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Dixon Named New Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator at WIU

July 23, 2012


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MACOMB, IL – Sean Dixon, an adjunct instructor at Western Illinois University and assistant director of Western's Center for the Study of Masculinity and Men's Development (CSMMD), has been named the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator (IVPC) at WIU.

Justine Johnson, who had served as the IVPC since July 2011, resigned to become the Women's Center director at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.

Dixon's hiring is part of the three-year, $300,000 grant awarded to WIU in 2010 from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women to help reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on college campuses.

Dixon will work with the grant project director and partners to design and coordinate educational outreach programs, police and judicial board training, and to ensure the University has effective policies and practices to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence on campus and carry out the day-to-day tasks of the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Initiative (IVPI).

Dixon earned his master's degree in education at WIU (2010) and his bachelor's degree in mass communications from the Illinois State University (1989). Dixon has worked in the department of educational and interdisciplinary studies as an adjunct instructor since 2010. He has also worked as the assistant director for the CSMMD since it began in 2011.

Dixon serves on the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Committee and has been working on several aspects of the initiative. He has completed Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention training (Victim Services' Crisis Intervention training) and Domestic Abuse Prevention Project (DAPP) training and is certified to facilitate DAPP and bystander intervention programs in Illinois. He will also serve as adviser of WIU's UNITY student organization and on the Student Judicial Board.

"Sean's experience in and strong commitment to social justice activism, gender equity and power-based violence prevention will be tremendous assets to the IVPI," said Janine Cavicchia, director of the WIU Women's Center and project director for the IVPI. "We're excited to have him on board and for him to begin meeting with individuals and groups across campus to help with the initiative, especially through a variety of exciting new bystander intervention initiatives."

Dixon will work to strengthen existing prevention efforts and to develop and implement new ones. In addition to Dixon, a graduate assistant, Carmen Stockberger (Michigantown, IL), and a student assistant, Alicia Guzman-Riley (Shorewood, IL), have been hired to help with program planning and implementation.

"I was honored to be considered for the position of IVPC and excited to take on the role," Dixon said. "This is a position that intersects very well with other work I am doing with the CSMMD, bystander intervention programs, classroom curriculum and community services. Violence affects everyone and it is of significant concern on college campuses. It isn't enough to provide services for victims of violence. We need to address the causes at personal and social levels and get everyone involved in whatever capacity that may be. I am excited to be in a position to work toward building that capacity here at WIU, as well as the greater community."

IVPI goals include providing a coordinated community response to interpersonal violence, maintaining an inclusive website with prevention information and resources for survivors and implementing revised policies and procedures for interpersonal violence prevention and aiding victims of interpersonal violence.

The IVP Committee serves as the advisory committee for the grant. Western has been working against interpersonal violence for 35 years through the IVP Committee, which began as a Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Assault.

IVPI staff and advisory board members are in the process of recruiting students to participate in the social justice theater group, as well as men who are interested in joining the Men Advocating Nonviolence (MAN) student organization. For more information, contact Dixon at (309) 298-2383 or SP-Dixon@wiu.edu. The IVPI is housed in the Women's Center, suite 209 in the Multicultural Center on Western's Macomb campus.

IVPI staff members and grant partners are available to present to groups, organizations, classes and others who would like to learn more about these topics. Program request forms are available online at www.wiu.edu/ivpi.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations