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External Firm Selected to Work with Retriever Courage

January 15, 2019 10:26 AM
Dear Members of the UMBC Community,

We are pleased to announce that Jody Shipper, J.D., and Cherie Scricca, Ed.D. of Grand River Solutions, Inc. have been chosen to help UMBC address how it can better prevent and respond to sexual violence/misconduct. These consultants were selected after a formal competitive procurement process during the fall semester, which involved input from students, faculty, and staff. 

Shipper and Scricca are recognized for their expertise in both law and education. Shipper is a national expert on Title IX, and Scricca is known for her innovative approach to program development and management.

This team has broad and deep experience working with colleges and universities to address Title IX compliance in a framework that provides effective trauma-informed support and care, as well as experience developing programs that help prevent sexual misconduct. Their approach encourages lasting change by engaging all stakeholder groups, understanding the campus culture, and developing effective solutions to reduce our society’s tolerance of sexual violence and sexual assault. 

Shipper and Scricca will work with Retriever Courage partners and the UMBC community to review current university processes, policies, procedures, and practices regarding sexual misconduct to help determine what is working well and where we can learn from other institutions’ best practices and from evidence-based research. This effort will have a broad scope, beyond the specifics of Title IX alone, also including models for training students, faculty, and staff, and best practices for providing support to those impacted by sexual violence. 

The Retriever Courage Implementation Team, composed of UMBC administrators, faculty, staff, and student leaders, will facilitate the engagement of the university community with Grand River Solutions staff and share periodic progress reports with the campus.

We want to thank the members of the Procurement Evaluation Committee for their insight and contributions during the selection process: Bruce Herman, director of health and counseling; Bobbie L. Hoye, Title IX coordinator; Susan McDonough, associate professor of history and affiliate faculty of gender, women’s, and sexuality studies; Jess Myers, director of the Women’s Center and advisor of We Believe You; Christopher Murphy, professor of psychology; and Valerie Rolandelli, procurement lead. 

We also thank the Faculty/Staff/Student Procurement Advisory Group for their invaluable input: Nadia Benaissa, gender, women’s, and sexuality studies major and president of We Believe You; Michelle Bobovych, specialist, Division of Information Technology; Meryl Cozart, lecturer, sociology, anthropology, and health administration and policy; Jodi Kelber-Kaye, associate director, Honors College; Christa Lewis, doctoral student, human services psychology, clinical psychology and behavioral medicine track; Marcela Mellinger, associate professor, social work; Margarita Correa-Mendez, Ph.D. candidate, molecular and cell biology; Jim Milani, assistant dean of administration and operations, College of Engineering and Information Technology; John Platter, gender, women’s, and sexuality studies major and executive director of the LGBTQ Student Union; and Laura Ting, associate professor, social work. 

We encourage those who have observed or experienced sexual violence/misconduct to seek support as needed at any time. There are many resources available on campus and in the community that offer confidential medical support, confidential psychological/emotional support, and interim protective measures (e.g., no-contact orders, housing adjustments, academic concerns). For emergency situations, contact campus police via 410-455-5555 or local police via 911.

Thank you for your commitment to this work. The Implementation Team will continue to share updates on the consultants’ campus visits and process, additional Retriever Courage progress, and ways to stay engaged. 

Retriever Courage Implementation Team
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