Training Institute Overview
Respect My Red Leadership Training Institute and Certification for Student Leaders, Faculty and School Professionals. An interactive training course on peer leadership, respectful relationships and sexual misconduct.
Selected Respect My Red Faculty
TIERRA BARBER Membership Coordinator
GREG BERNABEO Partner, Saul Ewing
AMANDA BLAUGHER Program Director, Take Back The Night Foundation
GORDON BRAXTON Director of Men’s Involvement
MATTHEW COLPITTS Safety & Security Coordinator at Leman Manhattan Prepatory School; also served on Advisory Board for Culture of Respect initiative by NASPA; Vice-president and Co-founder of Center for Student Affairs Policy and Law (CSAPAL)
NANCY CONRAD Partner, White & Williams
BRANDON DAWSON Dean of Student Life, Elmira College
CATHERINE DOWNES Program Director
COURTNEY DREW Inclusivity Director
WILL HANNUM Partner, Schwartz-Hannum
KELLEY HODGE Of Counsel, Elliott Greenleaf
GARY KELLY Technical Lieutenant for Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit, NY State Police
KATIE KOESTNER Executive Director, Campus Outreach Services
SANDRA MILES Dean of Students, IUPUI-Columbus
JEREMY MUNSON Assistant Vice-President Student Affairs and Conduct, Stevenson University
NYK ROBERTSON, Events Coordinator
Tierra Barber has worked professionally in athletics at the local and national level for over a decade. Within Baylor University Athletics, she has served as a Study Hall and Tutor Coordinator, Academic Advisor, and is currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development. A natural leader, Ms. Barber has been the Chair of the Student-Athlete Development Committee, a recipient of the Professional Promise Award, and served on the board for N4A (National Association of Academic Athletic Advisors).
Currently active on the NCAA Membership and Student-Athlete Development Committees, her national positions have enabled her to reach hundreds of student-athletes across the US as a facilitator for the NCAA Career in Sports Forum and Leadership Forum, and with NFL Prep 1oo. Ms. Barber’s oversees the social media use of players at Baylor and mentors the athletes on maximizing their potential. Ms. Barber trains and presents on sexual misconduct, hazing, diversity, harassment, cyber-civility and appropriate use of social media.
In 2011, Ms. Barber attended the NCAA Leadership Institute, and now serves as the Director of the Baylor Leadership Academy, helping over 75 student-athletes identify and excel in their leadership annually. She also instructs a freshman course that helps student-athletes transition into collegiate athletics, the university, and the community.
Partner, Saul Ewing
Greg Bernabeo brings a multidimensional approach to problem solving for a wide array of entities, including non-profits, corporations of all sizes and educational organizations. Assisted by his academic training and degrees in mechanical engineering, business and law, Greg’s analytical style and perspective are tremendous assets in risk management, intellectual property, and university policy. Greg is an attorney and partner at the Saul Ewing law firm, with eleven offices throughout the mid-Atlantic. He works in concert with the firm’s Higher Education Practice Group, which provides trusted “one-stop” legal services for institutions of higher education. The team has extensive expertise in assisting the Higher Education community, including experience related to Title IX investigations and litigation, Clery Act compliance, discrimination claims, and challenges to student conduct sanctions. Greg enjoys bringing legal concepts to life via training and workshops. Greg is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and before the United States Supreme Court.
Program Director, Take Back The Night Foundation
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.
Founder, CBK Enterprises
Chimi Boyd-Keyes is a much sought after consultant, speaker, trainer and grant writer. Chimi has directed two university Women’s Centers, one at a historically black university (HBCU) and one at a predominantly white university (PWI). Chimi was the co-principal investigator of the only published study to date on Sexual Assault at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She has been a consultant for the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She serves on both state-wide Domestic Violence Prevention and Sexual Assault Prevention taskforces in North Carolina. Chimi co-founded Helpers and Advocates for Violence Ending Now (HAVEN), an award-winning program which trains faculty, staff, and students to be allies for students who are survivors of sexual and relationship violence and stalking, and Circle of Sisters, an initiative dedicated to women’s leadership development. She has successfully applied for and has been awarded over $2.5 million in grants and sponsorships and works with non-profits and educational institutions to help them meet their financial goals through grant writing. A native of Durham, NC, Chimi is proud to have received both her BA and MA in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University, respectively.
