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Student conducts research on the impact of gun violence

image of Gabrielle Ingoglia head and shoulders

Gabrielle Ingoglia ’20 had worked in other classes on sexual assault and domestic violence projects and wanted to learn about a new issue and how to educate and help others. She felt research on trauma informed response to gun violence is important because of the popular gun debate. “I think gun violence goes far beyond what people know and realize; it strikes fear in people and communities where gun violence is present. My project sheds light on the trauma that survivors and their communities face and how gun violence impacts our nation as a whole.”

The project was for Ingoglia’s Trauma Informed Care (TIC) class and looks at what gun violence is, its prevalence and impact, survivors, and trauma informed care.

TIC is an approach that looks at the prevalence of traumatic experiences and the effects that it has on the people involved. Professionals who use this approach are there to help the survivor build resiliency, avoid re-traumatization, and to support them. A trauma informed response to gun violence is vital to the survivors and the trauma informed responses help the survivors and the communities affected to heal.

Ingoglia says this project “brings about awareness of gun violence and how a trauma informed response can make a difference in the lives of survivors.” She designed the project as a website on purpose. “We had a choice of a paper or a website, and I thought that my research would do more good as a website because people can click through and learn about it in any order they want.”

A TIC approach

She has learned a great deal from her work. “Taking this class has opened my eyes to the importance of a TIC approach. This project allowed me to research gun violence and TIC at a deeper level. I would definitely love to continue this research in the future. Ultimately, I would like to work in community education, hopefully working to educate people on this topic.

It was not an easy task to begin. “One of the challenges during my research was honestly just knowing where to begin. What do you type into your Google search bar? I had to go about finding credible resources and sources that looked at TIC and gun violence.” Once she was able to narrow her search and pick through sources, a plethora of information came her way.

Highlights of her research

Some of the highlights of her research were finding powerful quotes from survivors and professionals that really look at the depth of this issue. “One quote that really resonated with me was about how many shootings the U.S. really faces, according to Eugenio Weigend, Associate Director for gun violence prevention at the Center for American Progress, ‘more than 342,439 people were shot to death in the United States from 2008 through 2017, meaning that a person is killed with a gun in this country every 15 minutes.’ ”

Amanda Rich, PhD, was the faculty mentor for Ingoglia’s project. “Professor Rich was an amazing mentor. She played a huge role as my mentor in the project. During her class, she introduced the project in the beginning of the semester. After introducing it, she had us choose a topic by a certain time, that way we all had ample time to complete the project. Obviously COVID-19 changed the course of things for everyone, but Dr. Rich still put her all into helping her students even when we were at home. Dr. Rich was (and continues to be) encouraging, caring, and a great mentor.”  

Ingoglia will graduate in December 2020 with a major in Human Services and minors in Spanish and Psychology, and plans to go to grad school for social work or strategic communication. “I would really like to work in community education or advocacy,” she says. “I am thankful to YCP for the best four years of my life and especially to Dr. Rich for being such a great mentor. I would not have figured out what I wanted to do in the future if it was not for YCP.”