Thomas Zawisza, PhD

Senior Research Associate
Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Dr. Zawisza is a senior research associate at The Begun Center. Prior to joining Case Western Reserve University, he spent eight years as a faculty member at two universities, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics, criminological theory, research methods, crime mapping, and senior capstone. Dr. Zawisza’s has two areas in which his research is focused: neighborhoods and crime and the use of eye-tracking technology in criminal justice research. He has published work examining distance travelled by offenders, effects of natural disasters on looting behavior, public opinions on US/Mexico border issues, and relationships between use of space and perceptions of neighborhoods. He also co-authored a book on homicide case studies.

Why is your work at the Begun Center important to you, to our community, and to the world?

There is a strong link between environmental characteristics of neighborhoods and crime. Aesthetics, physical stimuli, social service entities, and street designs, among many other characteristics, are related to the persistence or desistence of crime. The work the Begun Center does is important because many of the programs, if not all of them, aim to invest resources back into neighborhoods and communities to assist in helping find solutions to critical issues individuals in these neighborhoods and communities are facing.

What is a cause about which you are particularly passionate? 

I am very passionate about the investment of resources in neighborhoods and its impact of the wellbeing of individuals living there.