In his role, McAllister, a 2000 graduate of Central Michigan University, will develop an effective and replicable model to increase awareness of the problem of sexual violence, and develop strategies to reduce or prevent its occurrence at Lehigh and on college campuses across the nation.
"I am delighted that Steve McAllister will join the Women’s Center staff as our new Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator," says Kristin Handler, director of the Lehigh Women’s Center. "Steve brings to Lehigh extensive training in the field of sexual violence prevention, special expertise in the area of men’s education, excellent programming and presentation skills, and a deep commitment to ending sexual violence. He will help us develop a prevention program that we believe can be a model for the nation."
The creation of the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator position represents the latest effort in Lehigh’s plan to confront and address critical campus issues by raising awareness, changing environments, building coalitions, and creating partnerships with community and regional groups. In 1997, Lehigh became one of just ten institutional to receive a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce alcohol abuse on campus. Lehigh’s effective program model, entitled "A Matter of Degree" earned a second grant from RWJ in 2001
Understanding that alcohol abuse is an aggravating factor in a majority of sexual assaults, Lehigh has adopted a multi-pronged effort to reduce both. The university recently received a three-year, $99,994 grant from the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust to develop strategies to reduce or prevent sexual assault on campus. McAllister will play a key role in meeting the goals of the Rider-Pool grant.
McAllister has completed more than 200 hours of training on sexual violence, including sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence, and harassment. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at CMU in 2000 and will complete a master’s degree in health promotion program management this summer. Before accepting his new position at Lehigh, he worked for two years as a graduate assistant in the Sexual Assault Services office at Central Michigan University.
As an undergraduate, McAllister founded One In Four, an all-male peer education group at CMU which uses a research-based intervention model where men address their male peers as allies, educate them about sexual violence and teach them how to support victims and encourage them to speak out against behaviors that condone violence.
In addition to presenting the model at CMU, One In Four has participated in sexual violence prevention education at seventeen other universities and colleges, and in January 2001, presented its program to 4,000 midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy. McAllister has also presented his work at numerous professional conferences, including the Safe Schools Coalition International Conference on Sexual Assault and Harassment on Campus.
In the summer of 2001, McAllister and three other group members walked from San Francisco to Washington D.C. to raise awareness about sexual aggression. The walk was covered by newspapers across the country.
McAllister began his tenure at Lehigh on March 24. He can be reached at (610) 758-5808.
Posted on Tuesday, September 02, 2003