Anne DePrince, a DU associate professor of psychology, just completed a three-year research project that studied victims of intimate partner abuse with the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney’s office.
DePrince wanted to learn more about women’s lives in the year after incidents of intimate partner abuse and gather information that would help the police and district attorneys support the victims.
“We want to understand the factors that contribute to crime in order to help us to initiate a plan for intervention, strategic prevention and public education,” says Scott Snow, director of the Denver District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Unit.
For her dedication to teaching and conducting research that contributes to the public good, DePrince received the United Methodist Church–University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at DU’s 2010 Convocation.
“Anne has created a training environment where engaged scholarship is not an exception, but rather the norm,” says Annarheen Pineda, a PhD student in clinical psychology.
Pineda says because of DePrince’s mentorship, she’s pursuing her own research project with the Denver Children’s Advocate Center.
“I feel as if I hit the lottery in terms of Anne being my teacher, mentor, supervisor and friend,” Pineda says. “Her students have become active members of the community and developed acumen for designing and managing their own applied research projects.”
DePrince, in collaboration with Cathy Potter and Stephen Shirk, is embarking on a new project to test two intervention approaches designed to empower young women in the child welfare system and who may be at risk for revictimization in dating relationships.
“One of the interventions focuses on teens’ attention,” DePrince says. “We know that violence in childhood is associated with attention problems later. Because safety in relationships requires attention — such as noticing danger cues and figuring out how to respond — we hope that helping teens to improve their attention abilities will help them navigate relationship safety.”
It’s another example of collaborative research that could benefit the community.
“Anne is remarkably effective in everything she does, as a teacher, research mentor, and clinical supervisor,” says Rob Roberts, professor and chair of the DU’s psychology department. “Anne embodies the scholar-teacher who contributes in substantive and long lasting ways to our students, our community, and to her profession. We’re very fortunate to have Anne here at the University of Denver.”