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Education and Prevention Programs

In 2017, Vanderbilt was one of five recipients of the Campus Prevention Network’s 2017 Prevention Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in sexual assault prevention. The university provides numerous programs that address sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence, including the intersection of alcohol and drug use with sexual partners.

Programs for Students

Vanderbilt is committed to preventing and addressing student sexual misconduct from their first days on campus and throughout their time at Vanderbilt.

  • CommonVU offers roughly a week of activities and  events for first-year students to introduce them to the living-learning communities of their houses and The Ingram Commons, the faculties and academic classes of their schools, the norms and values of the Vanderbilt community, upperclass students and their organizations, and Nashville. During CommonVU, students participate in three sessions related to sexual misconduct.
  • Project Safe provides comprehensive, year-round violence prevention programming to undergraduate, graduate and professional students in order to raise awareness and help prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and dating and domestic violence. Project Safe also offers orientation for new student-athletes, including dating violence and sexual assault prevention.
  • The Center for Student Wellbeing offers a variety of student-focused programming. The center is an integral part of the Student Care Network, providing resources and support services to all students in support of their health and wellness.

Programs for Faculty and Staff

Vanderbilt provides regular and ongoing training to faculty and staff, including senior administrators, on issues pertaining to sexual misconduct.

Programs for Biomedical Scientists

Vanderbilt is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment for research and for post-doctoral fellow and graduate student training.

  • First-year SOM-BS graduate students participate in an Intensive Mentoring Program for Advancement and Career Training (IMPACT) by meeting weekly in groups with an assigned mentor. Discussions cover a range of topics, including choosing a research lab, interacting with faculty and staff, and responsibly conducting research. IMPACT leaders serve as trusted individuals for whom students can turn for detailed advice or direction to other sources when difficult issues arise.
  • Vanderbilt is the only university in the country implementing a Culturally Aware Mentor Training workshop developed by Chris Pfund and Angela-Byars Winston of the National Research Mentoring Network and Center for Improvement of Research Mentoring Experiences. As a result of three recently facilitated workshops, the SOM-BS has 75 trained mentors across leadership and faculty who play key roles in graduate education. Pre and post workshop surveys are implemented to assess mentoring skills gained and actual impact on mentoring practices.
  • Vanderbilt is aware of the risks created by power differentials in graduate training and is actively implementing policies to address them. In SOM-BS, these include having someone other than the student’s thesis advisor serve as chair of their thesis dissertation committee and asking women to serve on female students’ dissertation committees if possible. Many programs use mentor-mentee compacts or sponsor Aligning Expectations Workshops to improve communication and clarify expectations between advisors and students.

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