Sophie Trawalter

Batten Family Bicentennial Teacher-Scholar Leadership Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Psychology, Batten School

Sophie Trawalter, Batten Family Bicentennial Teacher-Scholar Leadership Professor of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, studies phenomena related to social diversity. Specifically, Trawalter examines how people navigate intergroup contact and intergroup contexts. She is especially interested in how people develop competencies and learn to thrive in diverse spaces.

In one line of research, Trawalter investigates stress and coping responses to interracial contact. Within this line of research, she examine people’s short-term behavioral and physiological responses to interracial contact as well as longer-term, health-relevant physiological changes in response to diversity experiences. Other lines of research explore people’s ability to detect discrimination accurately and the social ecology of privilege. Ultimately, the aim of this work is to develop constructive strategies to cope with the challenges of diversity in organizations, public arenas, and private spaces. In time, such strategies may reduce intergroup tensions and improve outcomes for both traditionally stigmatized and non-stigmatized group members.

Batten Profile

Phone Number


Office Location

Garrett Hall L004B