Changemakers – Dana Radatz

By: Breanne Guevara

They say you’ll never work a day in your life, if you love what you do, because everything that comes from it will have purpose and meaning. Dr. Dana Radatz is the definition of loving what she does. Dr. Radatz received her doctorate in criminal justice and criminology and is currently an assistant professor at Niagara.  Dr. Radatz’s area of research interest is victimization; she is an advocate for ending violence and aims to spread awareness about important topics, including the importance of helping and understanding victims. Dr. Radatz is promoting and striving for change and thus why she is seen as a change maker.

In order to understand what changes need to be made in the world you have to educate yourself first to eliminate all stigmas and false beliefs. During her second year in her master’s program she came to an important realization. Dr. Radatz said, “In one of my classes, I learned that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime… I just couldn’t believe that that much victimization was happening and I didn’t know about it. It really hurt me to know that people around me could be experiencing violence and I could have done a lot more to help had I known… Now that I know, I want my work to contribute to the movement of making changes to end violence and victimization.”

Among all the different lines of research Dr. Radatz does she also works with the community to make changes. She does this by doing community and campus service, including Take Back The Night. Take Back the Night is a charity based foundation that originated in the 1970s, whose mission is to create safe communities through different events. Their objective is to put an end to all forms of sexual violence. Universities and non-profit organizations take part in this all over the world, usually held in April because it is sexual assault awareness month. Take Back the Night was introduced to Niagara in 2016, with the help from Dr. Radatz and Dr. Beebe. What makes Dr. Radatz so striking is her promise to make change. She wants to see change no matter how big or small: “I try to teach my students, that they can make a difference no matter how small it is.”

Dr. Radatz is as humble as she is driven, and that is the perfect balance in order to make change because after all the accomplishments she has achieved she is humble enough to know that there is still more to be done. “One of my greatest accomplishments is getting to see my students flourish because I feel like I have a little part in that. As much as I am advocating for change, my students are as well.”

Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Change is not always accepted, change is not always comfortable nor is it easy. However, once you wake up every day and love what you do, change comes secondary. Dr. Dana Radatz is nothing short of influential and that is why she is being honored as a change maker.


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