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OPSVAW Supports Five Students

by Gail Hairston

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2014) — The Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women (OPSVAW) in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences recently announced that it will support the largest number of graduate and professional students within its relatively short history.  One of the top priorities of the OPSVAW is the support of students, and the 2014-2015 academic year will see the program support five individuals through graduate fellowships and research assistantships.

“It is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the careers of these young scholars while also teaching them that there are real women behind the work that they do,” said Carol Jordan executive director of OPSVAW. “I believe we help give real purpose and inspiration to their academic careers while they also contribute to the field with their energy and maturing expertise.”

Among the students being supported during the 2014/2015 academic year are two doctoral students in the Department of Psychology, one doctoral student in the Department of Political Science, and one professional student from the College of Law.  Specifically:

  • Kathleen (Katie) Clark from the Department of Political Science is receiving an OPSVAW Graduate Fellowship to supports her work focusing on the negative effects of violence against women and the influences of effective policy adoption on an international scale. Some of her most recent work examines how sexual violence during conflict (war) contributes to negative political outcomes on post-civil conflict society.
  • Molly Coffey from the College of Law is serving as a Research Assistant to the executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women. She will be working with Carol Jordan to conduct legal research to advance the Office's legislative reform projects related to civil protective orders for domestic violence, rape, and stalking victims.
  • Jennifer (Jenna) Jewell from the Department of Psychology will receive a Mary Byron Fellowship to begin her dissertation research on the victimization experiences of adolescents who are gender atypical, that is, they may not meet cultural expectations for what girls and boys are “supposed” to be like. 
  • Kellie Lynch from the Department of Psychology will receive a Mary Byron Fellowship to support her work on the use of applied psychosocial theory in understanding perceptions of rape and victim blaming. 
  • Dakota Thomas from the Department of Political Science will receive an OPSVAW Research Assistantship to support his work on a project being led by two Department faculty; Dr. Tiffany Barnes and Dr. Abby Córdova. The project, which will be based in El Salvador, is entitled Dangerous Place and State Action: Does Violence against Women Legislation Motivate Women to Participate in Civic and Political Activities?

Photo left to right: Kellie Lynch, Jennifer Jewell, OPSVAW Executive Director Carol Jordan, Molly Coffey, Kathleen Clark (not pictured: Dakota Thomas)