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WVU Scholar Spotlight

Dr. Lindsay KahleLindsay Kahle, PhD 
By Danielle Stoneberg

Dr. Lindsay Kahle is among one of the newest faculty to join West Virginia University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She has been teaching at WVU since August 2018. Prior to coming to WVU, Dr. Kahle taught at Virginia Tech, where she received her PhD in Sociology. It was her experience at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she received her BA in Psychology and MA in Sociology, that led her to pursuing a career in academia. Dr. Kahle was quick to accept the opportunity to work at WVU as it not only allows her to remain close to her family on the east coast, but to also work at an R1 institution. It has always been a goal of hers to work with graduate students and prioritize her research interests in criminology and gender and women's studies.

As has been echoed by many others in the telling of their personal stories, Dr. Kahle believes that it was an excellent mentor that led her to where she is today. Because of this experience, she is very passionate about working with students. She elaborated, “My story in short is that I didn’t care about school. I was never an honors kid, but I was always smart. I just didn’t know it. All I needed was that one person to tell me that I could do it.” Having someone who cared about her to offer mentorship and encouragement led Dr. Kahle along a different path than intended. She has always valued that experience and that is why she is so driven to be that “one person” for others. This passion can be seen through her years of mentorship, both on the field as a coach of women’s rugby at Virginia Tech and in the classroom as a professor. When asked what wisdom she would give to students, Dr. Kahle responded, “I would tell them to not be afraid of what you want out of life or let anything stand in your way.” She learned first hand the importance of tenacity and perseverance after being told by an undergrad advisor that she would “never make it in grad school or have a chance at it” and yet here she is today.

One of her accomplishments since beginning at WVU has been assisting with the development of the online Criminology minor. This minor provides students outside of Sociology and Criminology the opportunity to add to their major. She has loved getting to develop and teach these courses because it allows her to incorporate her background in Psychology and make the material interdisciplinary. For many students, this is their first encounter with criminological concepts and literature, so she works diligently to show them how it is applicable to their specific fields and places intersectionality at the forefront of her classes. Her dedication to the classroom has been recognized by administration, peers, and students. While at Virginia Tech she was awarded the 2018 William E. Snizek Undergraduate Teaching Award for the Department of Sociology. Her teaching style is appreciated by students as one student stated, “She does an excellent job of presenting course material and getting students genuinely interested in subjects that they wouldn't necessarily relate to or have thought about.”

Dr. Kahle’s work focuses on the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in youth inequality, and violence and victimization. She has previously served as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Laboratory for the Study of Youth Inequality and Justice (YIJ). Scattered across various universities, the Lab allows scholars the opportunity to conduct research on youth violence and victimization. It is important to note that her work is not limited to research and the classroom setting. Dr. Kahle has, and continues to remain, active in her community. She has spoken at Virginia Tech’s Take Back the Night. This annual rally and march raises awareness of gender-based violence, shares resources available locally, and gives individuals tools to help create positive change. The event is a powerful display of empowerment and support of victims and survivors with a goal to eradicate gender-based violence. Those who attend these events commonly iterate that gender-based violence is an issue either they themselves or someone they know has been a victim of. Additionally, in the Fall 2018, she conducted a training on making sorority life more welcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Even with a heavy teaching load, Dr. Kahle is adamant about finding time for research and and community engagement opportunities that align with her research goals. She currently has four projects forthcoming and is working with our very own Center Director, Dr. Walter DeKeseredy, on a grant. She loves to collaborate with other scholars and works diligently to make a difference with her scholarship. Dr. Kahle is eager to begin working with the Research Center on Violence to examine sexual assault and dating violence among LGBTQ+ individuals.

The Research Center on Violence would like to thank Dr. Kahle for her continued effort as a member of our executive board. You can learn more about Dr. Lindsay Kahle here