Every month the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council highlights an A/P staff member through a series of questions as another way for the Illinois State community to connect. This month readers can get to know Chris Dove, bystander empowerment programs coordinator for Health Promotions and Wellness.
As coordinator, what do you do?
With the guidance of Nikki Brauer and the staff of Health Promotion and Wellness, I have truly been able to hit the ground running. Since July 2, I have been busy creating curriculum, designing, and revamping workshops to increase prevention efforts around sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence on campus. I am delighted to work at a college that recognizes the role of students as empowered bystanders, role models, and leaders in the creation and maintenance of a culture of caring and respect.
The bulk of these workshops, at this time, are delivered to members of the Greek community. This year we are striving to have 80 percent or more of all new chapter members attend bystander empowerment sessions. This has been made possible by the members of the Greek Life Taskforce and collaborative efforts between the Health Promotion and Wellness and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
I facilitate Responding with Care, which is about supporting survivors in ways that are guided by an understanding of the impact of trauma on the mind and body. This program, which is often split into two parts, also provides an overview of sexual and intimate partner violence. Barriers to reporting and some of the underlying myths that create those barriers are addressed.
The Panhellenic Council, the School of Theater and Dance, and the Human Resources Training Council are among those who have hosted sessions and plan to bring the programs back as a part of ongoing educational offerings they host.
How long have you been an employee at Illinois State?
I started on July 2, 2018. I am shocked at how quickly the school and area have begun to feel like home.
What do you love most about working at ISU?
I love working with the graduate assistants and interns who facilitate the bystander workshops. These students are giving members of the campus community the knowledge, tools, and strategies needed to notice, interpret, and respond to potentially harmful situations. They are truly on the front line of these efforts. The facilitators are diligent, insightful, and resourceful. I love nothing more than sharing the joys and challenges of this evolving program with them.
What is one fact about yourself that might surprise people?
I cannot eat onions. They are more difficult to avoid than one might imagine.
When you’re not working, what are you most likely doing?
When it was warmer, I was on my bicycle exploring the town. I like to dance and have done just about every social partner dance. I have been to the opening night of every play this semester.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
My office! I have never shared an office before, and I feel privileged to share my workspace with Michelle (Misia) Grzybowski. I collaborate regularly with Misia and an RSO she advises. Students Ending Rape Culture, which is sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness, is full of brilliant and passionate students working tirelessly to educate the campus community about sexual violence, bring visibility of rape culture, and support and empower survivors. I am thrilled to have been able to provide some of the information included in their first workshop offering, which will be available by request.
If you could have a meal with one famous person (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
It would come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time with me that I would love to share a meal with Brené Brown. Brown studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. I have read all of her books, watched many of her videos, and very rarely get through a presentation without sharing one of her quotes. “Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.” Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live.