UVa CHARGE Program

Claiming Spaces - Social Science Research

Sophie TrawalterUseful public spaces are the cornerstones of strong communities and the opportunities those spaces offer to create a free exchange of new ideas and new perspectives benefit all of us.  But when some members of our communities feel unwelcome or unsafe in those spaces, we all lose.

Sophie Trawalter, professor of public policy and psychology at UVA, is examining how public spaces are inviting to some and hostile to others, and her research is helping us change the way we think about public space and the way we empower all individuals to thrive and to contribute to a richer future for everyone.

Goal: To research best ways to increase the positive visibility and sense of belonging of STEM and SBE women in the social and physical environment across U.Va. Grounds.

What We’ve Done So Far: Sophie and her team have surveyed and interviewed hundreds of students and faculty members. When early study results indicated that safety concerns were a significant issue for women, apparently affecting productivity because of reduced use of research facilities at night, Trawalter added additional research in that arena. She is also currently working with the Office of the President and Facilities Management on specific interventions to improve safety on UVa Grounds, based on that research.

Sophie's research is part of the U.Va. CHARGE initiative, Voices and Visability.

For more information contact UVa CHARGE.


Related links

U.Va. CHARGE Voices and Visability Initiative

Sophie Trawalter

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If you would like more information about UVA CHARGE, please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

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