Faculty and Staff Directory
College of Arts and Sciences
|Office:||Barnwell College, 525A|
Suzanne Swan is a Professor in the Departments of Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology. Dr. Swan received her PhD in Social and Personality Psychology with a Minor in Women's Studies from the University of Illinois. Dr. Swan's program of research follows the tradition of Kurt Lewin's dictum that "there is nothing so practical as a good theory". Her research focuses on 1) health disparities, particularly as related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) gender-based violence, especially intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and drugging (i.e., administering a drug or alcohol to someone without their knowledge or consent). In a landmark study, Dr. Swan and colleagues found that 1 in 13 college students reported that they had been drugged, and 1.4% of students reported drugging someone or knowing a drugger (Swan et al., 2017). In the first empirical study in which individuals who have drugged others are interviewed, Dr. Swan and colleagues use the Theory of Coercive Actions to understand druggers’ motives (Swan et al., in progress). Common motives found in the study include excitement (drugging others “for fun”), compliance (making the drugged person do what the drugger wants), and social identity (drugging someone to establish an identity, such as masculinity). The ultimate goal of Dr. Swan’s research is to create knowledge that will illuminate solutions for the problems of health disparities and gender-based violence and the suffering they cause. Dr. Swan teaches courses in Graduate and Undergraduate Social Psychology and Women's Health.