Faculty & Staff
Shelly Wagers, Ph.D.
Dr. Shelly M. Wagers is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida and served as the President for the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence (NPEIV). She earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Criminology from the University of South Florida. Dr. Wagers has worked in the domestic violence (DV) field for over 25 years: first as an advocate, then as a law enforcement officer and now as a scholar. Dr. Wagers’ primary research interests include examining the relationship between power, control and DV, along with developing evidence-based practices for crime victimization policies and programs in DV and human trafficking. Dr. Wagers also focuses her research on the development of her theory on Internal Power and its theoretical correlation to intimate partner violence. Dr. Wagers has over 20 years of experience conducting needs assessments, field research, developing and delivering educational programs, workshops, and seminars in violence prevention and effective responses to interpersonal violence. Dr. Wagers expertise includes developing researcher-practitioner partnerships with advocates, law enforcement and the courts to strengthen policies and programs.
Dr. Wagers most recent applied work was completing a needs assessment for the USF Trafficking In Persons Lab. This consisted of over 100 field interviews with community partners engaged in antitrafficking work throughout Florida. This project identified the lack of an integrated service network as a barrier to effectively addressing the needs of HT survivors and the lack of unified data on human trafficking. This led to the BRIGHT project, which seeks to address the service improvement goal of the USF TIP Lab through the establishment and maintenance of an interactive digital platform that will bring HT service providers together into an integrated network of care. The network will enable providers to get survivors to appropriate services in a timely manner and monitor their progress through efficient case management functions. BRIGHT also collects data that can be used to inform policies and develop programs aimed at fighting human trafficking. Dr. Wagers is the Director of the BRIGHT project for the USF TIP Lab, and recently received a $150,000 grant from Hillsborough County to build the BRIGHT pilot.