Endowed professorship to support new gun violence research lab at UMD
Dr. Joseph Richardson, a professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Anthropology, has been named the next Joel and Kim Feller Professor. This endowed professorship was created in 2015 to support faculty initiatives within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Earlier this year, Professor Richardson launched the Translational Research and Applied Violence Intervention Lab (TRAVAIL), the first applied gun violence research laboratory in Maryland. Richardson says funding from sources such as the Feller Professorship are crucial to gun violence research, particularly following the passage of the Dickey Amendment in 1996, which essentially restricted federal funding on the subject.
“Despite the lack of federal research funding, I have committed my career to understanding the causes, collateral consequences and solutions to gun violence, because gun violence has affected my life both personally and professionally,” Richardson said.
Several close friends and family members of Richardson’s were either killed or seriously injured as a result of gun violence. Additionally, Richardson is a native of Philadelphia, where gun crimes claim the lives of more than 300 people each year.
“For me, this is very personal,” Richardson said. “The Joel and Kim Feller Endowed Professorship will allow me to conduct interdisciplinary research on this public health issue with the goal of producing innovative sustainable interventions that can be replicated across the state and potentially the nation, and generating knowledge that can inform gun control policy.”
Previously, Richardson initiated multiple studies in the trauma center at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center (UM-PGHC) to understand the risk factors for repeat violent injury among young black men treated for nonfatal firearm violence. This research led to the establishment of the Capital Region Violence Intervention Program at UM-PGHC, which Richardson co-directed for two years.
About the Feller Professorship
The Joel and Kim Feller Professorship was established by a generous $500,000 donation from the Feller family in 2015 to support the needs of the Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty within the College. Dr. Jack Blanchard from the Department of Psychology became the inaugural holder of the professorship. Richardson’s appointment as Feller Professor will continue for the next three years.
Joel Feller is a 1990 graduate of the Department of Government and Politics, serves as a trustee for the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and is a founding partner at the firm Ross Feller Casey, LLP in Philadelphia. His wife Kim is a 1989 graduate from UMD.