In an effort to provide a cohesive foundation of knowledge, skills, and practice for students to navigate experiences in safe and inclusive ways, three required programs for first-year students are merging together under what is now collectively known as Community Matters.
All first-year students at the University of Michigan are required to attend three different programs by the end of their first semester. During the month of August, students are required to complete online courses called AlcoholEdu and Haven, which provide strong educational foundations in alcohol and other drugs, sexual assault, healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and campus policies and resources. Staff from SAPAC and University Health Services partner together on this effort.
During the months of September and October, all first-year students attend Relationship Remix, a nationally recognized program that helps students understand key components around consent, communication, decision-making, sexual health and healthy relationships. Participants reflect upon personal values, gain knowledge, and build skills in a safe and fun environment to help them navigate relationships and life at the University of Michigan. Staff and students from SAPAC, University Health Service’s Sexperteam group, and University Housing partner together on this effort.
During October and November, students attend Change It Up!, a bystander intervention workshop that teaches students the skills needed to identify and respond to a wide array of harmful situations in order to increase inclusion and respect in their communities. Students and staff from Student Life collaborate with the University of Michigan’s Educational Theater Company on this effort to conduct this interactive, theater-based workshop.
In order to manage the alignment and merging of these three programs, Student Life provided funding for several new positions including a Program Manager and Project Coordinator. These two new positions are supervised by me, Anne Huhman, Program Manager for Education and Prevention at SAPAC, and Will Sherry, Director of the Spectrum Center, with regular consultation from Mary Jo Desprez, Director of the Wolverine Wellness office at UHS. We are thrilled to have brought on Karla Talley as the new Community Matters Program Manager and Katrina Daoud as the new Community Matters Project Coordinator. They both bring an incredible amount of knowledge and skill, and we are happy to have them leading out this new and exciting set of work. Welcome Karla and Katrina!
Karla Talley: As the new Community Matters Program Manager, Karla is now bridging the gap between her passions and interests in diversity and inclusion work with her career path and she couldn't be more excited! For the past two years, Karla was a Program Advisor in the Center for Campus Involvement, planning a wide variety of events with a great student staff team. While in graduate school at Loyola University Chicago, Karla interned at a handful of the City of Chicago institutions including: Roosevelt University, Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Chicago, which afforded her some great experiences that brought her over to UM! Prior to grad school, Karla worked in marketing in a suburb of Chicago.
Katrina Daoud: Katrina Daoud is the Community Matters Project Coordinator in Student Life. Before that, she was the Relationship Remix Coordinator in SAPAC. Katrina is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Her professional interests include health education and data analysis, with a focus on college health and wellness and gender-based violence prevention.
Anne Huhman, MSW
Program Manager for Education and Prevention, SAPAC