On July 23, 2019, Frank Rzucek, the father of Shanann Watts spoke out about the online harassment and false accusations he and his family have faced after the tragic murder of his daughter and two granddaughters, Bella and Celeste. Listen to his remarks here.
Dr. Alexander spoke with Denver ABC and NBC about the negative consequences of cyberbullying and why individuals engage in cyberbullying or trolling behavior. To see the interviews, click here for ABC7 and here for NBC9.
Additionally, Dr. Alexander was interviewed by Fox31 about some countries and Instagram removing the ‘like’ feature on their social media platforms. Learn more about her thoughts here.
Summer isn’t just filled with just research and writing! Dr. Alexander was featured in the American Psychology-Law Society’s (APLS) Summer Learning Series on social media, where she was asked about professional and personal activities she’s doing over the summer.
Dr. Alexander authored an op-ed, which was published in The Colorado Sun. After the STEM High School shooting, there has been a call for increased presence of school resource officers. However, research indicates this may criminalize normative adolescent behavior for other children. You can read the op-ed here.
Additionally, Dr. Alexander and her colleague Dr. Kim Gorgens were interviewed about juveniles who commit mass school shootings for Colorado Community Media. The discuss the rare occurrence of having two shooters. You can find that article here.
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.
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)
Dr. Alexander was interviewed by Denver Fox31 regarding the recent arrest of Jussie Smollett, star of the Fox show Empire, following allegations of false reporting of a hate crime. The interview and article can be found here.
Dr. Alexander received the Faculty Award at the Graduate School of Professional Psychology’s (GSPP) annual Redefining Mental Health: Celebration of Impact event (formerly the Philanthropy Gala). Each year an honoree is nominated and selected by the Graduate Student Association of Professional Psychology (GSAPP) and given to a faculty member who raises understanding and awareness for student scholarship and philanthropy at GSPP, as well as community advocacy and outreach.
Dr. Alexander was chosen to present her first TEDxMileHigh talk!!!
The theme of the December TEDxMileHigh is RESET. She will discuss resetting the juvenile justice system. For more details and to purchase tickets, click here.
On August 8, 16-year-old Jennie Bunsom was arrested on first-degree murder charges for the death of 7-year-old family member Jordan Vong. On August 13, upon receipt of autopsy information, new documents were filed charging Jennie with first-degree murder after deliberation and first-degree murder by a person in a position of trust (victim under the age of 12). Later in the week, it was decided that her case would be heard in Denver District Court as opposed to juvenile court. The judge in Jennie's case has the opportunity to redirect the case back to juvenile court through a process known as a reverse transfer hearing.
Dr. Alexander authored an Op-Ed for The Denver Post discussing adolescent development and recent policy changes concerning juveniles in the justice system.
The Denver City Council unanimously passed and signed a proclamation in support of banning the use of "conversion therapy" with LGBTQ+ minors. Dr. Alexander was invited to share a few words by Councilwoman Ortega after the proclamation was signed and she was provided a copy of the signed proclamation. Another move forward as community advocates aim to get a bill passed during the next legislative session.
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:
Dr. Alexander and her DU Department of Theatre colleague Dr. Ashley Hamilton were awarded the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS) Dean's Award for Interdisciplinary Studies. This funding will allow for a their steering committee to host a consultant for planning a Prison Education Program (PEP) through DU!
Dr. Alexander was also one of 20 faculty members selected for DU's inaugural Public Impact Fellow program. The Public Impact Fellows will receive training, access to workshops, and consultation focused on translating their research for public dissemination. Thus, continuing and supporting Dr. Alexander's commitment to advocacy, outreach, and public policy efforts!
Additionally, Dr. Alexander returned to Wheat Ridge, CO to testify again in front of the City Council regarding a resolution opposing conversion therapy for minors and supporting a statewide ban against conversion therapy for minors. In a 6-1 vote, the City Council voted for the resolution! Finally progress is being made! Dr. Alexander will testify at the State Capitol next week for the state bill regarding the same issue.
Dr. Alexander was interviewed for an article in the Aurora Sentinel about the management, assessment, and treatment of individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses. The article centers on the need for evidence-based public policy. Read the entire interview here.
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.