Director of Men’s Involvement
The November 2015 issue of Ebony magazine identified Gordon Braxton as a “Superman” because he is a committed activist focused on fighting intimate violence. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and has a Master’s in Education from Harvard. He began his work in sexual violence prevention as a peer educator in an all-male anti-violence group at the University of Virginia as an undergraduate. UVA awarded him the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award, the University’s highest award for humanitarian service. He also won the Black Fraternal Council’s Man of the Year Award, among other distinctions.
After college he joined Katie Koestner and COS and has gone on to present to over 100 secondary schools, colleges, universities, community organizations, and military institutions throughout the country. From 2005 to 2009, Gordon was the Prevention Specialist at Harvard University’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and helped implement the school’s violence prevention policies. He remains an ally to the violence prevention community as a blogger on manhood and rape culture, as a part-time public speaker, and as an occasional contributor to radio and television engagements.
Gordon’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Ebony Magazine, and VoiceMale. He is the recipient of the Men of Vision Award by Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault, the 2000 Gilbert J. Sullivan Award from the University of Virginia’s Parents Program; the 2001 Gregory Raven Batipps Scholarship; and the Association of Black Harvard Women’s 2007 “Strivers in the Community” Panel Position. Gordon has keynoted conferences and events at Harvard, Brown, University of San Diego, Colorado College, Fordham University, and over 100 other schools.
Associate Director of External Programming, End Rape on Campus
Michelle Carroll is the Campus Coordinator for the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA). She graduated with Honors from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a degree in Government and Comparative Literature. During her time at F&M, Michelle organized the community’s Take Back the Night for three years. After college, Michelle served as an elementary school teacher with Teach For America in Southwest Philadelphia. She currently writes for the online publications Guerrilla Feminism and The Radical Notion.
Safety & Security Coordinator at Leman Manhattan Prepatory School; also served on Advisory Board for Culture of Respect initiative by NASPA; Vice-president and Co-founder of Center for Student Affairs Policy and Law (CSAPAL)
Matthew Colpitts is Dean of Students at Interlochen Arts Academy. Matthew has extensive experience in student affairs. Previously, he worked in student affairs and emergency management at Utah State University. While at USU, he worked with the community to improve campus safety. Matthew was also the Associate Director of the Landmark College High School Program, serving as the senior student affairs official for the college’s program for high school students with learning disabilities. He also held several other important roles at Landmark, including staff representative to the trustees. He is currently a doctoral candidate, studying emergency management, higher education, and student affairs.
Dean of Student Life, Elmira College
Brandon Dawson is the Dean of Student Life of Elmira College in Southern New York. With thirteen years of experience in the field of higher education, Brandon brings with him knowledge and skills to manage and implement services and activities around student conduct and crisis management. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Justice, from the State University of New York College at Cortland and Masters in Educational Leadership from Manhattanville College. Brandon has served in numerous leadership roles including Vice President of Student Affairs at Endicott College and the Dean of Students in the Division of Student Affairs at Manhattanville College. Brandon has certifications in BASICS, Clery Compliance from the Clery Center, Sexual Assault Investigator Training from Boston University and is active member of various Student Affairs National Organizations. Alongside his professional roles, Brandon is recognized as an expert in campus safety and student conduct. He has presented regionally and nationally on both topics and been hired by colleges to speak on topics related to student safety.
