Alumni spotlight and job tips: Olivia Loneman Meyer

Olivia Loneman Meyer graduated from Widener University with an M.Ed in Human Sexuality Education on the Education track in 2016. She is currently putting her degree to work as a Prevention & Training Coordinator at New Beginnings in Lewiston, Maine. This organization serves homeless and at-risk youth who are in crisis. New Beginnings operates several programs including a 24-hour emergency shelter, a transitional living program, community and outreach services and HIV prevention education, research, and professional training.

In this position, Olivia meets individually with young people for one-on-one counseling interviews to discuss various harm reduction strategies and reproductive health issues. She also holds group education sessions addressing HIV, STI, and pregnancy prevention, as well as general health, wellness, and well-being through a trauma-informed lens. In partnership with the Maine Department of Education and Maine Family Planning, she organizes and provides training workshops for alternative school teachers, health professionals, sexuality educators, social workers, and youth agency staff from Maine who serve high-risk youth. Olivia reported that the culturally competent, cross-cultural trauma-informed teaching methods that she learned in Widener’s program prepared her to work with at-risk youth, which is absolutely essential to the work she is doing now.

The biggest piece of advice that Olivia would like to offer to new graduates is to be creative in your job search. Students may need to look at what they could turn a position into, rather than taking what the organization is looking for at face value. The reproductive health and options counseling that Olivia does in her current role at New Beginnings was not a part of the services offered before she began there, and they were very excited that she wanted to introduce this as a service available to youth. Although Olivia loved living in Philadelphia, she came to realize that in order to follow her sexological dreams, she would need to relocate. That being said, she advised that students explore relocation and broaden their job hunt radius if it is possible to do so.

Additionally, Olivia would like to share that she thinks the Widener Center for Human Sexuality Studies is amazing! She enthused: “My time there was precious, and I cherish the connections I made with the fabulous people who are changing the world. Stay in contact with your colleagues and professors: both as professional connections and professional and personal support. You’ve all been through something difficult and amazing together, treat that bond with care and don’t let it fade.”

For more information on New Beginnings, visit their homepage through the link below!

http://newbeginmaine.org/

 

“Laughing While Learning: Exploring LGBT Aging and Issues with Humor and Truth”

Laughing While Learning
Julia Scotti and Tom Callahan

The first event in the Sexuality and Aging Consortium Speaker Series will take place right here on our campus Friday, March 16th, from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm! “Laughing While Learning: Exploring LGBT Aging and Issues with Humor and Truth” will feature Comedian Julia Scotti and Eldercare Crisis Manager Tom Callahan who will share the challenges faced by older LGBT folks through fun and educational discussions.

Registration is $30 regular admittance and $20 for enrolled students and retirees. Two continuing education (CE) credits are available for AASECT members and social workers for $25 additional, per professional specialty.

Comedian Julia Scotti will share her high-octane humor about aging and life as a 70-year-old woman of transgender experience. Ms. Scotti has headlined nationally for decades and was a recent “America’s Got Talent” quarter finalist.  She was the first transgender female finalist in the New York Ladies of Laughter Competition.

Eldercare crisis manager Tom Callahan will share sobering facts and rays of hope melded into a humorous and educational experience called, “Even Fabulous Ages.” Tom works with older adults and their adult children to address legal documentation, housing, and long-term care options.

Join us after the program for a networking mingle with light refreshments, a cash wine bar, and poster presentations on sexuality and aging.

The program is open to the public as well as to professionals, paraprofessionals, retirees, and students. So mark your calendars and join us for an insightful program that is sure to be filled with laughs!

The Widener Sexuality and Aging Consortium is co-sponsoring this event with the Widener University Center for Human Sexuality Studies and the Center for Social Work Education.

See the Facebook page below for more information!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sexuality-and-Aging-Consortium-at-Widener-University/145639758782541?ref_type=bookmark

 

Student Climate Survey Report

We are pleased to announce the completion and distribution of our report on our first CHSS Student Climate Survey. You can access it at this link – https://wumail-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/humansexuality_widener_edu/EYGNr6H-yy1Ov7HoY-Yh1sUBHriTi8XCywJ9cPBDCOjaPQ?e=KKAPp3
The document can also be found in the CHSS Committee Shared Files on Campus Cruiser under Student Information>Student Affairs Committee.
We want to extend our appreciation to the students who participated, and for the students who coordinated the process that informed the survey development.
As Associate Dean and CHSS Director Dr. Justin Sitron said when he released this report by email, “I am honored to be charged with leading CHSS and I am delighted to be surrounded by such passionate, dedicated, and talented faculty, staff, and students. I am confident that one day at a time we are all making the world a better place!”

