Joanne Dodgson - Student Affairs Service Award 1998-99

"Statement of Wonderfulness" for Joanne Dodgson

Student Affairs Division Service Award Recipient

Spring, 1999


As the Sexual Assault Services Program Coordinator, Joanne Dodgson coordinates a variety of support services for sexual assault survivors on campus.  She also provides counseling services directly to students who have been raped or sexually assaulted, facilitates a rape survivors group, does numerous outreach presentations, provides campus-wide education regarding interpersonal violence, supervises undergraduate peer educators, and serves on the University Counseling & Psychological Services Clinical Services Committee.  Joanne's work goes far beyond the boundaries of her title; Joanne is often the first person who consults with and supports OSU survivors of sexual assault.  She assists survivors in the negotiation of complex university systems, should they desire to report or pursue some sort of justice.  She builds community among diverse players on campus and in the Corvallis community.  Joanne is a champion of women’s issues, and of student’s issues, and can be found at most campus events, supporting student’s efforts.  In addition to her many activities in prevention, she also carries a full load of clients at UCPS and is a stellar colleague.

Joanne has been involved in developing the Sexual Assault Response Network and in putting together a protocol for response from various units.  She has also served on the Campus Compact Diversity sub-committee as well as on the President's Commission on the Status of Women.  She led the Interpersonal Violence sub-committee in developing a "table-topper" with information about relationship violence and health.  This initiative has been incredibly popular and other agencies in this county and even in other states has used the "table-topper" as a model.

Joanne has become a very visible advocate of the issues surrounding sexual assault.   In the two years Joanne has been here, she has made tremendous progress in raising consciousness about the many aspects of sexual assault.  She has gone into many different environments to talk about prevention of sexual assault, such as fraternities, sororities, residence halls, class presentations, and athletics. Joanne's style has allowed her to talk with groups that, in the past, were not necessarily receptive to hearing about these topics.  She also has worked with peer educators, training them how to do prevention and intervention in this area. It has been said that Joanne is one of the strongest advocates for students on this campus.  She is always considering the impact of any policy or decision on students and has, in her two years here, moved gracefully into a position as a role model and mentor for students.

Joanne is a tireless worker; she is an extremely gifted therapist and solid colleague.  She is a superb communicator.  Perhaps one of her greatest strengths is in creating “a safe space” in which others, particularly students, can be empowered to realize their strengths and potentials.  She is kind, yet holds a set of firm values that guide her work and her interpersonal interactions.  She can be counted upon to say what she thinks, while doing that in a way that other opinions are respected and affirmed.  In such a short time, she has left a strong, positive mark on the university community; it is rare that her name is not mentioned somewhere in the Barometer as a source of support and information for survivors and those interested in fighting sexual assault.  For example, earlier this term in the editorial section, a survivor “described her story” as a way to reach others; in that story, she encourages others who have the need to seek out Joanne.  Also this term, students asked Joanne to join a panel discussing Playboy’s presence on campus.  Students trust her and turn to her for good reasons.

When asked to describe Joanne, her colleagues used such words as inspirational, graceful, compassionate, and integrity.

Joanne demonstrates the values of the OSU Campus Compact in ways beyond measure.  In her work and in her everyday demeanor, in actions large and small, Joanne epitomizes the Campus Compact. She has created a more Open environment in discussing sexual assault.  Joanne also reminds the people in her unit when they need to be open to new people and new ideas. She works hard and with a clear sense of her Purpose.  She is consistently a voice for Justice, fairness, and equality.  She is Disciplined in her choice of words; she shows thoughtfulness in her expression of agreement or dissent.  Joanne is also Celebrative.  She excels at making "crowns" given to staff members when they accomplish something, brings in small stuffed animals to rotate among staff who were stressed, and is often caught singing songs from the Sound of Music or Wizard of Oz. Joanne is certainly Caring as evidenced by her tireless work to help survivors of sexual assault.  She so clearly cares about students, about the earth, about people, and about herself.  She models this for us daily.

Joanne has truly made a difference!  She has made a difference in the OSU community's awareness of sexual assault causes and consequences. Her work with survivors of sexual assault has made a difference in their lives.  She has helped these women to begin to heal from the trauma of sexual assault and she has helped to provide a more professional and coordinated response to survivors.  Joanne has also touched the lives of her colleagues.   Joanne never forgets what is happening in the lives of her colleagues and students.  She always remembers to ask, to celebrate, and to laugh.

One of Joanne's colleagues recently said the following about her: "Joanne gives.  She does so quietly and, sometimes, subtly, but I always feel and appreciate her presence in staff meetings, case conferences, and committee meetings, and I always feel her absence when she is gone.  She is steady, calm, and reassuring."

We are certainly going to miss Joanne when she leaves and will feel her absence.  We are thankful to her for all of the wonderful work she has done and all of the wonderful ways she has shared herself with the OSU community!