Our team

« Back

Elizabeth P. Cramer, Ph.D., LCSW


Email: ecramer@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 828-9029

Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, University of South Carolina

M.S.W., University of Michigan

B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton

Elizabeth “Liz” P. Cramer, L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W., is a professor in the VCU School of Social Work and affiliate faculty in the VCU Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department. Her practice and scholarship areas are domestic violence, particularly abuse of people with disabilities; lesbian and gay issues; and group work. Her research is primarily community engaged. She has published a number of journal articles, book chapters, and curriculum modules on such areas as abuse of women with disabilities, variables predicting convictions and acquittals in domestic assault cases, and the relationship of sentencing options to recidivism rates in domestic violence. Cramer currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Lesbian Studies and has been a peer reviewer for several journals, including Criminal Justice and Behavior, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Journal of Homosexuality, and the Journal of Social Work Education’s Special Section on Domestic Violence. She has also served on grant review panels for the federal Violence against Women office and Office for Victims of Crime. Cramer is the Principal Investigator for the I-CAN! Accessibility Project, funded by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund. The mission of this project is to promote and facilitate awareness about abuse of people with disabilities and to advocate for equal access to services and legal protections. She also serves as the co-Principal Investigator for Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention (LEAP), which is an abuse prevention program for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, currently funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women FY17 Research and Evaluation Solicitation and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Cramer served on the Board of Directors for the Chesterfield County Domestic Violence Task Force for 23 years, recently rotating off the Board, and conducts program evaluation of a school-based, peer-led, five-week healthy relationship program in Chesterfield County high schools. She has been involved in the domestic and sexual violence field for over 30 years as a practitioner, administrator, researcher, volunteer, and consultant. Cramer teaches across all the three programs (B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D.) at the School of Social Work, including courses on oppressed groups and social justice, direct practice, interpersonal violence, and social work education and teaching. She is interested in strategies for transformative teaching and learning. She also is the faculty coordinator for M.S.W. students who are getting the Certificate in Gender Violence Intervention. Cramer is a volunteer Special Olympics volleyball coach and enjoys laughing, playing, and exploring with her grandchildren.

VCU appointments

Professor, School of Social Work

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Notable awards, honors and appointments

  • Contributing Partner Award 2013. In recognition of the generous professional assistance provided to the Chesterfield Community Services Board and to the Chesterfield citizens.  Chesterfield Community Services Board, Chesterfield, VA.
  • Burnside-Watstein LGBT Award. 2013. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to enriching the community at VCU, and in particular for making a difference in the lives of LGBTQI faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. Virginia Commonwealth University.
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, inducted November 2009.
  • Clarity Award conferred by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, for pursuing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality through activism in academia. 2007.
  • Winner of the Faculty Award and Riese-Melton capstone award of the Virginia Commonwealth University Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME). 2006.
  • Social Justice Award. School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2004 and 2011.

Recent and current funded projects

Principal Investigator
I-CAN! Accessibility Project (VCU School of Social Work and VCU Partnership for People with Disabilities) Department of Criminal Justice Services, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Victim Fund, 2017-2020 (current grant cycle). Project funded since 2007.

Co-investigator (PI: Dinora)
Evaluation of LEAP (Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention): A Healthy Relationships Curriculum for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (VCU Partnership for People with Disabilities and VCU School of Social Work).U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women Research and Evaluation Solicitation. 2017 - 2020.

DBHDS Family to Family and LEAP.  Companion staff guide and expansion of trainer pool.  Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. 2018 – 2019.

Principal Investigator
LEAP Fidelity of Implementation (VCU School of Social Work and Partnership for People with Disabilities.)VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund, 2015-2016

Co-Investigator (PI: Dellinger-Wray)
Expanding Healthy Relationships in Central Virginia (VCU Partnership for People with Disabilities, VCU School of Social Work, and VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, in partnership with Heart Havens and the Virginia Anti-Violence Project). VCU Community Engagement Grant, 2015 – 2016.

Co-Investigator (PI: Dellinger-Wray)
Leadership for Empowerment and Abuse Prevention (LEAP) (VCU School of Social Work and VCU Partnership for People with Disabilities) Virginia Board for Persons with Disabilities, 2013 – 2015.

Selected publications

Cramer, E.P., McLeod, D.A., Craft, M., & Agnelli, K. (2018).  Using arts-based materials to explore the complexities of clinical decision- making in a Social Work methods course.  Social Work Education: The International Journal, 37(3), 342-360. doi:10.1080/02615479.2017.1401061

Cramer, E. P., Choi, Y. J., & Ross, A. I. (2017). Race, culture & abuse of persons with disabilities. In A. L. Johnson, J. R. Nelson, & E. M. Lund (Eds.). Religion, disability, and interpersonal violence(pp. 89-110). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Hutchison, E., & Cramer, E. (2017). Small groups, formal organizations, and communities. In E. Hutchison (Ed.), Essentials of human behavior: Integrating person, environment, and the life course (2nd ed.). (pp. 225-260). Los Angeles: Sage..

Choi, Y. J., & Cramer, E. P. (2016). An exploratory study of female Korean American church leaders’ views on domestic violence. Social Work & Christianity, 43(4), 3-22.

