Staff

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OUR STAFF

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Katie Koestner

Executive Director, Campus Outreach Services

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About me

Katie Koestner is a national expert on student safety and technology issues.  She has appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, CNN, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight and other national television programs.  She is the subject of an HBO movie and has lectured at over 2000 schools in North America.  Her audiences have included the incoming classes at MIT, Brown University, West Point, the US Naval Academy, Amherst College, Williams College, the top 200 officers of the Department of Defense, and the American Association of School Administrators.  In 2010, the US Ambassador to India invited Katie to keynote and lead a 19-day campaign in India to raise awareness about Violence Against Women.  In 2011, Ms. Koestner’s Foundation, Take Back The Night, was chosen by the TV Show, The Good Wife, as their charity of choice for their Celebrity Golf Tournament.  The Girl Scouts of America selected Katie, Katie Couric and a handful of others as honored women to present for their 100th Anniversary Celebration.   She has assisted the US Department of Education in developing and providing programs to women in high risk communities.   Her testimony on Capitol Hill was instrumental in the passage of federal student safety legislation.  In 2007, Coe College awarded her an honorary doctorate for her extensive work on student safety and public service.  In 2015, the US Department of State chose Katie to work with a delegation of Chinese diplomates at the United Nations on strategies to reduce sexual and relationship violence.

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Michelle Carroll

Outreach Director

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About me

Michelle Carroll joins Respect the Red as the Outreach Director. She is also the Campus Coordinator for the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA). In this role, she manages the ‘New York State Campus Consent Consortium’ program and develops the year-long education curriculum for its members. Michelle works with college administrators, Title IX coordinators, Campus Security personal, rape crisis center advocates, State Police, and students to collaboratively address collegiate sexual violence in New York. Prior to joining NYSCASA, Michelle worked in political consulting where she served a variety of clients in the women’s reproductive rights sphere and LGBTQ+ advocacy space. After college, Michelle served as an elementary school teacher with Teach For America in Southwest Philadelphia where she taught fifth and fourth grade.

Michelle graduated from cum laude from Franklin and Marshall College with a major in Government and honors in Comparative Literature. Michelle has been dedicated to raising awareness of sexual violence since her sophomore year of college, when she began to lead a student group that organized the university’s annual Take Back the Night. By the conclusion of her senior year, she had transformed the event from a gathering of 50 students and administrators, to a seminal advocacy event with 450 participants. Michelle enjoys writing on various topics including anti-sexual assault legislation, feminist activism, and Puerto Rican history. She currently writes for the online publications Guerrilla Feminism and The Radical Notion.

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Amanda Blaugher

Program Director, Take Back The Night Foundation

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About me

Amanda Blaugher serves as the Program Director for the Take Back The Night Foundation and is the Assistant Director of Residence Life at Penn State Harrisburg. Amanda oversees national campaigns such as 10 Points of Light and Respect My Red for the Take Back The Night Foundation.  She works with school, colleges, and communities to help them organize their walks, runs, vigils and other programming components.  She is the Conference Program Coordinator for Respect is Red:  The International Summit to End Sexual Violence. Amanda works tirelessly to assist event holders around the globe with planning and organizing their walks, runs, vigils and educational programs. Holding a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Shippensburg University, Amanda has been committed to raising awareness about all forms of sexual violence since she was a college student, at which time she created a Women’s Empowerment Program that oversaw all programming efforts on campus around sexual violence and healthy relationships. She has presented to over 200,000 students and professionals at more than 100 colleges, universities, military bases, corporations, non-profits and high schools across the country on sexual violence and healthy relationships.

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Taylor Hendrickson

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About me

Taylor Hendrickson is a recent graduate from Breck School in Golden Valley, MN. While at Breck, she was president of the International Club, a member of the Student Integrity Council, a JV volleyball player, and a member of Girls Learn International. Passionate about human rights and women’s rights, Taylor first became involved in Take Back The Night when she spoke to Katie Koestner after Katie visited her school. Although Taylor has written a research paper about sexual assault on college campuses and has researched sexual violence against Native American women, working at TBTN offers her an opportunity to learn about advocacy, education, and policy. Taylor is excited to work on Respect My Red to help educate others about consent and healthy relationships. She is especially interested in Respect My Red’s bystander intervention education, as she wishes she had learned more about this concept when she was first learning about consent. This fall, Taylor will matriculate at the University of St Andrews, where she will pursue a degree in International Relations.

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Tom Bissonette

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About me

Tom is a Psychotherapist, a College Professor, and a Developmental and Prevention Educator. He has taught courses on Adolescent and Young Adult Development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for over 20 years. He is the author of Sexual Civility – The Hot New College Romance, and Passionate About Prevention.

During his 25-plus years as a psychotherapist and faculty he created an effective model for helping youth understand and navigate their own development. He has trained therapists, educators, students, and parents all over the United States to use his Asynchronous (uneven) Development Model to assess the needs of youth, and help them set life goals.
A few years ago Tom left his full-time counseling position at the university to found YoungAndWiser, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides life education for teens and twenty-somethings. The organization’s staff and trained college interns conduct instructional and mentoring groups on a range of topics which include, social skills, sexual assault, alcohol and drug misuse, bullying and hazing, healthy relationship, and college success.
He is married, has four children, two dogs, and resides in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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