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 Winter 2019 Newsletter
Member Spotlight

From speaking at conferences to receiving grants for groundbreaking projects our members have been working hard this past year to help bring awareness and think through solutions to combat gender-based violence. We would like to take this time to spotlight some of our members' most recent published work and thank them for their continued advocacy within the field. If you would like to let us know about your most recent work please send all inquiries to Please note article links may not include the full text.

Drs. Angie Kennedy, Deborah Bybee, Heather McCauley, Carrie Moylan, and Doctoral Candidate Kristen Prock recently published "Predictors of Sexual Violence Across Young Women's Relationship Histories" in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Read their article here.

Dr. Carrie Moylan and doctoral student McKenzie Javorka's publication "Widening the Lens: An Ecological Review of Campus Sexual Assault" was published in Trauma, Violence & Abuse.  Read their article here.


Dr. Heather McCauley's essay about leadership creating change which was published in MSUToday in October. Read Dr. McCauley's essay here. 

An interview with Dr. April Zeoli

RCGV member April Zeoli recently spoke at the annual TEDMED conference in Palm Springs, California! We want to celebrate Dr. Zeoli's accomplishment by sharing a little bit about her experience with you. We asked her a few questions and have provided her answers below. Congrats Dr. Zeoli, we look forward to celebrating your future accomplishments!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
AZ: I’m a public health researcher who became faculty at a School of Criminal Justice. Over the years, I’ve benefitted from both fields and have been referred to as a “public health criminologist.” I’m also a mother of two amazing sons and have a wonderful and incredibly supportive husband.

2. Tell us a little about your research.
AZ: My research focuses on the prevention of intimate partner violence and homicide. The risk of intimate partner homicide increases when a violent intimate has access to a gun, and the majority of intimate partner homicides are committed with guns. Because of this risk, we have federal and state laws that legally restrict some intimate partner violence perpetrators from having guns. My research focuses on the impact of those laws (e.g., do they reduce intimate partner homicide rates?) and how they are implemented in communities (e.g., how do local authorities make sure that someone restricted from having a gun doesn’t have a gun?).

3. What is the most important take away from your research on firearms and intimate partner violence?
AZ: The most important message is that when states have certain laws prohibiting intimate partner violence perpetrators from having guns, intimate partner homicide rates go down. This suggests that these laws save lives. Because we know that these laws aren’t being implemented to the fullest extent in every single community (in other words, we know that not every person restricted from accessing a gun relinquishes all the guns they already have), it is possible that even more lives can be saved with better implementation of the laws.

4. You recently spoke at the TEDMED conference in California. How was preparing for the talk, what did you do in preparation?
AZ: Writing the talk took several weeks. I had to learn how to write a talk for a general audience, instead of writing it like a lecture or a scientific paper. As a professor who gives multiple lectures a week and writes multiple scientific papers a year, this was quite a challenge. Once the talk was written, I had to memorize it. There are no teleprompters for TEDMED speakers! I memorized this 15-minute talk one paragraph at a
time, and practiced it every time I drove somewhere. I also had support from the TEDMED team who video conferenced with me several times before the event and gave me tips on delivery.

5. Is public speaking something you enjoy, something you were looking forward to?
AZ: I do enjoy public speaking. As researchers, so much of what we do is unseen. When I speak publicly, I get immediate feedback from the audience and can start a dialogue with them that goes on after the talk is over. Public speaking starts conversations in a way that publishing a paper is not able to. I study firearm laws and intimate partner violence. My research results need to be communicated to the public so they can communicate what firearm laws they want their state or federal government to have to their legislators. My research, ultimately, is for the public. Public speaking, particularly at high profile events like TEDMED, is the best way to share my research with the public.

