Carolyn Stauffer

Carolyn Stauffer

Office Phone: (540) 432-4453


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: RLN 225

Associate Professor

Applied Social Sciences Dept


MA in Biomedicine

Assistant Professor

MA in Organizational Leadership

Carolyn Stauffer has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels at 2 higher education institutions on the African continent and holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. She lived and worked in Southern Africa (16 years) and the Middle East (17 years). Stauffer has conducted trainings in Asia, the South Pacific, North America, East and Central Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. As a veteran in cross-cultural settings, Stauffer is an agile educator who uses both left and right brain educational approaches to engage our postmodern and global world.

Stauffer’s research interests include gender-based violence, social capital, resilience and trauma, and intersectionality theory applications. Undergirding Stauffer’s academic pursuits is a rich tapestry of work experience in the human service and humanitarian aid arenas. While in the U.S., Stauffer worked in the mental health field in the Shenandoah Valley as well as researching urban demographics amongst marginalized center-city communities in Richmond, Virginia. During her decade and a half in Africa, Stauffer worked under the auspice of MCC, an international relief and development organization with development and emergency assistance training initiatives that took her from the southern-most tip of the continent (Cape Town) to the outlaying eastern parts of Uganda (Jinja).

During her time in South Africa, Stauffer worked as an organizational development consultant (with NGOs and blue chip companies undergoing dramatic post-Apartheid workplace diversity shifts), in the domestic and gender-based violence field (as a senior trauma counselor and public relations officer for a rape crisis support center), and as a community development specialist (and founding member of a Soweto-based HIV/AIDS Program servicing AIDS infected or affected communities living in the informal settlements surrounding Johannesburg). Stauffer weaves the depth and breadth of these many and varied experiences into her decade of teaching.

Carolyn is married to CJP professor Dr. Carl Stauffer, and together they have had the privilege of sharing life with two university-age children. Carolyn is fluent in Hebrew, loves dance, music and art, and enjoys all things creative, imaginative and off the beaten track.


  • Ph.D., Sociology University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2010)
  • M.A., Public Administration Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA (1990)
  • B.A., Social Work Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA (1984)


  • Stauffer, C. (2017). Infrapolitics of Defiance: Forms of Agency Exhibited by Homeless Survivors of Gender-based Violence. Social Sciences, MDPI: Open Access. doi:10.3390/socsci6030070
  • Stauffer, C. (2017). Narrating the Gift: Scripting Cycles of Reciprocity in Gauteng in Mottiar, S. and Ngcoya, M. (Eds.) Philanthropy in South Africa: Horizontality, Ubuntu and Social Justice. Pretoria, South Africa: HSRC Press. ISBN: 9780796925671
  • Stauffer, C. (2015). The Sexual Politics of Gender-based Violence in South Africa: Linking Private and Public Worlds. Journal for the Sociological Integration of Religion and Society, 5(1), 1-16. ISSN: 2159-8711
  • Stauffer, C. (2007). Africa: Fast Forwarding into the Future. FutureTakes: Transcultural Futurist Magazine, 6 (1). ISSN: 1554-7744
  • Stauffer, C. (2007). Riding Waves of Change: Women in Church Leadership, VBI Publications, Working Papers: Southern Africa, August 2007.
  • Stauffer, C. and Stauffer, C. (Eds.). (2005-2010). Peace Pathways, Regional Peace Network,
  • Stauffer, C. and Stauffer, C. (2002). Nurturing the Tree of Peace, MCC Peace Office Publications, 32(1), 1-4.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

