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Cindy Fraga Rizo named John A. Tate Early Career Scholar

Cindy Fraga Rizo, Ph.D., has been named the John A. Tate Early Career Scholar for Children in Need and promoted to associate professor. The appointments were effective July 1.

The Tate professorship recognizes a faculty member’s high level of productivity in teaching, publishing, research, and service in support of children, youth, and families as well as overall contributions to the School of Social Work community. The professorship also provides a combined stipend and research fund of $12,500. This money is available to Tate scholars annually for five years or until the faculty members are promoted to the rank of full professor, whichever comes first. The awards are supported from private donations from the School of Social Work’s John A. Tate Professorship Fund.

Rizo joined UNC as an assistant professor in 2014, shortly after graduating from the School of Social Work’s doctorate program, where she received honors as outstanding doctoral student. She focuses her research on interventions for particularly vulnerable intimate partner violence survivors, including Latinas, immigrants and system-involved survivors.

A former practitioner who provided services to survivors of intimate partner violence and their children, Rizo has worked on a number of projects in the area of interpersonal violence, including intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault.

Many of her collaborations on research, service and training activities have involved the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She is currently working on a project to develop school-based content and protocols for youth at risk for sex trafficking, funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission. Her work has received numerous funding awards, including from the National Institutes of Justice.

In 2017, Rizo received the Linda Saltzman New Investigator Award, which is sponsored by Futures Without Violence (FUTURES), RALIANCE and the CDC Foundation. The award recognizes an outstanding new investigator with two to 10 years of experience who is working in the field of domestic violence, violence against women or dating violence.

In addition to her research, Rizo teaches MSW courses on human development, confronting racism and institutional discrimination, and research, as well as a social work doctoral course on theory.

Rizo received a B.A. in Psychology in 2005 and an MSW in 2007, both from Florida International University.