Preventing sexual harassment in middle and high schools will be addressed with help from seven institutions across the country including Millersville University.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW), one of the nation’s leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls, selected a team of Millersville University faculty including Dr. Tracey Weis, coordinator of the women’s studies program and professor of history; Dr. Tim Mahoney, Dr. Linda McDowell, Dr. Cheryl Desmond, educational foundations, and Dr. Rita Smith Wade-El, psychology, to receive a 2011-2012 Campus Action Project (CAP) Crossing the Line: Addressing Sexual Harassment in Grades 7-12 grant. Millersville University received $5,000 out of the $28,000 in grant funding AAUW awarded between the seven selected institutions.

The team’s proposal, “Crossing the Line in Lancaster County: Adolescents, Sexual Harassment and Cyber Bullying,” will be the anti-sexual harassment project of the Millersville University CAP team.

Millersville’s CAP team will use the grant to implement the project during the spring of 2012. Millersville’s project will include focus group research on a diverse group of urban students in grades 7–8, a collection of personal stories to be shared on a blog, a community and University event to be held on April 23, on the issues of sexual harassment and cyber-bullying, and the creation of a documentary about the activities, which will be shown at the event.

“Millersville’s participation in the AAUW Campus Action Program is integrally linked to the University’s mission to contribute to the common good. In collaboration with the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Millersville University Women’s Studies Program, the project team of faculty and students will work with our community partners in local schools to address the pressing problem of sexual harassment identified by AAUW researchers. We are grateful to have been selected and eager to begin our work,” said Weis.

The six other AAUW CAP grant recipients included Dakota State University, South Dakota; Jefferson Community College, New York; Pacific Lutheran University, Washington; Saint Mary’s College, Indiana; University of Central Florida and the University of Kentucky.

“In addition to funding the projects, AAUW will pay for one member of each team to speak at the 2012 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. The conference, hosted by AAUW and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, helps women students connect with each other and with successful role models, while honing leadership skills for their work on campus and in their communities,” according to a news release issued by the AAUW.

For more information, visit the 2011-2012 Campus Action Project Team website.

This article has 2 comments

  1. congratulations to Millersville on taking action on this very important issue. As a representative from one of the 51 Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape’s counseling sites, the YWCA Sexual Assault and Counseling Center would like to offer any support/ resources to help you achieve your goals in the project. congratulations again.- M Ross

  2. This sounds like an amazing mission and experience. I can’t wait to see the results.

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