De Sousa named new coordinator of SAAP
By Allyson Bennett, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Thursday, May 15, 2008
Michelle de Sousa will take on the role of the College's Sexual Abuse Awareness Program coordinator on July 1, Xenia Markowitt, director of the Center for Women and Gender, and Mark Reed, director of counseling and health resources at Dick's House, said in an e-mail on Wednesday. Interim SAAP coordinator Rebel Roberts, a crime prevention specialist with Safety and Security and an instructor in the Rape Aggression and Defense Program, has served in the position since January, following the departure of the College's previous coordinator, Leah Prescott, in September 2007.
Roberts, who did not apply to be the permanent coordinator, will return to her full-time position with Safety and Security on June 1.
As SAAP coordinator, de Sousa will be responsible for Sexual Assault Peer Advisor training, sexual assault awareness programming, coordinating outreach and providing support to students who have been victims of sexual assault.
De Sousa was one of four candidates who participated in on-campus interviews at Dartmouth and made presentations to College staff and students in early April. Approximately 20 to 30 staff members met with each of the four candidates and gave feedback on their strengths and weaknesses to the CWG. De Sousa was the "universal favorite," Markowitt said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
"She brought a whole breadth of talent across the categories that we were looking for," Markowitt said. "It was very easy to choose someone that we knew had impressed a lot of people across campus."
Markowitt said de Sousa's previous experience working in higher education as a hall director at the University of San Francisco, her ability to view the issue of sexual assault from multiple perspectives and her capacity to help students in creative ways qualified her for the position.
"Michelle brings innovation in programming and understanding of the issues surrounding sexual violence on college [campuses]," Markowitt and Reed said in the e-mail. "We believe she will ably steward the SAAP to its next level of creating a caring community response to sexual violence in students' lives."
De Sousa has served as a Rape Crisis Counselor at San Francisco Women Against Rape and won the organization's Advocate-of-the-Year award, according to Markowitt's and Reed's e-mail. She received a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and a masters of education in student personnel administration in higher education from Springfield College.
De Sousa could not be reached for comment by press time.