May 2019-STEM School Shooting

On May 7, 2019, Colorado suffered another school shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, resulting in one death and multiple injuries. Dr. Alexander was interviewed by The Denver Post —discussing sentencing options in juvenile versus adult court for the two alleged suspects (one 16 years old, one 18 years old). The article is available to read here.

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Additionally, for more information on offering support to children, teachers, and first responders, please reach out to Dr. Alexander and the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at DU. For tips on how to discuss these events with children, here are some recommended sites:


In the aftermath of a shooting: Help your children manage distress
 (APA; February 2019)

Talking to Children about the Shooting (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (National Child Traumatic Stress Network)

May 2019-Sweat

Back in Denver, Dr. Alexander was invited to participate in two talkback sessions for the Pulitzer prize-winning play Sweat at the Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA). Written by two-time Putlizer winning playwright Lynn Nottage, Sweat is a play about working steel mill workers of Reading, Pennsylvania in the early 2000s. Many of the questions in the talkback centered around theme of economic inequity in the U.S.

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April 2019-#SAAM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness (and Prevention) Month. This year’s theme was I Ask, which centers on consent education—an important topic to Dr. Alexander as highlighted in her TEDxMileHigh talk.

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For SAAM, Dr. Alexander was interviewed for the Life As She Knows It—a podcast co-hosted by her TEDxMileHigh colleague Kimberly Corban! You can listen to the podcast here or via your favorite podcast platforms. Additionally, check out Kimberly’s important TEDxMileHigh talk on sexual violence here.

In the last few weeks of the legislative session, Colorado HB 1032 concerning comprehensive sex education and consent education still needs to pass through the Senate. Dr. Alexander headed down to the Capitol with the ACLU of Colorado for Sex Education Visibility Day to promote the importance of this bill and speak with state legislators.

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Finally, Dr. Alexander headed to Fort Collins, Colorado to the inaugural Northern Colorado Diversity Conference to give two workshops on healthy relationships. She had a great audiences of teens throughout the area who engaged in conversations surrounding relationship violence and bystander intervention needs.

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January 2019-TEDxMileHigh RESET

Happy new year!

Dr. Alexander gave her first TEDxMileHigh talk to an audience of 5,000 people at the Bellco Theater in Denver, Colorado on December 1. The video entitled “Sex violence is preventable—here’s how” is now LIVE!!! Click here. Her talk discusses the importance of consent education and medically accurate sex education for young people as a means of preventing sexual violence. Please watch this important talk and share with others.

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November 2018: HokieTalks Denver Vol. 2

Dr. Alexander was invited to speak at HokieTalks Denver Vol. 2, a networking and speaking session where three Denver-area Virginia Tech alum share stories and life lessons they’ve learning since graduating from Virginia Tech. In it’s first year, HokieTalks Denver won an alumni outreach award!

Her talk, entitled Ut Prosim: Finding Solutions for Violence Prevention, discussed how her experiences at Virginia Tech (i.e., working for a domestic violence program, clinical research), informed her career in forensic psychology and violence prevention. The audience was great, including the Hokie Bird ;)

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June 2018: Denver Comic Con 2018

We're back at Denver Comic Con!

Dr. Alexander and her team of GSPP students presented a panel entitled A Rose From Concrete: Examining Post-Traumatic Growth in the Media. Dr. Alexander provided an introduction of the concept of post-traumatic growth (the subjective experience of positive psychology change reported by some individuals who have experienced trauma) and discussed how many superheroes have suffered a loss or trauma in their origin story.

Jason Silverberg (PsyD student) presented on Frank Castle's experience of moral injury in the Netflix series Punisher. Loe Blackmond (MAFP graduate; PsyD student) discussed Gamora's (from Guaridans of the Galaxy and Infinity War) journey to post-traumatic growth. Despite the session being the very last session of the last day of Comic Con, there was a great audience turnout! The audience was very engaged during the Q&A portion, which centered on trauma-informed practice in writing, education, and the workplace. Way to integrate psychological science into popular culture! 

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April 2018: Social Media and Sexting

Colorado Community Media has a Time to Talk series which focuses on community mental health issues. Part 1 focused on barriers to mental health treatment. Part 2 focused on mental health and incarceration. Part 3 of the series, which focuses on mental health in schools and issues affecting teens, was released this week. Dr. Alexander was interviewed and her remarks on sexting and social media use among adolescents were featured in the two articles written by Alex DeWind below:

Time to Talk: Sharing concerns about social media

Sexting poses legal, psychological risks for teens

 

March 2018: More Advocacy

Dr. Alexander testified for the Colorado House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services regarding HB 18-1245 aimed at banning practices labeled "conversion therapy" for LGBTQ+ minors, a harmful and practice which is opposed by major professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association. This is the fourth year the bill has been introduced to the Colorado State Legislature and Dr. Alexander's second year testifying about the issue. The bill passed the House Committee in a 7-6 vote, and will reach the House floor soon.

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December 2017: CCSEL Scholar

Dr. Alexander was accepted into the University of Denver Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL)'s Service Learning Scholars Program. The Scholars Program was designed for professors interested in incorporating community-engagement and service learning into their courses. She participated in a 2-day workshop focused on modifying her current DU courses to incorporate a community-engagement component for her students.

Stay tuned! She has several interdisciplinary projects in the works for 2018!

November 2017: In the News! Street Harassment

Dr. Alexander was interviewed by Denverite about street harassment in the Denver community. Approximately 85% of women have experienced street harassment in their lifetime--with 30% having experienced confrontational forms (e.g., being followed in a manner that frightened them). Denverite writer Ashley Dean also notes important issues related to street harassment and violence against LGBTQ+ and non-binary individuals. It's important to combat hypermasculine/toxic masculine attitudes and beliefs to combat identity-based violence. 

April 2016: Mt. Meigs-Mosaic Performance

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Tessa Carr (Department of Theatre, Auburn University) were awarded a Community and Civic Engagement Grant through the College of Liberal Arts for a project proposal entitled, Creating Connections with Detained Adolescents and College Students: A Pilot Project.

The project allowed for Mosaic Theatre Company to provide three workshops for the detained adolescents at the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) Mt. Meigs Campus. Each boy who participated came up with their own performance based on a time they overcame adversity or based on an original poem. The final performance was held on April 29 to an audience of approximately 100 people to much success! Thank you, Mosaic Theatre Company!

September 2015: Civic Engagement

Dr. Alexander and Dr. Tessa Carr (Department of Theatre, Auburn University) were awarded a Community and Civic Engagement Grant through the College of Liberal Arts for a project proposal entitled, Creating Connections with Detained Adolescents and College Students: A Pilot Project. The project will allow for Mosaic Theatre Company to provide workshops for the detained adolescents at the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) Mt. Meigs Campus. 

April 2015: SCOPE

The Department of Psychology at Auburn University held its first Scholars Committed to Opportunities in Psychological Education (SCOPE) program. SCOPE is a 3-day program that was founded at Auburn by graduate students Becca Fix and Madison Silverstein which is committed to the recruitment, mentoring, empowerment, and professional training of undergraduate racial/ethnic minority students interested in attending graduate school and subsequent careers in the field of psychology. Dr. Alexander served as one of the faculty mentors.

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May 2014: Academy for Civic Engagement

Dr. Alexander was selected to participate in Auburn University's Academy for Civic Engagement (ACE). Civic engagement refers to the ways in which citizens participate in the life of the community in order to improve conditions for others or to help shape the community's future (Adler & Goggin, 2005). She spent time with colleagues from Auburn University and universities in Mexico, collaborating on ways to incorporate civic engagement into their teaching.