Joli Ienuso: Education Track Alumni Highlight 2 of 3

Joli Ienuso, MEd,
Violence Prevention Educator, 
Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center, Columbia University
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Tell us a little about your new role:

My title is Violence Prevention Educator (VPE). I work for Sexual Violence Response & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (SVR for short) at Columbia University. My position is grant funded by the Enough is Enough grant via the Department of Health of New York State. SVR provides advocacy, prevention, and outreach for all affiliate schools of Columbia University. As the VPE I am tasked with performing all three, which is a unique position for SVR. This means I provide direct services to Columbia University students as a certified rape crisis counselor via the 24-hour/year round HelpLine; sexual violence prevention training programs in the areas of bystander intervention, healthy relationships, communication, intersectionality, microagressions, and more; and perform student and community facing outreach. A major component of my position, fueled by the requirements of the Enough is Enough grant, is to foster partnerships with administrators of other colleges and universities in New York City and host training of trainer (ToT) workshop series’ in order to prepare Title IX Coordinators and other designated administrators in the dynamics of sexual violence, and how to comply with federal and state legislation.

As part of my position, I am also a member of the OutSmart NYC Collective and Curriculum Committee. OutSmart consists of nightlife staff, community-based organizations, and higher education representatives who have come together to develop and implement a training program to promote sexual violence prevention in nightlife spaces– especially those surrounding college campuses. I am also the co-chair of the Manhattan Sexual Assault Task Force (MSATF) College Campus Subcommittee, a group of law enforcement officials, college/university administrators, and community-based organization representatives who come together to discuss and problem-solve issues involving campus sexual violence.

What is your favorite part of your new job?:
My favorite part about being the Violence Prevention Educator is every opportunity I have to teach. If I had to name a favorite population, I think my ToT’s would “take the cake.” Throughout my time in the MEd program at Widener I fell in love with education, so being able to begin conversations that evoke education theory with a room full of administrative peers is particularly rewarding.

How are you using what you learned at CHSS in your new role?:

I use what I learned in the program every day. I have a small library of books at my desk that I reference every day. It truly is all about #RationaleRationaleRationale, knowing your audience, and molding programming to meet people where they are. My workshops for graduate students at Teacher’s College are different than those for graduate students at the Medical Center, which are different than those for first-years, international students, and so on. I go back to those basic tenants all the time, and I keep the books that house them close!

What advice would you offer to current or future Education Track Students?:

If I can impart one piece of advice it is to be your own best advocate by developing good habits sooner rather than later. Read every word of the syllabus, get started on that assignment early (and save it often), use all the resources available to you (there is so much information on the CHSS Campus Cruiser page), ask informed questions, network often, assume everyone you meet in the program (including professors) will be future co-workers and that . may determine the impression you intend to leave, identify your learning edges and push them, respond to emails quickly, and of course, learn what it means for you to take care of yourself and make that a priority. All of these things which you can begin to do (or fine-tune) as a graduate student directly translate to being in a traditional workforce– especially if you are interested in working for or with higher education.

Jennifer Hinds: Education Track Alumni Highlight

One of the most common questions we get from potential applicants is “What are Education Track graduates doing with their degrees? What types of jobs are they getting?”  We reached out to three of our 2016 graduates to tell us a bit more about their post-graduation jobs, and to find out how the CHSS Education Track helped prepare them for their new roles.  Here is the first of a series of three responses. ___________________________________________________________________________

Jennifer Hinds, MEd

Curriculum Manager, A Woman’s Place

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Tell us a little about your new job:

I am the Curriculum Manager at A Woman’s Place (AWP), the domestic violence organization inBucks County, PA. I work for the Prevention Project at AWP that does education, outreach, and training throughout the county. We talk to children in elementary schools and other community settings about healthy friendships, self-worth, communication, and boundaries. We discuss teen dating violence and healthy relationships in middle and high school. We train medical professionals on how to screen for domestic violence in healthcare settings. We talk to various other groups of adults throughout the community about domestic violence: what it looks like, the warning signs, how to help someone, how to help yourself, and the services that we provide at AWP.

What is your favorite part of your new job?: 

My favorite part of my new job is the range of responsibilities and roles I take on. While my main role is to create, manage, and edit our curricula for our various programs, I also get to educate and train people of all ages, engage in community outreach, partner with other non-profits, put on conferences and a camp, as well as supervising our educators from our Prevention Project.

How are you using what you learned at CHSS in your new role?:

The rigorous training in lesson planning and curriculum writing at CHSS is what made it possible for me to obtain my position at AWP.  Knowing how to effectively craft a lesson plan and incorporate it into a whole curriculum based on solid goals and objectives isn’t something I would have been able to do before the CHSS program. Also, being culturally competent and bringing that into our curriculum is changing the direction of our prevention efforts at AWP.

What advice would you offer to current or future Education Track Students?:

  1. Enjoy those weekend classes because there are few other places where you will have experiences like that.
  2. Find a topic(s) in sexuality you are interested in and focus on that throughout the program so you have some sort of specialty in your expertise.
  3. Don’t procrastinate! Curriculum writing takes a lot of time and effort and doing it last minute will not produce quality work, which won’t help you in the end.