  • “Mechanisms of Underground Resistance: Patterns of Dissociative Behavior Among Homeless Domestic Violence Survivors”
    International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation – Annual Conference, Washington DC (March 30 – April 3, 2017)
  • “Infrapolitics of Defiance: Forms of Agency Exhibited by Homeless Survivors of Gender-based Violence”
    Global Status of Women and Girls Conference, Christopher Newport University, VA (March 24-26, 2017)
  • “Dressing the Wound: Dynamics of Sexual Abuse and Recovery within Religious Enclaves”
    Global Status of Women and Girls Conference, Christopher Newport University, VA (March 3-5, 2016)
  • “Locked In, Locked Up, or Locked Out: Social Capital Networks as Forms of Resilience Among Battered Undocumented Latinas”
    Peace and Justice Studies Association – Annual Conference, James Madison University, VA (Oct 15-17, 2015)
  • “Visible and Invisible Dissent: The Subversive Actions of Homeless Women Who Are Survivors of Gender-based Violence”
    Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology – Annual Conference, Montgomery, AL (Oct 8-10, 2015)
  • “Rebuilding in the Aftermath of Environmental Disasters: Community Resilience Strategies (co-presenter)
    Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan (June 20, 2015)
  • “Understanding Complex Trauma: Biopsychosocial Interactions” (co-presenter)
    Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan (June 16, 2015)
  • “Bodies as Battlefields: Reimaging Women’s Roles in Conflict Zones”
    Virginia Social Science Association, Norfolk State University, VA. (March 28, 2015)
  • “Healthy Sexuality”, (co-presenter)
    Small College Counseling Association, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA. (March 20, 2015)
  • “Faith and Trauma: Anabaptist Perspectives”
    American Islamic College, Chicago, IL. (March 15, 2015)
  • “Peace Building in Intimate Domains: Domestic Violence Unveiled”
    Pacific Center for Peacebuilding, Suva, Fiji, (June 5, 2014)
  • “A Subversive Shalom: Enacting Radical Peace” (co-presenter)
    Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference, EMU Harrisonburg, VA. (Feb 1, 2014)
  • “Gender Mainstreaming in War and Peace: Panacea, Band-Aid, or First Step?”
    Virginia Commonwealth University: Women, War & Peace Conference, Richmond, VA. (Sept. 20-21, 2013)
  • “Christ in the Public Square: Transformational Development?
    Calvin College: Faith and International Development Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. (Feb 1-3, 2013)
  • “The Interplay Between Development and Gender Empowerment Issues: Where to From Here?”
    Calvin College: Faith and International Development Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. (Feb 2010)
  • “Patterns of Social Reciprocity in the New South Africa”
    University of the Witwatersrand: Post Graduate University Colloquium, Johannesburg, South Africa, (Sept. 4-5, 2009)
  • “Teen Sexuality Unzipped”
    South African Department of Education: Keynote Address, National Conference: Life & Love at Schools, Bedfordview, South Africa (September 24, 2009)
  • “Betwixt and Between: Gauteng’s Black Professionals at the Nexus of Contradictory Class Locations?”
    University of Johannesburg: Comprehending Class Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa (June 22-25, 2009)

Other Presentations

  • “Through the Prism of Gender: A Feminist Analysis of War Zones & Peace Fields”
    Summer Peacebuilding Institute Luncheon, EMU (June 1, 2017)
  • “Sexual Assault Response Team Best Practices: Culturally Competent Care”
    Collins Center – S.A.R.T Task Force, Harrisonburg, VA (May 1, 2017)
  • “Sexual Identities: Constructed, Deconstructed & Reconstructed”
    Session in Teaching, Ministry and Healthy Sexuality course, EMU (February 28, 2017)
  • “Institutional Harm and Healing: Responding to Sexual Violence”
    Facilitation of symposium featuring Father Thomas Doyle & expert panelists, EMU all-faculty/staff training (November 7, 2016)
  • “Sex and Millennials: #NewScripts”
    Speaker for launch of EMU Chapel Sexuality Series, (October 5, 2016)
  • “Christ and the Politics of Fear: Moving Beyond Anxiety”
    Presbyterian Church Conference, Forum Leader Presentation, Massanetta Springs Conference Center, VA (October 5, 2016)
  • “Conversations on Sexual Violence”
    Coordination of regional symposium with local and national speakers and 10 concurrent workshop sessions, EMU (March 19, 2016)
  • “Give Yourself Away: Generation X at the Cross-roads”
    Mennonite World Conference: Global Youth Summit, Keynote Address, PA. (July 19, 2015)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences Symposium"
    Hosted transdisciplinary weekend seminar on post-traumatic growth, EMU (April 10-12, 2015)
  • “The Secret Life of Accidental Heroes”
    Eastern Mennonite University: Baccalaureate Address, VA. (April 26, 2014)
  • “Truth-telling in Intimate Domains: Domestic Violence Unzipped”
    CJP Summer Peacebuilding Institute – Frontier Luncheon, EMU, VA. (May 20, 2014)
  • “Learning Cultural Intelligence”
    TranSend Orientation, Virginia Mennonite Conference, VA. (July 15, 2013)
  • “Stereotypes that Divide: Understanding that Builds Relationship”
    Panelist, EMU Dialogue Sessions, Harrisonburg VA. (April 8, 2013)
  • “Miss Representation: Imaging Women in Leadership”
    Panelist, EMU EMSWA Event, Harrisonburg VA. (March 14, 2013)
  • “Faith: Vision Impossible?”
    EMU Chapel Speaker, Harrisonburg VA. (August 31, 2012)
  • “Cross Cultural Communication: Deconstructing Assuptions and Reconstructing Shared Space”
    TranSend Program:Virginia Mennonite Conference, Harrisonburg VA. (July 17, 2012)
  • “Global Citizenship”
    Panel Member, Third Culture Discussion, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA. (March 15, 2012)
  • “Sex, Power, and Lost Wonder: Re-Imaging the Possibilities”
    Speaker, Take Back the Night: EMU Chapel Service, Harrisonburg VA. (October 2, 2011)
  • “The Origins and Impacts of Porn Addiction”
    Session for EMU Student Women’s Association, Northlawn 4th floor, 7:00-9:00 p.m., (March 23, 2011)
  • “Doing Peace: Here and Now”
    Chapel Service, Eastern Mennonite High School, 9:50-10:10 (March 11, 2011)
  • “The Middle East and Libya”
    WHSV Interview: TV3, 7:00 p.m. News, Harrisonburg, VA. (February 23, 2011)
  • “Politics and Protest: What’s Going on in the Middle East”
    Panelist, campus-wide discussion sponsored by SMRI and EMU’s Peace Fellowship, EMU Common Grounds (February 23, 2011)
  • “Representations of Race and Gender in Mass Media & Popular Culture”
    Session in Pop Culture & Mass Communication course, EMU Library 105 (November 19, 2010)
  • “Land, Labor and Livelihoods: Peoples’ Movements in South Africa”
    Session for ‘Power to the People’ Kennesaw State University Exhibit, EMU Common Grounds (November 15, 2010)
  • “South Africa’s Dialogue on Race and Diversity”
    EMU DORD Chapel, 10:00-10:30 a.m. (November 10, 2010)
  • “There is Life in the Water: Ezekiel 47”
    Parkview Mennonite Church, Devotional, 12:45-1:30 (November 3, 2010)
  • “Transforming Society: Revolution, Evolution or Devolution; Conversations on Constructing and Deconstructing Change”
    Session for Bible/Religion PXD Capstone course, EMU, 3:50-5:05 (October 21, 2010)
  • “The Gulf Oil Spill: Accountability, Action, and Faith”
    Interdisciplinary Panel on Sustainability, EMU Common Grounds, 10:40-11:30 (September 29, 2010)
  • “Paradigms of Collective Life: Reflections on the Mennonite and
    Anabaptist Experience”

