Graduate Student Spotlight—Lucie Holmgreen


By: Lauren Gallagher and Chelly Calandra
Undergraduate Psychology Majors

Lucie Holmgreen has been part of the Marquette family for the last 6 years. She has found a home at Marquette because it is the crossroads where her passion and her interest meet. She is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology anxiously waiting to discover her internship placement. Her research is focused on understanding the factors that make child sexual abuse survivors more vulnerable to sexual assault as adults.

Raised in Iowa, Lucie attended THE Ohio State University for her undergrad, where she majored in psychology. She spent time working in clinical and social psychology research labs. Her husband received his doctorate in chemical engineering from OSU. They were married in 2004 and currently live in Racine with their 3 hounds.

Lucie has always been passionate about social justice issues as well as politics. She found psychology to turn those interests into a science that she could investigate and tangibly share with others. She was driven by the experience of a close friend; she began her important research at Marquette. Her master’s thesis focused on sexual aggression within men and their attraction tendencies. She examined traits of women that sexually aggressive men were attracted to by having men read personal ads some of which included traits seen in previously abused women. Her findings suggested a tendency for sexually aggressive men to find more vulnerable women more appealing.

She is currently working on analyzing the data from her dissertation, which tests a model of sexual revictimization.  She is working under the guidance of Dr. Debra Oswald, who has focused on social psychology throughout her career.

Lucie believes in the research she is doing and hopes it will change the treatment of victims to ensure their protection by empowering the victims. Unfortunately, victims of early sexual assault are 2 to 3 times more likely to be victimized again in their lives and Lucie is hoping that her research can eventually inform treatment protocols for women which would reduce the risk of revictimization. She believes that attachment is an important focus of treatment to reduce reoccurrence rates.  She is sensitive to concerns that research examining victim characteristics may be perceived as “victim-blaming” but strongly believes that such research is instead vital to empowering women to protect themselves from future trauma.  Lucie’s research will help so many victims in their recovery. She is an important part of the Marquette community and continues its values of men and women for others.

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