Mount receives $300,000 grant for violence awareness and prevention

September 20, 2017

Mount Saint Mary College was recently awarded a grant for nearly $300,000 to expand and enhance its proactive sexual assault prevention and awareness programs.

The grant was secured by Michael O’Keefe, executive director of Operations and Risk Management and Title IX coordinator; Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and director of counseling; Kelly Yough, dean of Student Affairs; Carolyn Quoma, director of research and grants; and Sandra Cefaloni-Henderson, former dean of campus life.

“As part of Mount Saint Mary College’s continuing commitment to maintain a safe and welcoming campus for all, we are grateful to have been chosen to receive this grant,” said Dr. David Kennett, Mount Saint Mary College interim president. “In response to the growing national conversation regarding the safety of college campuses, these resources will enable the Mount to maintain the best practice in our services to the student body, heighten awareness and prevention of violence, and focus on advocacy. This coordinated community response will establish a comprehensive, cutting-edge program that will serve all members of Mount Saint Mary College.”

Awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice over the course of three years, the grant will be used to fund the college’s multidisciplinary approach to combat all forms of dating, domestic, and sexual violence/stalking on campus and beyond.

In partnership with the Rape Crisis Services Program-Mental Health Association in Orange County, Safe Homes of Orange County, and the Newburgh Police Department, the Mount will create a Coordinated Community Response team to help develop, guide, and implement the college’s ongoing efforts.

The program will increase students’ knowledge on how to identify, prevent, and report violence. It will benefit all students, with particular attention paid to the needs of historically underserved populations.

Another example of Mount Saint Mary College’s proactive stance on campus violence is the “It’s On Us” campaign, launched last year. On the first night of that program, nearly 600 students took the pledge to end sexual assault on college campuses.