About the Center

The Virginia Tech Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention is an academic and research organization whose vision builds on the cultural initiatives that evolved within the Virginia Tech community after the tragedy of April 16, 2007.  The center’s educational mission envisions a world informed by cross-disciplinary work in violence prevention research, education, and hands-on learning experience.

center for peace and violence prevention

center for peace and violence prevention

Educational Mission

We continue to support both graduate and undergraduate students. We granted four graduate thesis/dissertation research and travel awards in the 2017-18 academic year. Topics included:

1)    a biophysiological approach to studying PTSD in victims of sexual assault;

2)    the role of community cohesion in fighting extremism;

3)    U.S. federal policies and structural racism; and post-traumatic emotional and social growth in survivors of violence.

4)    indigenous resistance to land theft.

Our Director

Dr. Hawdon continues to research online extremism, both domestic and cross-national, under grants from the National Institute of Justice and Virginia Tech, respectively. Over this summer, a colleague and I have been awarded funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the impact of memorials on communities and race relations. Another NSF grant is supporting our work on fake news and political polarization, and we’ve also gotten funding to support projects on the rhetoric of hate groups as well as research on cyberbullying and possible intervention strategies. He and several Center affiliates are currently part of a transdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech scholars researching disinformation campaigns in Eastern Europe.  We are also researching policing tactics and community partnerships. 

center for peace