March 8, 2019

Criminal justice student presents training to CASDA employees

Criminal justice student Alayna Tulip presents training to CASDA employees.

Criminal justice student Alayna Tulip presents training to CASDA employees.

Academic Service-Learning can take many forms. For some students, service learning is about volunteering to directly help those in need, like serving dinner at a local soup kitchen. For others, it may be preparing brochures or PSAs to educate the public about issues impacting their community. And for others, it might be helping raise money and awareness for their favorite charities.

But for UW-Superior students like Alayna Tulip, Academic Service-Learning is an opportunity to give back to the community in a very big way.

Tulip, a sophomore, double-majoring in psychology and legal studies with an emphasis in criminal justice, is also is an active member of the campus community, playing both golf and softball for UW-Superior.

Last fall, Tulip’s criminal justice professor, Allison Willingham, asked students to complete a service learning project for the course CJUS106 Crime, Behavior, and Social Control. Tulip immediately knew she wanted to work with theCenter Against Sexual & Domestic Abuse, Inc. (CASDA), a nonprofit organization based in Superior that provides services to families impacted by domestic violence or sexual assault.

“I already had a little background information about CASDA from my roommate who actually interns there, but I was motivated to learn more and be involved on my own,” she said.

CASDA’s requirements for its new volunteers are steep; working with crime victims requires a great deal of sensitivity and training to ensure that every victim’s needs are efficiently met. Thus, completing the required training and preparation would not have been feasible in one semester. Inspired by both Willingham and her psychology professor Shevaun Stocker, she decided instead to offer it to CASDA free of charge.

Because working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is a high-stress occupation, Tulip spent her fall semester preparing a training session, “Recognizing and Using Stress as a Friend,” for the victims’ services providers who work at CASDA. She delivered the training to a group of CASDA employees in February.

In the training, Tulip reviewed health-related impacts of stress, such as high blood pressure, isolation, and depression. She also explained how to recognize symptoms of stress with the clients the organization serves, explaining the differences between how children, adolescents, and adults show their stress levels. Tulip then offered suggestions for stress management and self-care that were specifically targeted at victim services providers.

“Providing this type of education is a great service to the community, because it enables our victim service providers to be better equipped to handle the pressures and stressors of their jobs,” said Willingham. “I was very proud to see months of work paying off as Alayna shared her presentation with the staff at CASDA.”

“This training is important for everyone, not just victims or advocates of domestic and sexual violence,” said Tulip. “Learning how to effectively deal with stress is a much healthier option for everyone rather than pretending it’s not there, like many people are conditioned by society to do."

Criminal justice student Alayna Tulip presents training to CASDA employees.

Criminal justice student Alayna Tulip presents training to CASDA employees.

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