University Taskforce on Violence Prevention & Response

The purpose of the University of St. Thomas Taskforce on Sexual Violence Prevention & Response is to evaluate and strengthen the University’s efforts to prevent and respond to incidences of sexual violence (including sexual assault, rape, dating & domestic violence and stalking). A multi-stakeholder team will assess the University’s prevention and response efforts. Using the latest public health research, expert guidance, and promising and emerging practices, this team will create an Implementation Plan aimed to strengthen the University’s efforts.

The taskforce will use an evidence based framework, the Culture of Respect, to guide their initial efforts.

Taskforce Co-Chairs

Emily Erickson, Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program Director

Danielle Hermanny, Title IX Coordinator

University Taskforce on Violence Prevention & Response

Dr. Young-ok An                               Associate Professor, English

Megan Arriola                                    Graduate Student

Mike Barrett                                       Associate Director / Manager of Investigations, Public Safety

Linda Baughman                               Dean of Students

Father Larry Blake                            Chaplain

Glenn Caruso                                     Head Football Coach

Dr. Corri Carvalho                            Professor of Theology

Beth Cotton                                        Registered Nurse, Health Services

Birdie Cunningham                          Associate Director of Health and Wellness 

Zachary DuBois                                 Public Safety

Liz Dussol                                            Academic Counselor

Amadou Fofana                                Graduate Student

Dr. Bryana French                            Associate Professor, Graduate Psychology

Abby Heller                                         Undergraduate Student

Dr. Angela High- Pippert                Professor and Chair, Political Science

Sharon Howell                                   Assistant Dean of Students

Megan Jacobson                              Assistant Athletic Director

Malcolm Lawson                              Undergraduate Student

Whitney Oachs                                 Undergraduate Student

Miho Patani                                        Assistant Director, Office of International Students & Scholars

Jayda Pounds                                     Undergraduate Student

Natasha Rodich                                 Senior Human Resources Business Partner

Sharon S. Sharma                             Undergraduate Student

Eric Strong                                          Area Director, Residential Life

Erin Whipkey                                     Assistant Director, Campus Life

For students who experience sexual violence, the goals of the higher education experience—unleashed potential, self-determination, and unfettered societal contribution—can be thwarted by this trauma. Thus, sexual violence prevents institutions of higher education (IHEs) from realizing their mission and may derail students from reaching their academic, professional, and personal goals. Stopping this violence requires a sustained nationwide effort.


In recent years, there has been a growing spotlight on sexual violence on U.S. College and University campuses. This has resulted in responses that are well-intentioned but too frequently siloed: state and federal legislative action, increased public dialogue, a surge of advo­cacy for survivors’ rights, and the development of myriad prevention programs for college students. Meanwhile, IHEs are struggling to remain com­pliant with federal regulations (Richards, 2016). Few resources exist to support administrators and other campus stakeholders who are respon­sible for the challenging work of envisioning and implementing a coordinated response and pre­vention strategy. Culture of Respect is committed to filling that gap by supporting IHEs in providing evidence-based and actionable solutions to the problem of campus sexual violence.


Parents of college-aged students, who were alarmed by the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses, founded Culture of Respect in 2013. With a team of public health and violence prevention researchers from New York University and Columbia University and experts in advocacy, student affairs, higher education policy, and law, they created the Culture of Respect Engagement Blueprint (CORE Blueprint), a six-pillar strategic road map that engages students, parents, faculty, administrators, health professionals, athletes, and other campus stakeholders in implementing the leading practices to shift campus culture to one that is free from sexual violence. Under­standing that each campus maintains a diverse student population and unique infrastructure, systems, and traditions, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to campus sexual violence cannot be the answer. The CORE Blueprint is prescriptive in its broad strategy while being flexible in specific implementation, and its distinctive combination of approaches can be tailored to fit the specific needs and diversity of particular IHEs.

Learn more from Culture of Respect’s website.

(adapted from Culture of Respect Pilot Program Report)

A Multi-Stakeholder approach to address campus sexual violence.

An essential component of the Culture of Respect approach is engaging members of the campus community across different stakeholder groups.

Six-Pillar Framework

The six-pillar framework (see imagine) uses the latest public health research, expert guidance, and promising and emerging practices. This framework guides the CORE Evaluation, used to identify any gaps in sexual violence prevention and response efforts and provide a baseline to benchmark progress in each institution’s policy and programming improvements throughout the years. The CORE Evaluation is what guides schools in creating an Individual Implementation Plan (IIP). 

The overall goal of Culture of Respect is to help institutions of Higher Education improve their sexual violence response and prevention efforts. Each participating institution will develop their own goals and outcomes based on their own community needs. 

Institutions participating in the 2014-2015 pilot of Culture of Respect, made especially notable strides in enhancing support services for survivors and improving efforts to provide multitiered education to students, faculty, and staff. 

Read more about the approach and outcomes of Culture of Respect in their Findings from a National Pilot Study. Violence Prevention & Awareness PDF

The University of St. Thomas of a proud member of the Culture of Respect. Launched in Spring 2017, the University’s participation in this collective will help us strengthen our response to and prevention of sexual violence.

A Campus Leadership Team, consisting of staff, faculty and students from around the University will together complete an evaluation (CORE Evaluation) to identify strengths and gaps in sexual violence prevention and response efforts at the University of St. Thomas and provide a baseline to benchmark progress in the coming years.

Using the results of the evaluation, the leadership team will develop an Individual Implementation Plan for the University of St. Thomas.