Graduate Student Affiliates

Lindsay CannonLindsay M. Cannon, MPH, MSW

Lindsay M. Cannon, MPH, MSW, is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is also affiliated with the Center for Demography and Ecology. Lindsay holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan in Health Behavior and Health Education and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in Mental Health Interpersonal Practice. Lindsay’s work focuses on intersections between sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, and substance use applying trauma-informed and survivor-centered frameworks. Her Master’s thesis investigates how virginity norms are harmful to survivors of forced or coerced first sex. Lindsay has volunteered as an advocate for sexual violence and intimate partner violence survivors for 8 years and has facilitated support groups for women who have experienced intimate partner violence who are currently incarcerated.

Caroline Cruys

Caroline Cruys, MSW

Caroline Cruys is a PhD student in the Social Welfare program through the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  They completed their bachelor’s in sociology and master’s of social work degrees at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Before continuing their education, Caroline worked as a clinical mental health social worker and therapist, primarily providing individual and group therapy to adolescents and adults who identify as queer and/or transgender and those with current criminal legal system involvement.  Their research focuses primarily on understanding and improving the subjective and material conditions of queer and transgender youth and adults, with intersecting interests in sexual violence response and prevention, state violence prevention, sexual health education, and sexual and gender identity formation.  Caroline has additionally worked as a sexual assault advocate, primarily providing support to folks during forensic sexual assault examinations and working to improve this process for queer and trans survivors.

Nona Gronert headshotNona Gronert

Nona Gronert is a doctoral candidate in Sociology. Her research focuses on sexual consent and sexual assault in the context of higher education. Her dissertation studies how the politics of sexual assault and harassment has changed at one university from 1972 through 2017, focusing on activism, legal change, and administrative responses. Her other current project investigates how study abroad professionals in Germany address gendered risk. Her research has been supported by UW-Madison’s Center for German and European Studies and Institute for Regional and International Studies as well as the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Institute for Legal Studies.

Kait SimsKait Sims

Kait Sims is a PhD candidate in Agricultural and Applied Economics specializing in economic development and applied microeconomics. She works at various junctures of political economy and policy analysis, with specific interest in the ways that people cope with conflict, political instability, and other forms of uncertainty. She draws actively on frameworks developed in psychology and sociology, especially as they relate to trauma (intergenerational and otherwise) and self-concept. Her current work involves examining the effects of specific domestic violence programs on the incidence of domestic violence, specifically domestic violence homicide. Kait received her BA in Economics from California State University, Fresno, and her MS in Agricultural and Applied Economics from UW-Madison in 2019. She is also affiliated with the Gibbs Land Use and Environment Lab.

Stephanie Ward Stephanie B. Ward

Stephanie B. Ward is a PhD Student in the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on sexual violence prevention and response. On the prevention side, she examines the ways in which gender roles and social norms influence students’ perceptions of consent and bodily autonomy, as well as their use of alcohol and other drugs. Her research aims to inform, implement, and evaluate sexual assault victimization and perpetration prevention efforts that clarify the role of substance use and other risk factors. Regarding optimal sexual violence response, Stephanie aspires to promote the mental, emotional, and interpersonal wellbeing of survivors by reducing posttraumatic stress symptoms, enhancing healthy coping strategies, and facilitating emotion regulation. She hopes to improve upon how survivors navigate intimacy and sexual satisfaction following a traumatic sexual experience.

Anna PedersonAnna Pederson

Anna Pederson is a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She previously received a Master’s in Counseling from the University of Memphis. Her research focuses on increasing social service and mental health care providers’ competence when working with individuals who trade sex across a continuum of agency.

Linnea HjelmLinnea Hjelm

Linnea Hjelm is a PhD student within the School of Human Ecology. Her interests intersect with families, schools, and communities and are founded in the socio-ecological model. Specifically, she aims to study how the implementation of comprehensive sexual education in primary and secondary schools might promote the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. She understands that young people face mixed messaging from parents, peers, and social media on what is healthy and safe in relation to sex and partnership. Therefore, she pursues questions about how community health and mentorship programs, schools, peer groups, and families might work in informed collaboration to support, educate, and empower young people in their sexual and interpersonal development.