Alisa Velonis is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) School of Public Health and a faculty member with UIC’s Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. Her program of research centers on the intersection of partner- and gender-based violence, structural inequities, and women’s well-being, and her work explores the ways in which systemic issues such as poverty, disability, marginal employment, and housing instability influence violence against women. She has written on the influence of social inequities on women’s decisions related to abusive relationships, examined gender and controlling behaviors in heterosexual relationships, and is increasingly interested in the linkages between precarious employment status, sexual and partner violence, and women’s health. Presently, she is leading a realist review of batterer intervention programs with the aim of understanding the contextual factors and mechanisms that promote change, as well as additional projects centered on involving men in partner violence research and improving partner violence screening and response programs.
Prior to her life as an academic, Dr. Velonis spent nearly two decades working in public health and community-based settings across the U.S. As a result, she remains dedicated to translational research through the use of innovative approaches such as concept mapping and implementation science. Currently, she teaches courses on U.S. public health systems, policy, and leadership, community-based public health practice, and sexuality, gender, violence, and women’s health.
Dr. Velonis received her Ph.D. in in Health and Behavioral Science from the University of Colorado Denver in 2013, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Action for Health Equity Intervention program at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, where she remains an affiliated scientist.