Abra Vigna

Action Researcher and Evaluator


(608) 263-5987

UW Population Health Institute
610 Walnut Street, 558 WARF
Madison, WI 53726

Abra Vigna joined the Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) Unit of the Population Health Institute as an Action Researcher and Evaluator in 2017. In this role she provides training, technical assistance and consulting related to community change efforts regarding health equity and offers expertise in transformative education, relationship-building and applied research. She brings with her over a decade of experience working to reduce health inequities via direct-service and coalition building in addition to a broad skillset in intervention evaluation, strategic planning, technical assistance and translating research into policy and practice recommendations. Both Abra’s masters and doctoral research focused on the relationship between different forms of empowerment and engagement in health risk behaviors such as intimate partner violence, substance abuse and suicidality. She is particularly interested in the role that intra-individual level resilience plays in supporting long-term change efforts. Prior to earning her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison she worked as a crisis counselor and youth development specialist at a local Runaway and Homeless Youth agency. In addition to providing crisis counseling, case management and youth mentorship, she worked in concert and coalition with other direct service providers serving LGBT youth, engaging in strategic planning, evaluation efforts and providing technical assistance across the state of WI. Known for her engaging leadership style and disarming approach to capacity building among individuals and within organizations, she has empowered over 1200 marginalized young people and over 900 professionals in self-reflective praxis regarding their role in social change.