ISSUED: 5 February 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s collaborative program with Shenandoah Women’s Center that aims to prevent sexual assault and interpersonal violence will be highlighted during a national webinar Wednesday, February 10.
Rhonda Jackson, counselor, Jess Lanciano, residence hall associate, and Katie Spriggs, Shenandoah Women’s Center program manager, will conduct a class through the PreventConnect webinar series sponsored by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. They will discuss initiatives on campus and how Shepherd and Shenandoah work together to educate students on the prevention of sexual assault and interpersonal violence.
Through the collaboration, Shenandoah helps Shepherd respond to incidents and provides free counseling to students who don’t want to use services on campus. Jackson’s office also sponsors 3D Thursday every week at Shepherd, where students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to intervene and call for help if they witness interpersonal violence.
“What they really want us to be able to talk about during the webinar is how to make a bystander intervention program really comprehensive,” Jackson said. “Universities can be pretty good at doing a program here or there that tends to be more focused on awareness about interpersonal violence, but through a U.S. Department of Justice grant administered by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services, we’ve really been able to bring a lot of tools here to Shepherd and implement a program that saturates our campus in a comprehensive and consistent way.”
Jackson and Lanciano plan to highlight the creative ways Shepherd has found to offer a program that isn’t too costly by collaborating with the Shenandoah Women’s Center, the art department, student affairs, academics, and students who are passionate about spreading the message.
“We don’t have a lot of money in the departments that we work with, so during the webinar we’ll be communicating how a school can do this on $20 a month,” Lanciano said. “I think is going to be real helpful because there are a lot of big schools that could be listening, but there’s going to be a lot of small schools that don’t have the big school budget.”
During the webinar, audience members view a Power Point presentation and will be able to type questions for Jackson, Lanciano, and Spriggs to answer.
“I think it’s incredible—going from one tiny idea that Rhonda had getting ready for work to what we’re doing now and doing a national webinar about it,” Lanciano said.
“It’s exciting for Shepherd to have grown to a place where nationally we’re going to be recognized as being on the cutting edge of having innovative, creative, comprehensive programming,” Jackson said.
Listen to the interview HERE.
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