Changemakers in Family Planning: Sofia Jawed-Wessel
Awarded 2022
Changemakers in Family Planning
Sofia Jawed-Wessel, PhD, MPH
University of Nebraska Omaha

Sofia Jawed-Wessel is currently an Associate Professor at University of Nebraska at Omaha in the School of Health and Kinesiology and the Co-Director of the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative (MSHRC). She holds a PhD in Health Behavior and a Master of Public Health, both from the School of Public Health at Indiana University. Dr. Jawed-Wessel is an educator and researcher with a focus on sexual health. More specifically, the long-term goal of her research trajectory is to understand at the micro-level how intimate/sexual relationships are impacted by sexual and maternal objectification, and at the macro-level, how sexual and maternal objectification drive US policies, cultural norms and practices. She also fights for women’s rights and reproductive justice through her research and community service. Dr. Jawed-Wessel has provided expert testimony for the Nebraska Unicameral, the Nebraska School Board of Education, and the Omaha Public School Board of Education. She has worked with the teams that successfully organized and argued in favor of comprehensive sex education in Omaha Public Schools and pushed back against restrictive anti-choice legislation in Nebraska. She is applying for the Changemaker Fellowship to develop the skills needed to advance two arms of research, exploring abortion-seeker experiences and outcomes and the development of a theory project on maternal objectification and its relationship to anti-feminist policy.