Catherine Downes’s combines her passion for supporting and challenging students to develop personal advocacy with her zeal for helping educational institutions utilize data in analyzing and shaping their resources, personnel and policies. Her career began as a Resident Director at Roanoke College, but rapidly progressed to Dean of Students and then Executive Director & Title IX Coordinator for a multi-campus university. Catherine deploys her twenty-five years of experience and acumen as a Senior Program Director at Campus Outreach Services. She oversees all Respect My Red Training Institutes, Gender and Sexual Misconduct Climate Surveys and analysis, as well as assists schools with risk management, policy development and program implementation. School administrators rave about her ability to quickly turn data into a mindful plan of action to better address risk issues, especially as they relate to gender, sexual misconduct, inclusivity, safety and overall wellness. Catherine also serves as the co-director of the Wellness Connect Webinar and Curriculum Series, coordinating live webcasts with nationally renowned experts, authors, researchers and advocates on pressing issues facing students, parents and educational institutions.
Catherine holds a B.S. in Communications and a M.S. in Counseling and Human Development from Radford University. She is pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University. She is well-respected as a thought leader and visionary in Title IX, Student Conduct policies and procedures, behavior intervention teams, assessment, and student development. She currently resides in Florida with her husband and three children.
“Drew,” as SHE is known, has an incredible capability to connect with everyone she meets. As she’s come into her queer identity over the course of her adult life, Drew understands what it’s like to be different and misunderstood. More importantly, she knows the happiness that comes with embracing our authentic selves, and the strength that comes from advocating for others. With a targeted focus on leadership, diversity, and inclusivity, Drew educates audiences using empowering, engaging, and motivational stories. Drew has been voted by both peers and students as a top presenter at statewide and regional conferences, and consistently receives positive feedback from workshop and presentation attendees.
Drew discovered her passion for working with and advocating for diverse populations as she began her graduate school journey at Stony Brook University. Now, Drew continues her advocacy through work as an active member of NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and presentations for NASPA (National Association of Student Affairs Professionals). Drew has a particularly strong interest in educating about LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities and has been a key player in the design of LGBT Safe Zone curricula at several Higher Education Institutions.
Drew graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Broadfield Social Studies and was certified as a teacher in grades 6-12. She earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education from Stony Brook University.
Regional Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator for Hudson Health Dept., Hudson MA
Colin travels throughout the country to colleges and high schools to connect with students, especially men, about the importance of taking a stand against sexual violence in all forms. He shares stories from his own life experience as well as the interactive program, “He Said-She Said.” He holds two bachelor’s degrees from Connecticut College in Philosophy and Classical History and a master’s degree in Public Health from Boston University. Colin’s leadership has included implementation of programs in compliance with Title IX, VAWA and the Campus Security Act within a wide variety of institutions of higher education as well as K-12 schools. Colin founded the 1 in 4 chapter at Connecticut College, and has presented at over 100 national and regional conferences, school assemblies, keynotes and workshops on the issue of sexual violence and men’s roles in ending sexual assault.
Hillary Grumbine grew up in a small town—the kind where everyone knows everyone and their business. But what most folks did not know is that the home in which Hillary grew up was a violent home. Hillary’s mother is a domestic violence survivor and Hillary’s experiences growing up shaped who she is today, both personally and professionally.
As a Violence Prevention Educator and Advocate for a small liberal arts college, Hillary’s work is informed by her expertise as a sexuality educator. Her philosophy is that comprehensive sex education is also violence prevention education. She believes that access to medically accurate, developmentally appropriate, and culturally competent, trauma informed comprehensive sex education is crucial in violence prevention. She has crafted messages to provide age-appropriate information to audiences at all life stages, from 5th grade to adulthood. Hillary holds two Masters Degrees: one in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education and Women’s Studies and the other in Human Sexuality Education. Hillary is a PhD candidate in Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies doctoral program.
When not working, Hillary enjoys trying new restaurants with her partner, playing with her toddler, reading, or making lists because she always has a plan in the works for something.
