  • Chantelle Jasper
  • Rachel Kaufman, BSW
  • Bradley McLain, MSW
  • Mariah Maldonado, BSW
  • Emily Mikuta
  • Percy Moran-Facazio, BSW
  • Alex Nambo, MSW
  • Shameem Razack, BA
  • Ashley Ruebling, BSW
  • Breena Shusterman

Collaborators

The lab also collaborates with the following individuals:

  • Nicole Allen, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  • Jennea Bivens-Klingenberg, PsyD, Urbana School District
  • Sarah Colomé, MS, Women’s Resources Center, UIUC
  • Franklin Cosey-Gay, Ph.D., Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, University of Chicago
  • Gina Fedock, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, University of Chicago
  • Matthew Epperson, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, University of Chicago
  • Jacob Goffnett, Ph.D., School of Social Work, University of Arkansas Fayetteville
  • Deborah Gorman-Smith, Ph.D., Crown Family School of Social Work, Practice, and Policy, & Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, University of Chicago
  • Jane Hereth, Ph.D., School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • Amandeep Kaur, MPH, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute
  • Marion Malcome, Ph.D., LCSW, School of Social Work, Loyola University
  • Hadi Meidani, Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering, UIUC
  • Molly Pim & Artelia Holt, Between Friends Chicago
  • Jesus Sarol, Jr, Ph.D., Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design Core, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute
  • Doug Smith, Ph.D., School of Social Work & Center for Prevention Research and Development, UIUC
  • Sarah Whalen, MSW, Courage Connection

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