Shaw received a Ph.D in community psychology from Michigan State University, which reflects her commitment to social justice and change. Specifically, she uses her expertise in community psychology in investigating community and system responses to sexual assault, which includes the responses of the justice system. In her work, she collaborates with law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, medical personnel, victim advocates, and other community leaders in exploring how community institutions respond to cases and victims of sexual assault. Her particular interest is how research and evaluations of community responses can provide the empirical foundation for guiding sustainable community change. This effort is linked to NIJ's commitment to translational criminology, which is focusing on how various scientific disciplines can contribute to more effective community and criminal justice system prevention of and responses to criminal behavior. Under the "umbrella" of translational criminology, both practitioners and researchers can benefit from each other's work. The translational criminology fellowship opened up an opportunity for Shaw to apply her scientific training to the practices of dealing with sexual assault. Working with NIJ staff, she relied on research, processes, theories, and methods from a wide range of scientific disciplines to guide her work.