Dr. Donna Oriowo Makes Keynote Address – Alumni Spotlight

As we know, sex and sexuality are social justice issues, but there continues to be a blind spot in what is taught and how.
Donna Oriowo, Ph.D, LICSW, LCSW-C, M.Ed.
In her keynote at the recent National Sex Ed Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, Dr. Donna Oriowo, a Widener CHSS alum, addressed the importance of race in teaching about sex/sexuality education.
In her presentation, she spoke about being aware of and integrating cultural and racial perspectives in sex education with an emphasis on Black women, who tend to be all but forgotten in academia.

Dr. Oriowo shared that the objectives of her presentation were for participants to be able to: 1. Identify three reasons why it is important to have race/ethnicity inclusive sex education; 2. Identify one possible blind spot they personally have toward culturally relevant sex education; and 3. Identify one way to integrate racial and cultural differences into sexuality education. Dr. Oriowo also included a “secret” objective, which was for participants to know the difference between “YOU can do it! And should (with consultation) and You COULD do it, but shouldn’t. 

In her introduction, CHSS doctoral candidate Lorena Olvera Moreno said that it was an honor to introduce Dr. Oriowo because it is not common to see young black women as keynote speakers. She mentioned the importance of having women of color as keynote speakers and inviting young sexologists to share their knowledge. She also talked about the need for representation at conferences where a lot of members of the audience are young people of color but most of the presenters are white men and women.

Dr. Donna Oriowo is a speaker, sexuality educator, and therapist clinically licensed in DC, MD, & VA. Donna is the owner and lead therapist of AnnodRight which specializes in working with Black women who experience anxiety, depression, and self-esteem concerns related to sex and sexuality. AnnodRight serves to combine sexual and social justice as it relates to people of color, Black women specifically, with therapy, education, and supervision. Learn more at AnnodRight.com. 

 

Dr. Heather Richards: Student Spotlight

Dr. Heather Richards is currently the owner and operator of the Sexual & Health Wellness Studio located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, where she sees clients, facilitates workshops/trainings and is a Condom/Lube distributor for the Philadelphia Department of Health. Dr. Heather is a monthly guest on WDAS FM Philly’s Facebook Live with Patty Jackson, where she provides her expertise on all things sexuality related. She has been a guest on the Power 99 FM’s morning show twice, providing relationship and sex education to the tri-state area’s Iheart radio listeners. She is also a board member for the Barry University School of Social Work and is often requested as a panel member and/or speaker at various events.

Her goal and mission as a sexologist is her desire to “help facilitate, self acceptance, healthy sexual communication, carefree, safe, fun and consensual sexual expression, an enhanced knowledge of sexual health, improved sexual self esteem, self awareness, and an enhanced ability to love & accept ourselves, each other & the world.”

To learn more about Dr. Heather’s work and services visit www.sexdrheather.com

Dr. Connie Bonillas: Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Connie Bonillas, a 2005 Ph.D. Education Track graduate, has recently received the Illustrious Award for Higher Education from the Institute for Latino Studies. This event documented and highlighted the contributions of Tri-State Area Latinx to the advancement of the United States of America. We congratulate her on receiving this prestigious award!

Dr. Bonillas is an Associate Professor of Health and the Health Program Coordinator at Kean University, in Union, NJ.  Her college textbook, Sexual Health in a Diverse World, will debut its 3rd edition sometime in 2018.

Dr. Bonillas has been a faculty member in Kean’s Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Health since 2003. In 2012, she published the first edition of her sexuality textbook In 2011, she and Dr. Elisha Nixon co-authored the second edition of the health education college textbook, Listen Up! Student Voices on Critical Issues and Values in Real Life. 

In 2011 she also secured a 5-year $875,000 state grant to reduce teen pregnancy and a 3-year $465,000 federal grant to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes in Hispanic pregnant women.

 

 

 

Dr. Carey Roth Bayer: Alumni Spotlight

 

Please join us in congratulating our alum, Dr. Carey Roth Bayer, who received the 2017 Distinguished Service to the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) Award at their recent annual meeting. Dr. Bayer is an associate professor in the Departments of Community Health and Preventive Medicine as well as Medical Education at Morehouse School of Medicine. She serves as the Director of the Center of Excellence for Sexual Health in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute. Her scholarship focuses on training health professionals to address human sexuality with patients across the lifespan; safe space & inclusion training; and, educational outcomes and impacts of health policy and leadership training programs. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Xavier University, a Master’s degree in Adult Education and a Doctorate in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University. She is a Certified Sexuality Educator, through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

In receiving the award, Dr. Roth Bayer was recognized for the following contributions. She first became a member of the Society in 2002 when in graduate school at Widener. Since that time she has served in many capacities with SSSS including: Continuing Education Committee, 2017 Atlanta Symposium lead co-chair, SSSS Mentoring Program, Annual Conference Abstract Reviewer & Conference Team, Conference Awards Team lead & reviewer, Conference Moderator, Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair of the Board of Directors, Secretary of the Board of Directors, Chair of Membership Task Force, Membership Committee, Student Volunteer. Two of her greatest accomplishments in service to SSSS include implementing an investment plan to strengthen the financial infrastructure of SSSS and expanding SSSS’s inclusion efforts by recruiting more people of color into leadership positions and showcasing their sexual science work.