William E. Hannum III is Managing Partner of Schwartz Hannum PC in Andover, MA. Will represents employers and educators in the full spectrum of labor and employment law matters, including employment litigation, labor relations and collective bargaining and employment counseling. Will advises the Firm’s school and education clients on the full range of education law issues, including reports of abuse, as well as student and employee matters, risk management, compliance, and documentation ranging from employment contracts to handbooks to bullying prevention and intervention plans. He has also represented unionized and non-unionized employers (including for profit and non-profit organizations) throughout the United States in a variety of industries. Since 2012, Will has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading attorney in Labor and Employment Law. Will has been selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer® and top Labor and Employment attorney in Massachusetts for each consecutive year since 2004. Will currently serves as a member on the Labor & Employment Education Steering Committee for the Boston Bar Association and is a frequent speaker and author on labor and employment law.
Attorney, Irvin Law Firm
Jules C. Irvin-Rooney, J.D. is a legal consultant and advocate. She serves as President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, LLC, an affiliate of The Irvin Law Firm. Ms. Irvin-Rooney’s concentration areas include education and higher education law, and her specialties are Title IX, Clery Act, FERPA, and Special Education issues. Working with both students and institutions, Ms. Irvin-Rooney strives to empower all to know their rights about sexual violence and Title IX. She provides her expertise and analysis to a variety of educational settings regarding K-12 and higher education on school sexual assault prevention and compliance with federal guidelines. Additionally, she facilitates training for schools and advocacy groups regarding compliance issues, and implements discussions of “best practices.” Ms. Irvin-Rooney is the founding Board Chair for Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS) and also serves as an Advisory Board Member to S.E.S.A.M.E. (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct & Exploitation). Ms. Irvin-Rooney holds a J.D. from William & Mary Law School where she was awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers Award along with the Dean’s Certificate for special and outstanding service to the law school community. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Rhetoric & Communications Studies and Sociology. In addition, she earned her Master’s degree in English: Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University.
When people meet Marcus Jones, they never guess the layers of pain and abuse tucked behind his warm smile, witty banter, and fabulous charisma. Fourth in a family of 8 boys and one girl, Marcus was compelled to grow up fast in West Philadelphia starting at age 10, when his mother was killed in a tragic automobile accident. His youth became a daily effort to thrive in challenging circumstances, including sexual abuse starting at age 7. In losing his mother, Marcus lost his primary source of guidance and direction. Consequently, he endured years of trauma after her death.
Fortunately, as a gifted child, he qualified for the rigorous Franklin Learning Center, where he excelled academically as he developed his talent and skill for acting, singing and performing. On the stage, no one knew the secrets Marcus concealed beneath the costumes and makeup. Blessed with an insatiable thirst for knowledge of all things, Marcus found he could easily accomplish most anything by teaching himself. As he began to escape the abuse and sexual trauma, he found the strength to forge his own way in life, able to succeed in corporate customer service, hospitality and a wide array of business fields.
What propels Marcus to speak and educate on sexual violence is his own personal experience as a survivor, but also his deep desire to challenge a culture that devalues kindness, respect and valuation of others’ bodies, minds and differing backgrounds. His audiences rave at his openness, vulnerability, strength, and passion. He presents often to men about masculinity and bystander engagement, as well as healthy relationships and how men of color need to join the conversation and act to end sexual violence. Marcus leaves his audiences not only better informed about healthy relationships and sexual violence, but visibly motivated to take on the role of change agent!
Marcus is an avid athlete and father of 3 children. He enjoys entertaining, acting, and advocacy for those who don’t always find their own voice.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Conduct, Kent State University
Todd Kamenash has been the Director of the Office of Student Conduct (formerly Judicial Affairs) at Kent State University since 2010. Prior to that, Todd worked at the University at Buffalo from 1998 – 2010 as the assistant and then associate director of Judicial Affairs / Student Advocacy (formerly Ombudsman). Todd’s skill sets include experience in writing and rewriting Codes of Conduct, multicultural competence for student affairs administrators, addressing sexual harassment and misconduct through campus discipline procedures, and developing process flows for various student affairs functions. Todd has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on numerous topics pertaining to campus life and disciplinary matters. Some of Todd’s presentations include the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy, “Campus Conduct Processes for Sexual Assault” and various workshops at the Association for Student Conduct Administration International & Regional Conferences.