6. Tell us about the experience of talking about your research in front of
a large audience.

 AZ: While there were multiple hundred people in the TEDMED auditorium, there were countless others watching the live stream of the event. And there will be even more, possibly over a million people (this is not uncommon for TEDMED talks), that will see the talk once it is freely available on the web. I am an accomplished public speaker, but the number of people who will see this talk, and the way in which this talk defines my career at this moment, made me nervous. But, it was a wonderful experience and has led to more opportunities to share my research with the general public.

7. How did the crowd respond to your presentation?
AZ: The crowd was great. Very attentive. I got a standing ovation after the presentation.

8. Is this something you would want to do again?
AZ: I would love to do something like TEDMED again. It was an incredible amount of work, but definitely worth it.

9. Is there anywhere we can access your talk online?
AZ: There isn’t yet, but there will be. TEDMED will release the talk for people to freely view online sometime in 2019. The date they will post the talk has not been decided yet, but I will let you know as soon as I do.

10.Anything else worth mentioning about the experience overall?
AZ: Being a TEDMED speaker was an honor and a privilege. It is one of the highlights of my career. The best part about it, though, is the visibility that it gives to my research findings that suggest that we can save lives with firearm restrictions for intimate partner violence perpetrators.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day: January 11, 2019

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is “modern-day slavery”. Human trafficking is the force or coercion of labor or a sexual act. Though there are similarities, human trafficking is not the same as human smuggling across borders. Human trafficking impacts people and communities from all backgrounds, but individuals experiencing poverty may be at a higher risk. On January 11th, wear blue and share a photo on social media with #WearBlueDay and #WeWearBlueBecause to raise awareness about human trafficking. Include a statement about why you are participating in #WearBlueDay to help educate your friends, family, and peers and create conversation! For more information about human trafficking, see tools and teach.

National Stalking Awareness Month

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking can be defined as a series of unwanted actions towards an individual, to control or harass them. Most stalking occurs in abusive relationships or after the relationship has ended. However, some survivors of stalking have experienced stalking from people other than intimate partners. Common stalking tactics often include following: coming to an individual’s home or work uninvited, property damage, using technology to track someone and other actions to control or threaten someone. For more information on Michigan laws on stalking, click here

New Year, New Affirmations! 

Job Corner

Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention          
Join the MSU Sexual Assault Program Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention (SACI) team. Advocates staff the crisis phone line and chat to supportto survivors of sexual assault. For more information and to apply, email Kathryn at Application is due January 25th. 

 Counselor and advocates - End Violent Encounters (EVE)
EVE is seeking a full-time Sexual Assault Counselor in Clinton County, Legal Advocates, Medical Advocates and Crisis Line Advocates to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence. To learn more about these rewarding employment opportunities, apply here.

Upcoming Events

Finding our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak
The MSU Museum is hosting a Speaker Series. This series will take place throughout the spring semester and is a partnership between the MSU Museum and the Army of Survivors. The first event of the series, “Understanding Trauma: Scientific, Clinical, and Interpretive Perspectives on Sexual Violence,” will take place at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. The order of speakers in this event is as follows Rebecca Campbell (Psychology), Tana Fedewa (Sexual Assault Program); Amy Bonomi (Human Development and Family Studies Department), Nicole Buchanan (Psychology), Melissa Hudecz (Army of Survivors ). Moderator: Heather L. McCauley (Human Development & Family Studies).  For more information on this event and other talks in the series, visit the event webpage.
Women's March 2019 
The MSU Women's Council has organized a Women's March on MSU's campus on January 20 at 1pm. The march will begin at the MSU Union followed by a rally at the Hannah Administration Building.

Support RCGV Work   

We appreciate your generosity! Money donated to this fund is used to directly support research and outreach activities related to ending and preventing violence against women, and improving the community response to survivors. Contribute now. 

Our MSU Partners 

The Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence (RCGV) provides a collaborative, multi-disciplinary vehicle for Michigan State University faculty and students to engage in social action research that influences significant local, state, national and international practice and policy related to gender-based violence. 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on how we can serve you better, please 
 contact our Outreach Coordinator Nala Jackson at
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