Professor of Sociology and Graduate Program Director
Mellisa Holtzman is a Professor of Sociology at Ball State University. Since joining the faculty in 2002, she has established herself as both a teacher and a scholar. Dr. Holtzman has won four university and regional teaching awards; secured several teaching and research fellowships, including a grant from the National Science Foundation; and used her pedagogical expertise to design a novel sexual assault protection program called Elemental. This program, which was co-created with her colleague, Chad Menning, combines primary prevention educational programming on assault, consent, party culture, and party safety with flexible, nuanced, physical and verbal risk reduction training. Research on Elemental consistently finds that the program impacts students’ attitudes toward assault and lowers incidences of assault for the long-term. Very few existing programs are able to demonstrate these kinds of effects. Research on Elemental has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of American College Health, eJournal of Public Affairs, College Teaching, and the Journal of Applied Social Sciences. Additional information on Elemental can be found at www.elementalprotection.org.
Dr. Holtzman’s work with Elemental has received significant regional and national-level attention, including an invitation to attend an event at the White House, requests to speak at conferences and campus safety summits throughout the country, and an invitation to do a TEDx talk (http://youtu.be/u-7VAFBGWqc ). Additionally, her expertise in sexual assault programming and prevention has generated requests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as an expert reviewer on funding applications, inquires by professionals throughout the country for she and Dr. Menning to offer Elemental on their campuses, and requests by nonprofit organizations for assistance with local programs focused on gender-based violence prevention.
In addition to her work with sexual assault prevention, Dr. Holtzman has a long-standing interest in the sociology of family and family law. Her research in these areas has been published in outlets such as Law and Social Inquiry, Family Court Review, Journal of Family Communications, Family Relations, and Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Dr. Holtzman enjoys teaching in the areas of family and law and currently offers classes in both subjects, as well as introductory-level sociology courses and graduate courses in sociological theory.
Areas of Interest
Family; Sociology of Law