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College of Arts and Sciences
Suzanne Swan is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, Clinical-Community Program, and the Women's and Gender Studies Program. 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 using social psychological theories to understand the factors that predict interpersonal violence, as well as the outcomes of violence for those who experience it. The ultimate goal of this research is to create knowledge that will illuminate solutions for the problem of interpersonal violence and the suffering that it causes.
A major focus of Dr. Swan's current research is drugging (administering a drug or alcohol to someone without their knowledge or consent). In a recent 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., 2016). In other recent work, Dr. Swan and colleagues used computational text mining methods to analyze thousands of descriptions of people’s workplace sexism and sexual harassment experiences on the website everydaysexism.com (Karami et al., 2019). Together with her students, Dr. Swan is also focusing on intersectional issues in intimate partner violence and sexual violence, particularly concerning the roles of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Dr. Swan teaches courses in Graduate and Undergraduate Social Psychology, Women's Health, and Men and Masculinity.