Congratulations Dr. Roth Bayer!

Dr. Konnie McCaffree: Adjunct Spotlight

Dr. Konnie McCaffree could be called the godmother of our program. Starting as an adjunct at the University of Pennsylvania HSED program when she was a high school sexuality educator, Dr. McCaffree was one of the people, with Dr. Bill Stayton, brought our program from Penn to Widener. She has taught sexuality education methods to generations of Penn and Widener graduates, having created the 625, 626, 718 (now 618), and Practicum course sequence, which was taken by Dr. Dyson, Dr. Sitron,  Dr. Schroeder, Dr. Green, and actually everyone who has taught those classes after her. If you have not had the pleasure of being her student, let us introduce you.

A Certified Sexuality Educator and Supervisor  (AASECT and the National Council of Family Relations). Dr. McCaffree is an Adjunct Professor and the original educational methods developer for Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies. She also has served as an adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education working with elementary and secondary classroom teachers.  A 30-year veteran of public school teaching, she began her work in supervision when she was asked to supervise student teachers in health/sexuality education from local university teacher training programs. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and as President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS). She is active in the American Association of Sexuality Education, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) serving as its Treasurer and President. She has worked with various research groups to develop curricula to prevent HIV/AIDS, unplanned pregnancy, and other health and social issues among adolescents. She is the co-author of the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) Research to Classroom and has promoted award-winning curricula for minority youth, Be Proud! Be Responsible! (BPBR), Making Proud Choices (MPC), Making A Difference (MAD) and Promoting Health Among Teens! (PHAT)

Outside of her organizational work, Dr. McCaffree conducts workshops both within the US and internationally on childhood/teen sexuality issues to assist educators, parents, and community organizations improve their skills in teaching sexuality education. In recent years she has developed curricula and implemented training programs for educators and other health professionals in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and the Philippines. She is co-author of the curriculum adopted by the Federal Ministry of Nigeria for implementation in all schools. Dr. McCaffree has spent the last ten years as either the president of SSSS or AASECT and is currently in the process of completing her last year in professional organization leadership, where she serves as the Immediate Past President of AASECT.

In addition, she continues to supervise and mentor students in the area of sexuality education. Along with continuing to review curricula, Dr. McCaffree gives presentations on effective sexuality education and mostly enjoy teaching to a different audience: her dogs. They are involved in competitive sports such as agility, tracking, obedience, nose work, and some protection.

Chaz Wampold: Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Charles “Chaz” Wampold received his M. Ed. in Human Sexuality Education in 2014 and Ph.D. in 2016. And now, he is happy to report that his dissertation has spawned an Invited Commentary, which was published online by the Archives of Sexual Behavior (ASB)! You can read it at this link: http://rdcu.be/xF9h.

The subject of Wampold’s dissertation, the Fraternal Birth Order Effect, has been an area of sexual orientation research since the 1930s. Interest in the topic dwindled over the decades but was revived 25 years ago by Ray Blanchard, a psychologist at the University of Toronto. Earlier this year, ASB published Blanchard’s big meta-analysis covering fraternal birth order studies during the last 25 years and then invited a few fraternal birth order mavens to publish commentaries. Happily, Chaz’s dissertation also came to the attention of the Editors at ASB, resulting in an invitation for him to publish a commentary as well. His study examined whether the fraternal birth order effect is a general predictor of same-sex attraction in men or whether it is associated with a specific erotic preference for receptive anal intercourse. Read his article to learn more!

Chaz is extremely grateful for the professors at Widener’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies who offered their support throughout this process. His dissertation committee was Dr. Dyson, Chair, Dr. Wells and Dr. Koch. For information on how Chaz started this journey, see our previous blog post at:http://www.widenersexualitystudies.org/alumni-spotlight/chaz-wampold-alumni-spotlight/

Michaela Finley: Current Student Spotlight

After working for the CHSS as a Graduate Assistant, Michaela Finley is now the newly hired Program Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaboration. Michaela was born and raised in New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico. There she was on the Board of Directors for the Agora Crisis Center, where her passion was working in suicide prevention. She recently completed a suicide awareness & prevention course designed for non-clinical people and became a certified QPR gatekeeper trainer. In addition to being the Program Coordinator, Michaela is enrolled in the online MSW/M.Ed. dual degree program in the sex therapy track. After she receives her degree she would like to set up a private practice assisting couples, families, and individuals with a variety of psychological stressors.