Celebrating Dr. Pat Koch!

On October 13, we will celebrate and appreciate Dr. Koch for her many years of service to our doctoral students and our program. If you know her and/or had classes with her, please join us if you can for dinner at the Springfield Country Club.  Sign up by clicking here. Bring a guest if you please :).

Whether you can attend or not, please share your memories of Dr. Koch at Please comment on how she may have influenced your academic, professional, and/or personal development.

Recently retired, Patricia Barthalow Koch, Ph.D., served as a faculty member at the Pennsylvania State University (Professor of Biobiobehavioral Health; Health Education; Nursing Science, and Gender and Sexuality Studies) for over 40 years and an Adjunct Professor of Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University for over 15 years. She also was the Director of the Pennsylvania Learning Academy of Sexuality Education, a Faculty Scholar at the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PSU), and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney, Columbia University, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, the Japanese International HIV Cooperation Society, and a Sexology Delegate to the People’s Republic of China.

Dr. Koch served on 26 externally-funded and 36 internally-funded research projects on topics related to sexuality and women’s health, including the interaction of alcohol and sexual behaviors, negative sexual experience, sexuality education methodologies, menstrual health, and women’s sexuality as they age. She has authored/co-authored 105 scientific articles, book chapters, and research proceedings/reports and 3 books.

In addition, Dr. Koch is a dedicated and passionate educator, believing in Nelson Mandela’s statement that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” She developed and taught 25 different undergraduate courses at Penn State as well as 7 graduate and 9 Outreach/World Campus courses, and the two major doctoral courses for the Human Sexuality Studies Program at Widener. Dr. Koch always received the highest ratings of teaching excellence from her students. They note her depth and breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and creative and interactive teaching methods. She enjoys mentoring students and has served on 54 doctoral committees, 52 master’s committees, and has mentored over 300 undergraduate peer sexuality educators.

Dr. Koch has been a leader in the field of sexology for many decades, being a Fellow and Past President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and a Past President of the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, as well as an International Delegate to the World Association of Sexual Health. She has received many awards throughout her career. Some of which she is most proud include: the Hugo G. Beigel Award for Most Outstanding Research Report Published in the Journal of Sex Research (2006), The Points of Pride Award for Leadership and Scholarship in the Field of Sexology from Widener University, the President’s Award for Engagement with Students (PSU), Service to the Profession Award (SSSS), and an Alumni Teaching Fellow (PSU).

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Koch for her many years of service to our students, our program, and our field, and wish her well in her retirement. If you want to email her directly, use


Welcome Dr. Debra Bazarsky

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Debbie Bazarsky to the full-time faculty of the Center for Human Sexuality Studies as Visiting Assistant Professor for the 2017-2018 academic year. This fall, Dr. Bazarsky is teaching HSED 592 (Concepts in Human Sexuality) and HSED 501 (Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Human Sexuality). Her office is in our new building at 501 E. 13th Street, room 203.

Dr. Bazarsky comes to us from Princeton University. For the past two years, she was Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, serving as a senior diversity and inclusion practitioner and shepherding Princeton’s administrative diversity and inclusion goals and strategic initiatives. Concurrently, she served as a Lecturer in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Previous to that, for 14 years, she served as the Founding Director of Princeton’s LGBT Center where she helped transform the University into a nationally recognized and top-ranked school for LGBT students, staff, and faculty. She was also the Founding Director of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s LGBT Center.

A nationally recognized leader around LGBT issues in higher education, Dr. Bazarsky has served as Co-Chair of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals and several national committees, including the National LGBTQ Task Force National Policy Roundtable, U.S. Department of Education’s Improving Campus Climate for LGBT College Students Training Institute Planning Group, and as a National Advisory Board Member of the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index. Most recently, she has served on the Consortium’s Trans* Policy Recommendation Group, Title IX Steering Committee, and Standards of Practice Workgroup. This past year, she joined the Board of Directors of Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US (SIECUS) and is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

Foundational to her work is an intersectional framework and approach, which incorporates many aspects of identity (e.g., race, ethnicity, nationality, class, faith, disability, gender and gender identity, and sexual orientation). Dr. Bazarsky brings two decades of experience educating about power, privilege, and oppression; leading training on a wide array of diversity and inclusion topics; running identity-based dialogue groups, and organizing multicultural and intersectional programmatic initiatives. She also volunteered for the American Conference on Diversity for five years and co-directed Lead for Diversity, which is their week-long summer program focused on diversity, social justice, and community action.

Having received her Ph.D. in 2011 from Widener’s Human Sexuality Studies Program, Dr. Bazarsky has been an Adjunct Professor at Widener in both Human Sexuality Studies and the Graduate Programs in Higher Education since 2008. She has her M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University, as well as an M.S. in College Student Personnel and B.A. in Social Work from Miami University. This summer, she was a Fellow in Identity, Health, and Wellness at West Chester University.