Technical Lieutenant for Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Unit, NY State Police
Gary Kelly is a thirty-year veteran with the New York State Police, currently assigned to oversee the NY State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit (CSAVU) and the Special Victims Unit (SVU). In the dual role, Gary is responsible for managing the staff and work of CSAVU members across the state in their outreach to college and university campuses, and implementing a prevention education campaign and response training program. He is also responsible for managing the staff and work of the state police members assigned to the Special Victims Unit. He oversees the development and implementation of law enforcement training in the fields of child abuse, sexual offense investigations, elder abuse, and the state’s AMBER Alert program. He is responsible for the management of New York State’s AMBER Alert child abduction program. Gary has served on numerous task forces and committees, including the New York State Children’s Justice Task Force, the Capital Region Sexual Assault Response Team, and the NYS Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. He has more than nineteen years of field experience as an investigator, conducting investigations of child abuse, sexual assaults, and other felony offenses. Gary holds a Master’s Degree from the State University of New York at Albany School of Criminal Justice and has instructed law enforcement and social service agencies for two decades.
Executive Director, Campus Outreach Services
Katie Koestner is a national expert on student safety and technology issues. She has appeared on the cover of TIMEMagazine, 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.
Alli Tombros Korman
Senior Director of Culture of Respect Initiative for NASPA
Alli is Executive Director of Culture of Respect, an organization dedicated to ending campus sexual assault. Culture of Respect provides tools, including the CORE Blueprint, to aid all constituents at colleges and universities in their work to end sexual violence and restore the promise of higher education. In her role, Alli works to ensure that all higher education institutions, wherever they may be on the road to creating their own campus’ culture of respect, have the resources they need to achieve this mission and the opportunity to learn from evidence-based research and the best practices of their colleagues. Alli brings to Culture of Respect more than ten years’ experience in health policy, programming, and education with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has provided management, support, and technical assistance to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and served as the Associate Director of Education for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) in Washington, DC.
Dr. Peter Langman
Psychologist, Author and School Safety Expert
Dr. Peter Langman is a psychologist whose work on school shooters has received international recognition. His book, Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, was named an Outstanding Academic Title and was translated into German, Dutch, and Finnish. His latest book, School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators was published in 2015. Dr. Langman’s research has been cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill and thousands of news outlets. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, The Today Show, CBS, 20/20, Fox, CNN, the BBC, and over 200 other news outlets in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. In 2013, Dr. Langman served on Pennsylvania’s Joint State Government’s Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention. After the Sandy Hook attack, his recommendations on school safety were presented to President Obama by the CEO of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Langman has trained thousands of professionals in education, mental health, and law enforcement on identifying potential school shooters. He maintains the largest online collection of materials relating to school shooters at schoolshooters.info. He is in private practice in Allentown, PA.
Founder, React Mobile
Robb Monkman was the victim of an armed robbery and hostage situation while in college. He nearly lost his life and feels lucky to be alive today. Out of his personal experience, Robb co-founded Reach Mobile. Presently, Robb serves as the CEO of the company. He has over a decade of marketing and management experience at multiple start-ups. Prior to launching React Mobile, Robb served as the Marketing Director for software startup marketing emergency communications software to the Department of Defense (DoD) and to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With his current work, he is determined to develop a powerful personal safety platform to transform the way people call for help in emergencies and his team is making tomorrow a safer place. React Mobile is already helping people all over the world.
Kate Parker has always followed the rules. She grew up in a small town where she took pride in staying out of trouble while planning for a shiny future in a big city. Kate believed she could change the world for the better in many ways. Unfortunately, her plans were stymied when, shortly after arriving at college, a star upper class student athlete raped her. She successfully pursued her case through the school conduct system, and went on to reform policies, procedures and better protect her classmates and improve safety at her campus. She sought out leadership in student government, created task forces and motivated her own administrators.
