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Kate Harrington-Rosen: the Equity Outreach and Education Specialist for the Office of Title IX/Equal Opportunity and Access

Modified: September 12, 2017

Kate Harrington-Rosen, the Equity Outreach and Education Specialist for the Office of Title IX/Equal Opportunity and Access, started her career working in direct support of sexual assault survivors in college at McGill University. Post-graduation, she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she was a case manager for adult survivors of sexual assault and youths in the sex industry, working in direct response and as an advocate at hospitals and police precincts. Although she loved this work, her career shifted slightly after moving to Chicago in 2015.

“As a queer person, I wanted to work more specifically within the LGBTQ community,” Kate says. “For the last few years, I’ve been doing workforce development with a nonprofit in Chicago, where I managed a program that served trans and gender nonconforming adults with direct career counseling. Additionally, I was doing trainings out in the community around LGBTQ, but specifically trans- and gender-nonconforming competency in an employment context.”

Through this experience, Kate realized that training was an aspect of her job she loved the most. She decided to explore this further, finding a way to combine training with sexual assault support work.

“Every time I did a training I felt like I was learning something new and deepening my own practice as a facilitator,” explains Kate. “It was informing the work I was doing with clients directly, and I could see the meaningful macro-scale impact. My position at Northwestern is a good combination of my two skill sets: a background in sexual violence work and my more recent experience with training.” 

At Northwestern, Kate is responsible for training all students, staff, and faculty on the University’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures, including mandatory reporting responsibilities. Over the next six months, she hopes to network with people across the University and set up trainings with as many groups as possible to help her better assess the needs of Northwestern’s specific populations.

“Policy can be pretty dry, but that does not mean I will just be lecturing about the finer parts of our policy,” she laughs. “I want to help people understand that Title IX is one option among many to empower them and help them be safe on campus. Right now, I’m developing as many scenarios as possible for trainees to go through during our sessions. A lot of those are centered around being a mandatory reporter and what the reporting process entails.” 

Kate has found that mandatory reporting, in general, is a source of anxiety for many people, who fear that the survivor will lose all agency once a report is written. She hopes to help participants understand the role of the survivor in the reporting process, and that there is much that can be done to help without moving forward with a formal  investigation.   

“I want to make sure that folks are aware that my office can often provide interim measures for people who have experienced sexual misconduct without them having to go through a formal investigation,” Kate explains. “While they will need to make a report and speak to someone in my office about what happened, in many cases they do not have to start an investigation, meaning the respondent may not need to be notified in order to get accommodations. Accommodations might look like switching out of a class or a no-contact order.” 

Kate is passionate about advocating on behalf of survivors and looks forward to working with different groups across Northwestern. She can provide trainings for groups of any size. To set up a training, or to learn more about her services, send her an email at kate@northwestern.edu.