    ACRS Seminar, EMU Brunk House Conference Rm, 4:00-5:30 p.m. (March 23, 2010)
  • “Social Capital: Past, Present & Future”
    Session for PXD 585 International Development course, EMU, 7:00-9:30 p.m. (March 17, 2010)
  • “Teen Addiction and Recovery: Mastering the Gauntlet"
    Ignite Youth, Johannesburg, South Africa (May 2009)
  • “Campus Sexuality: Views, Values, and Volition”
    WITS University, Johannesburg, South Africa (March 2009)
  • “Raising Teens: Unlocking Mysteries of the Teen Zone”
    His People Church, Johannesburg, South Africa (September 2008)
  • “Family of Origin Dynamics: Rift, Drift, or Shift?”
    His People Church, Johannesburg, South Africa (May 2008)

Church, Community and Professional Service

  • Principle Investigator, the Silent Violence project
  • Reference Group Member New Community Project (NCP)
  • Board Member Valley Aids Network (VAN)
  • Mentor Honors Mentorship Program EMU
  • Member Humanitarian Studies Task Force EMU
  • Member Faculty Senate EMU

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • JustPax 2-year grant recipient for the Silent Violence Project (2015-2016)
  • Quality Service Award recipient, Eastern Mennonite University (Third Quarter, 2014)
  • Release Time recipient, Eastern Mennonite University (Fall, 2013)

Professional Memberships

  • Member, Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology
  • Certified Trainer, Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western University
  • Member, World Future Society, Washington DC
  • Founding Member, Emthonjeni HIV/AIDS Program, Soweto, South Africa
  • Founding Member, Rape Crisis Support Center, Johannesburg, South Africa

New Courses Taught

  1. Interdisciplinary Seminar, BMC 611, BIOMED program, co-taught Fall 2016
  2. Safe Communities, Safe Homes, PAX 686, CJP-SPI, Summer 2015
  3. Introduction to Leadership Studies, MOL 520, Summer 2015
  4. Biomedicine Practicum, BIOMED program, Summer 2014
  5. Transdisciplinary Seminar IV, BIOMED program, co-taught Spring 2014
  6. Leadership for Peacebuilding, CJP/WPLP program, Summer 2013
  7. Research in Biomedicine, BIOMED program, Summer 2013
  8. Sociology of Health, DASS, Spring 2013
  9. Biomedicine Seminar I , BIOMED, co-taught Fall 2012

Other courses taught in the past 5 years:

  • Conflict, Violence and Terrorism, DASS (Spring 2011); Introduction to Sociology, DASS, (Spring 2011); Environment and Society, DASS, (Fall 2010); Social Stratification, DASS, (Fall 2010); Theories for Social Change, DASS, (Fall 2010); Cultural Perspectives, ADCP, (Summer 2010); Food and Population, BIOL, (Spring 2010)*