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Sexual assault, Title IX workshop to feature state, local experts

bridgewaterA statewide workshop focusing on the prevention of sexual assault on college and university campuses – and how to handle it if it does happen – will be held Friday, Nov. 20, at Wintergreen Resort, and will feature presenters from Bridgewater College, the Virginia attorney general’s office, the department of education’s office of civil rights in Washington, D.C., and many others from the educational community.

The “Navigating Sexual Assault & Title IX Workshop,” which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., is on the final day of the Virginia Student Services Conference (VSSC). The conference is sponsored by the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators and the Virginia Association of College and University Housing Officers.

“Everyone in higher education realizes the gravity of sexual assault and Title IX on our campuses, and this workshop addresses many of the timely components of this issue,” said William D. Miracle, dean of students at Bridgewater College and organizer of the workshop.

Miracle said one of the presenters will be Ralph Suris, chief attorney for the department of education’s office of civil rights (OCR) in Washington, D.C. After Suris’ presentation there will be a question-and-answer session.

“For people in higher education to have the opportunity in such a forum to ask questions of the chief attorney of the DC office of OCR is a rare opportunity,” said Miracle. “This should be very enlightening.”

Other speakers include Ava Bedded, campus council and assistant attorney general in the state attorney general’s office; Elizabeth Griffin, senior assistant attorney general in the state AG office; Crystal Lynn, Title IX coordinator for Bridgewater College; Howie Kallem, director of Title IX compliance at Duke University; Anne Coughlin, the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Virginia; and Mary Anne Sprouse, director of wellness, alcohol and violence education and services at George Mason University.

The entire three-day VSSC conference may be viewed online at

Further information about the “Navigating Sexual Assault & Title IX Workshop” may be obtained by contacting Miracle