Kate received her bachelor’s in Political Science with minors in English and Philosophy from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. Kate is the Co-Director of Wellness-Connect, a year-long series of live-web training and online learning on essential wellness and safety issues facing students, their parents and their campuses. Kate also presents on the Respect My Red training team to both educate students about healthy relationships and reduce the incidence of sexual misconduct. Kate shares her personal story with high school and college students across the country with the goal of bringing hope to fellow survivors and educating those who were unaware of the reality of assaults on campuses across America.
Her audiences rave about Kate’s genuine delivery about her personal experience, so that even those without a personal experience are pulled into the conversation. Kate enjoys answering questions about consent, supporting survivors, and what we can each do to get involved. Male students compliment her approachability and unbiased approach, so they feel included and not blamed. When not working, Kate enjoys swimming and playing her trumpet.
Nyk Robertson grew up in Kansas as a young queer person. Their struggle with reconciling their family, religion, queerness and gender identity in small town America is what built their resilience as well as drive to support others going through similar struggles. They currently work with undergraduate students specifically offering services and support for Asian American, LatinX, Multiracial, Native American, Queer (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), low-income, international, and first-generation college students.
Nyk has a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in poetry and a Master’s in Gender Culture Studies. Having served in various roles in higher education, and most recently as Swarthmore College’s Director of Inclusivity and Diversity, Nyk is not working on a Ph.D with a focus on the ways in which language constructs a subjectivity for gender non-binary folx and how spoken word poetry produces a space for this language to be created in a way other literature does not. Nyk considers every presentation another opportunity to share this language and these lived experiences of the LGBTQ+ community with more folx and broaden the conversation around these experiences.
Nyk’s personal journey was not an easy one, yet it provides a powerful door to open the conversation to those who may not have considered what it means to be non-binary in a world replete with binary operation. By drawing on their own experiences, but also those of other LGBTQ+ members, Nyk brings a sincerity and authenticity to their presentations that often builds networks and continuing dialogue past the program and day of training.
Partner, Saul Ewing
James D. Taylor is Co-Chair of Saul Ewing’s Higher Education Practice. He routinely represents colleges and universities nationwide, as well as K-12 education institutions, including charter schools. Jim has served as lead counsel in lawsuits brought by college and university students alleging a violation of Title IX, has provided training on Title IX and VAWA compliance, revised and been consulted on related policies and assisted institutions in responding to investigations by the Office for Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Education. Jim has also been lead counsel on matters involving student death, hazing, assaults and student or student group (including fraternity and sorority) discipline. In his K-12 and charter school practice, in addition to providing general advice and compliance, including Title IX, Jim has advised education institutions in matters involving student disciplinary issues, allegations of discrimination, employment advice, and special education disputes.
Nakia Waters has always had a passion for helping students succeed, inspired initially by her grandmother’s commitment to academic pursuit in a time when black women had few options. Nakia carries this passion into her work with students of all ages- early education to college. As a first-generation college student, Nakia is eternally grateful for those who have supported her in achieving her dream of a college degree. She loves providing this same support to students in pursuit of their own academic dreams and holistic personal growth.
At Swarthmore College, Nakia works in Student Affairs as a resource for students who identify as first generation/low income, students of color and LGBTQ+ students. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing and a master’s degree in Counseling in Educational Settings, both from Rowan University, Nakia is also a licensed school counselor and her career path has included a wide range of experiences in education, including primary schools, secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. While in graduate school, Nakia worked in the Social Justice office with the peer mentoring program. She had a gift for connecting new students to their peers to better assist them in navigating the transition to college.
As a public speaker, Nakia is applauded for her ability to connect with students of all ages. Schools rave about her ability to inspire and engage students of color, especially women, on topics for self-esteem, self-advocacy, and empowerment. She presents on the Respect My Red Team to educate students about healthy relationships and sexual misconduct.