Grant Focuses on Violence Prevention

Austin College has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women for the Austin College Responsible Education Advocacy Coordination and Training (’Roos REACT) program. The grant, to be dispersed over three years, seeks to improve the prevention and awareness of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. On-campus partners include the staffs of Student Affairs, residence life, religious life, athletics, Greek life, health and counseling services, and security. Off-campus partners include the Crisis Center, Sherman Police Department, and the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office (Victim Services Division).

Tim Millerick, vice president of student affairs, said, “I am pleased to receive this grant as it will allow us to strengthen our efforts to provide our students with prevention and awareness on the critical issues of sexual assault and domestic violence. The grant enables us to hire a staff person who will be dedicated to assisting victims with getting the timely support they need. It also provides resources so that we can partner with local services and law enforcement in Grayson County.”

Funds will provide the salary and benefits of a full-time program coordinator; materials and training to educate all students, faculty, staff, and campus police officers; and three additional blue light emergency telephones on campus. The program is being implemented immediately. Austin College was one of 45 institutions of higher education to receive the competitive awards that will work to deliver effective, comprehensive, and coordinated strategies that help survivors heal; reduce campus sexual and domestic violence; and improve the institution’s responses to these crimes.

The awards will make possible a range of services, including specialized training for campus law enforcement, healthcare providers, university housing personnel, and others who are often first responders. Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the
oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.