The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University will launch the Center on Research and Violence for the fall semester in order to address a serious public health problem that claims thousands of lives across the nation each year.

The center will aim to learn more about violence and limit its effects by earning grants to work on government and nonprofit projects, hosting conferences with leading speakers on violence and interacting with communities across West Virginia and the nation as well as attracting Ph.D. students to the University.

Currently composed of six WVU sociology and anthropology staff members, the center will examine violence broadly defined, from interpersonal violence – such as robbery or rape – to crimes against the environment.

Walter DeKeserdy will serve as the director of the center. Well-established in his field, he has published 19 books and more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has received federal grants from both the U.S. and Canada, and has served with the LaMarsh Research Center on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University in Toronto. He is routinely asked to serve as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This will be an excellent resource for people interested in violence research. We have 27 research associates who are leading experts from around the world,” DeKeseredy said. “These assistants are not paid WVU faculty members, but want to belong to the center to do collaborative work. The fact that we have people who want their name associated with us means we are already on our way to making a global impact.”

The center hopes to soon expand to integrate members from various disciplines, including public health, medicine and psychology.

“Our plan is to grow in size and create a much larger center, making the center one of, not just West Virginia’s, but the world’s leading centers on violence,” Dekeseredy said.

A website for the Center is currently in the making. It will include a list of its executives, profiles of researchers, events and links to other sites related to violence research.

For more information, contact Walter DeKeseredy at



CONTACT: Devon Copeland, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

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