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UAlbany Conference Addresses Sexual Assault on College Campuses

National leaders in research, law enforcement, and advocacy examine collaborative responses to sexual assault within institutions of higher education and their surrounding communities

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



ALBANY, N.Y. (June 18, 2010) -- The University at Albany will host a regional conference addressing sexual assault among college students, June 22-23, in the Campus Center on the Uptown Campus.

This comprehensive conference, entitled "Effective Responses to Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Putting the Pieces Together" is designed for a variety of audiences, including law enforcement, campus safety/security officers, prosecutors, medical personnel, advocates, campus responders, and other professionals and will address a broad range of issues pertaining to the multidisciplinary response to sexual assault in our diverse campus communities. The conference is being hosted by the University Counseling Center and its Sexual Assault Resource Center as part of its U.S Department of Justice, Office on Violence against Women Campus Grant Initiative. Conference organizers anticipate participation by more than 160 campus and community representatives from the Capital Region and other areas of New York State.

"Interdisciplinary collaboration is both an essential and very effective component of a comprehensive, sexual assault campus-community response team." said Dr. Estela Rivero, University Counseling Center director. "It is by having partners from a broad range of professions that we are best able to offer timely and responsive services that meet the needs of our students who are victims of sexual assault."

Conference Speakers

Paul DerOhannesian IIis a member at the firm DerOhannesian and DerOhannesian.He served as assistant district attorney with the Albany County District Attorney's Office and for 22 years headed the D.A.'s Special Assault Unit. Federal and state executive and legislative bodies tap his expertise and he has testified before such groups as the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, the New York State Commission on Investigations, and the New York State Senate Committee on Crime and Correction. He was appointed by Governor Pataki to the Advisory Board of the New York State Department of Children and Family Services and is also a member of the New York State Children's Justice Task Force Forensic Interview Steering Committee.

Dr. David Lisak is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the study of the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence. His research focuses on the motives and behaviors of rapists and murderers, the impact of childhood abuse on adult men, and the relationship between child abuse and later violence. He consults nationally with law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and the U.S. military, and he was the founding editor of the journal, Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

Christopher Mallios is an attorney advisor for AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence against Women. As an attorney advisor, he presents on trial strategy, legal analysis and policy, and ethical issues related to violence against women at the local, state, and national level. He conducts research; develops training materials, resources, and publications; and provides case consultation and technical assistance for prosecutors and allied professionals.

Dr. Brian P. Marx is a staff psychologist in the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System and is an associate professor of Psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Marx’s research focuses on identifying risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sexual revictimization, understanding the nature of peritraumatic experience and its relation to PTSD, prevention of sexual revictimization, developing brief treatments for PTSD and other post trauma difficulties, and cognitive sequelae (e.g., attempts to suppress memory, disturbances in self-concept to trauma).

Jennifer M. Sommers is counsel to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the largest sheriff’s office in New York State. As counsel, she confidentially advises the sheriff and performs legal work on matters affecting the nearly 1,200 members of the office.  Prior to assuming that position, she was an assistant district attorney for eleven years. The first seven years were spent prosecuting cases in Livingston County, a rural upstate New York community. She spent the final four years in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in Rochester, New York. She was assigned to the Major Felony Bureau where she prosecuted violent felonies exclusively, including sexual assaults and murder.

Russell W. Strand is the chief of the U.S. Army Military Police School Family Advocacy Law Enforcement Training Division. Mr. Strand is a retired U.S. Army CID Special Agent with over 30 years of law enforcement, investigative and consultation experience. He has specialized expertise, experience and training in the area of domestic violence intervention, trafficking in persons, sexual assault, critical incident peer support and child abuse investigations.

Registration and breakfast begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, June 22, and the event runs until 4:30 p.m. The conference continues on Wednesday, June 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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