Agnelli, K., Cramer, E.P., Buffington, M.L., Norris, J., & Meeken, L. (2016). Food Landscapes: Cooking, community service and art-making with teens. Journal of Community Practice, 24(2), 205-214.

Cramer, E.P., Ross, A.I., McLeod, D.A., & Jones, R. (2015). The impact on peer facilitators of facilitating a school-based healthy relationship program for teens. School Social Work Journal,    40(1), 23-41.

Buffington, M.L., Cramer, E.P., Agnelli, K., & Norris, J. (2015, September). Food Landscapes: A    socially engaged art project. Art Education, 40-45.

McLeod, D.A., Jones, R., & Cramer, E.P. (2015). An evaluation of a school-based, peer-     facilitated, healthy relationship program for at-risk adolescents. Children & Schools, 37(2), 108-116.

Cramer, E.P., Buffington, M.L., Norris, J., & Walston, T. (2015). A field trip to the art museum! Complicating the experience and interpretation of field trips as complex interactions of public space, boundaries, and belonging. In E. Woods (Ed.). Experiential learning: Emerging perspectives, strategies and educational outcomes (pp. 67-86). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Ford, C.H., & Cramer, E.P. (2015). Network VA: A case study of a statewide effort to build LGBTQ coalitions for change on college campuses. In J. C. Hawley (Ed.) Expanding the circle: Creating an inclusive environment in higher education for LGBTQ students and studies (pp. 127-139). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Cramer, E.P. (2015). Small groups. In E. Hutchison (Ed). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment (5th ed). (pp. 381-412). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Cramer, E.P., Brady, S.R., & McLeod, D.A. (2013). Building capacity to address the abuse of persons with disabilities. Journal of Community Practice, 21(1-2), 124-144.

Cramer, E.P., & Brady, S.R. (2013). Competing values in serving older and vulnerable adults: Adult Protective Services, mandated reporting, and domestic violence programs. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 25(5), 453-468. DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2013.782781

Cramer, E.P., Ford, C.H., & Arroyo, A. (2012). An account of an inter-institutional faculty learning community on addressing issues of diversity and oppression in the classroom. Learning Communities Journal, 4, 5-35.

Cramer, E.P., Ryosho, N., & Nguyen, P. V. (2012). Using experiential exercises to teach about diversity, oppression, and social justice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 32(1), 1-13.

Cramer, E.P., Ryosho, N., & Nguyen, P. V. (2012). Using experiential exercises to teach about diversity, oppression, and social justice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 32(1), 1-13.

Cramer, E.P. (2012). Talking the talk and walking the walk with the sexuality and gender identity In L. Grobman & J. Clements (Eds.). Riding the mutual aid bus and other adventures in group work: A days in the lives of social workers collection (pp. 129-135). Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.

McAllister, C.A., Harold, R.D., Ahmedani, B.K., & Cramer, E.P. (2009). Targeted mentoring: An evaluation of a program. Journal of Social Work Education. 45(1), 89-104.

Cramer, E.P., & Plummer, S. (2009). People of color with disabilities: Intersectionality as a framework for analyzing intimate partner violence in social, historical, and political contexts. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 18(2), 162-181.

Matthews, J. D., & Cramer, E.P. (2006). Envisaging the adoption process to strengthen gay- and lesbian-headed families: Recommendations for adoption professionals. Child Welfare, 85 (2), 317-340.

Cramer, E.P. (2004). Unintended consequences of constructing criminal justice as a dominant paradigm in understanding and intervening in intimate partner violence. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 32(3/4), 164-180.

Cramer, E.P., Gilson, S.F., & DePoy, E. (2004). Women with disabilities and experiences of abuse. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 7(3/4), 183-199.

Cramer, E.P. (Ed.). (2002). Addressing homophobia and heterosexism on college campuses. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Gilson, S.F., Cramer, E.P, & DePoy, E. (2001). Redefining abuse of women with disabilities: A paradox of limitation and expansion. AFFILIA: Journal of Women and Social Work, 16(2), 220-235.

Gilson, S.F., DePoy, E., & Cramer, E.P. (2001). Linking the assessment of self reported functional capacity with abuse experiences of women with disabilities. Violence Against Women, 7(4), 418-431.

Gross, M., Cramer, E.P., Forte, J., Gordon, J., Kunkel, T., & Moriarty, L. (2000). The impact of sentencing options on recidivism among domestic violence offenders: A case study. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 24(2), 301-312.

Cramer, E.P. (1999). Variables that predict verdicts in domestic violence cases. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14(11), 1137-1150.

Black, B., Oles, T.P., Cramer, E.P., & Bennett, C.K. (1999). Attitudes and behaviors of social work students toward lesbian and gay male clients: Can panel presentations make a difference? Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 9(4), 47-68.

Oles, T.P., Black, B.M., & Cramer, E.P. (1999). From attitude change to effective practice with gay male and lesbian clients: Exploring the relationship. Journal of Social Work Education, 35(1),87-100.

Cramer, E.P. (1997). Effects of an educational unit about lesbian identity development and disclosure in a social work methods course. Journal of Social Work Education, 33(3), 461-472.