GUEST UPDATE: MN Office of Higher Education Strengthens Efforts to Prevent Campus Sexual Violence

I am the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s new Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator. In this role, I serve as an additional resource for Minnesota colleges and students to help prevent sexual violence and intimate partner/dating/domestic violence on campus and improve incident responses. 

In 2015, Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature enacted new requirements for college campuses to provide sexual assault training to students and staff, as well as enhance cooperation efforts between institutions and local law enforcement. I will be supporting colleges in these efforts, especially smaller institutions that may lack the resources necessary to fulfill these requirements.

I recently kicked off a tour across the state of regional community listening sessions at college campuses to learn what efforts are currently underway to make campuses safer and what resources would help support schools and students in preventing sexual violence. The first two interactive listening sessions were launched during Sexual Violence Prevention Month in April at Metropolitan State University and Moorhead State University. Faculty, administration, students, staff, and community organizations have been attending and providing valuable input on campus sexual violence priorities for their campuses and communities. I will compile the feedback from the listening sessions to help guide my work in the upcoming years. The first two sessions facilitated conversations across multiple campuses in the same region around prevention and awareness, thereby strengthening our efforts across the state. I also developed and released a toolkit of prevention resources available to every college campus in the state.

The 2015 legislation also requires postsecondary institutions to collect and report the number of sexual assaults reported to the institution and the follow-up responses to these reports. Categories include the number of sexual assaults reported, how many were investigated by the institution, and the number in which the victim reported to law enforcement, to name a few.

The data collection and display is managed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and is updated annually. More information can be found here:

I believe that while it is critically important that colleges know how to respond to sexual violence, my top priority is prevention - I would like nothing better than to work myself out of a job. We need to change the culture, systems, and environments that are facilitating sexual violence on our college campuses.

Prior to coming to OHE, I worked at the Minnesota Department of Health’s Sexual Violence Prevention Program. I have also worked in the capacity of a researcher, evaluator and affiliate and adjunct faculty member, where I developed and taught programs around sexual violence prevention at postsecondary institutions and non-profit organizations. In 2013, I was appointed by Governor Dayton to serve on the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans to represent the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Education from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley.