Faculty/Staff Directory

Back to Search


View All Faculty/Staff (By Name)


View All Faculty/Staff (By Department)

Carolyn Stauffer

DEPARTMENT: Applied Social Sciences Dept

POSITION: Associate Professor

DEPARTMENT: MS in Biomedicine

POSITION: Co-director

DEPARTMENT: MA in Organizational Leadership

POSITION: Associate Professor

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | RLN 225

PHONE: (540) 432-4453

EMAIL: carolyn.stauffer@emu.edu

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 training 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, sexual harms, trauma and resilience, social capital, 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 outlying 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 their two children. Carolyn is fluent in Hebrew, loves dance, music and art, and enjoys all things creative, imaginative and off the beaten track.

  • Associate Professor of Applied Social Sciences, Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg VA (3/2017-present)
  • Co-director – M.A. in Biomedicine Program, EMU, Harrisonburg VA (6/2016 – 8/2017)
  • Leadership Team – M.A. in Biomedicine Program, EMU, Harrisonburg VA (9/2014 – 5/2016)
  • Faculty – Master in Organizational Leadership Program, MOL, EMU, Harrisonburg VA (6/2015-present)
  • Faculty – Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program, CJP, EMU, Harrisonburg VA
  • Faculty – Dept. of Applied Social Sciences, EMU, Harrisonburg VA (1/2010-present)


BA, Eastern Mennonite University
MA, Virginia Commonwealth University
PHD, University of the Witwatersrand


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. & Mullins, B. (2017). Dressing the Wound: Dynamics of Sexual Abuse and Recovery in Religious Enclaves in Underwood, L and Hutchingson, D. (Eds.) Status of Women and Girls: A Global Perspective. Lexington Books: Rowman & Littlefield.

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, www.mcc.org/southafrica/peacepathways.

Stauffer, C. and Stauffer, C. (2002). Nurturing the Tree of Peace, MCC Peace Office Publications, 32(1), 1-4.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

Academic Conference Presentations:

  • “Body Toxic: Tools and Strategies for Addressing Acute or Protracted Sexual Trauma”
    Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance – Annual Conference, Richmond, VA. (May 1 – 4, 2018)
  • “Structural Holes and Resilience Strategies: A Comparison of Three Domestic Violence Survivor Demographics”
    Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology – Annual Conference, Cleaveland, OH (Oct 5 – 7, 2017)
  • “Body Politics of Abuse in Amish and Conservative Mennonite Households”
    Crossing the Line: Women of Anabaptist Traditions Encounter Borders & Boundaries – Conference, Harrisonburg, VA. (June 22 – 25, 2017)
  • “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)
  • “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)
  • “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)
  • “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)

Training & Workshop Presentations:

  • “Working While Burning? Activating Self-Care Practices in High Burnout Environments” Training for Virginia Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, First Step and Healthy Families network, VA. (June 6, 2018)
  • “Post Traumatic Growth: Service Provider Resilience Training”
    6-Week Training Contract with First Step grant, VA. (July 14 – Sept 22, 2017)
  • “What Does Trauma-Informed Care & Support for Students Look Like?”
    EMU Residence and Student Life Divisions, EMU (Aug 4 & 14, 2017)
  • “Sexual Assault Response Team Best Practices: Culturally Competent Care”
    Collins Center – S.A.R.T Task Force, Harrisonburg, VA (May 1, 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)
  • “Conversations on Sexual Violence”
    Coordination of regional symposium with local and national speakers and 10 concurrent workshop sessions, EMU (March 19, 2016)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences Symposium”
    Hosted transdisciplinary weekend seminar on post-traumatic growth, EMU (April 10-12, 2015)

Public Addresses:

  • “Futuring the Victim’s Rights Movement: What’s Around the Corner?” Keynote Address, National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, Victims of Crime (OVC) Grant – First Step, VA (April 12, 2018)
  • “#GivingIsReceiving”
    International Students Organization – Chapel Address, EMU (Sept 29, 2017)
  • “Silent Violence Project: Surfacing Harrisonburg’s Hidden Survivor Communities”
    Domestic Violence Task Force, Harrisonburg Police Dept. (Sept 27, 2017)
  • “Through the Prism of Gender: A Feminist Analysis of War Zones & Peace Fields”
    Summer Peacebuilding Institute Luncheon, EMU (June 1, 2017)
  • “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)
  • “Give Yourself Away: Generation X at the Cross-roads”
    Mennonite World Conference: Global Youth Summit, Keynote Address, PA. (July 19, 2015)
  • “Peace Building in Intimate Domains: Domestic Violence Unveiled”
    Pacific Center for Peacebuilding, Suva, Fiji, (June 5, 2014)
  • “Truth-telling in Intimate Domains: Domestic Violence Unzipped”
    CJP Summer Peacebuilding Institute – Frontier Luncheon, EMU, VA. (May 20, 2014)
  • “The Secret Life of Accidental Heroes”
    Eastern Mennonite University: Baccalaureate Address, VA. (April 26, 2014)
  • “Faith: Vision Impossible?”
    EMU Chapel Speaker, Harrisonburg VA. (August 31, 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)
  • “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)
  • “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)
  • “Teen Sexuality Unzipped”
    South African Department of Education: Keynote Address, National Conference: Life & Love at Schools, Bedfordview, South Africa (September 24, 2009)
  • “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)