With more than 20 years of professional experience in social justice and human sexuality, Dr. Bazarsky brings an incredible amount of expertise and passion for the work to her role of Visiting Assistant Professor in Human Sexuality. Please join us in giving her a very warm welcome to the Center.

Rachel Gibson Letter to CHSS Community

Rachel Gibson has been working in South Africa on several projects.  She wanted us to post a letter that she had sent us to share with the CHSS community.
Hi All, 
So as you know I’ve been involved in several projects while here in SA.  One of the biggest initiatives is getting condoms available to learners in schools in the Gugulethu township.  We’ve had a lot of push-back from the community, for reasons that are very similar to those in the U.S. as well as others. Part of my work has been networking and giving presentations to community members about the benefits of a Condom Availability Program. Anyway, we have been working with an organization in Khayelitsha (one of the largest townships in Cape Town), that has a similar program to create a documentary that will help show how important and effective the program has been.  I wanted to share a part of the documentary that we have created with you all, so you can see better what I’ve been doing.  I have so much to share when I return!  I also wanted to thank all of you for being so supportive in my endeavors, and doing something outside of the box for my practicum placement.  I can’t believe its coming to an end soon…..
Here is the link:
I know the language of the documentary is not always completely how we would like it, I still cringe at the phrase ‘fall pregnant’.  But in trying to remain culturally competent there are many compromises I’ve had to make.
See you all back in the states soon…Rachael

Sex in The Struggle:  Let’s Get It On

Dr. Betsy Crane, Professor, as well as CHSS members Frenchie Davis and Jules Purnell, will be guest speakers for Sex In The Struggle: Let’s Get It On! A new live, talk show created by Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter, Sex In The Struggle: Let’s Get It On launches Saturday, September 16, 2017 at The MJ Freed Theater, 525 Avenue of the States, in Chester.  We hope many CHSS students and alumni will participate, adding to the adventure.

Sex in The Struggle:  Let’s Get It On will be an exciting multi-faceted intimacy experience advocating social healing through sexual healing.  The two-hour event promotes a policy of intimacy through which every individual can choose deeper human connections in spite of the social and personal pressures of the day.  The exciting event will feature entertaining and informative segments focused on health, pleasure, religion, gender and much more.

See Sex In The Struggle interview with Dr. Betsy Crane on YouTube:

In addition Sex In The Struggle will feature Eric K. Grimes (Activist and Radio host), Reverend Beverly Dale (Sex Positive Theologian), Monica Day, and others.

For more information see

Tickets on sale now at Eventbrite

Congratulations Dr. Sitron!

CHSS Community,

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Justin Sitron on his appointment of Director of the Center for Human Sexuality Studies and Associate Dean for the School of Human services Professions.  Dr. Sitron had been acting as Interim Director since January of 2017.

Dr. Sitron started his time at Widener in 2008 as a full time clinical assistant professor for Teacher Education and Human Sexuality Studies.  He started working full-time in Human Sexuality Studies in 2011 and became and associate professor in 2014.  Prior to his time as Interim Director he served as the Human Sexuality Studies PhD Program Director from 2014-2016.  Dr. Sitron co-founded the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative and served as Director.

We are very happy that his appointment has been made permanent and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

Dr. Eli Green Receives Award

Widener CHSS is pleased to inform the community that Dr. Eli Green and his co-author Luca Maurer received the Distinguished Contribution to Education and Training Award from the American Psychological Association on August 5th 2017. This Award is offered to colleagues who have made distinguished contribution to the interest, goals and purposes of Division 44 in the areas of education.  Dr. Golden of Ithaca College nominated Dr. Green and Luca Maurer for their work on the Teaching Transgender ToolKit.

CHSS is honored to have Dr. Green among our alum and adjunct faculty!

Ruby Gertz: Student Spotlight

In 2015, Ruby Gertz rode a bicycle across the country from San Francisco to Boston talking about periods! This experience is what drove her to join CHSS and pursue her MEd in Human Sexuality Education.

This year, starting April 1, six female cyclists embarked on bike tours across the United States and Mexico. The cyclists took separate routes and converged in Atlanta, Georgia to the attend the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference on June 23. Ruby started her trip from New York City on May 14.

The project is called Sustainable Cycles: it’s a pun about bicycles and menstrual cycles. Ruby and her team are focusing on raising awareness about alternative menstrual products like menstrual cups and cloth pads. Unlike conventional pads and tampons, these products do not contain any harmful chemicals or generate excess waste. They are better for your body, the environment, and your wallet!

Ruby and the other riders hosted workshops and started person-to-person conversations along three routes to the conference. Ruby is proud to be able to use what she’s learned here at CHSS to inform her talks and workshops. All the riders were eager to share samples of different products and answer questions and share stories about menstruation and women’s health in general!

At the moment, the future of access to healthcare is under threat, and Sustainable Cycles wants to give people who menstruate the opportunity to learn about their bodies and embrace the menstrual cycle as a sign of vitality.

Since 2011, “spokeswomen” have ridden more than 16,000 miles in over 30 US states and hosted dozens of workshops. Now they need your support more than ever to make this 2017 tour the biggest yet!

They have launched a fundraiser campaign to cover the cost of the trip: