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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

M. Colleen McDaniel ’17

M. Colleen McDaniel ’17 found her calling when still at UD. While a student, she was a member of Peers Advocating for Violence Education and became a Green Dot trainer to reduce sexual assault. She now works to learn, lead and serve through initiatives that support populations disproportionately affected by sexual violence.

“Prevention is not telling people what to do; it's handing over skills to people that empower them to take ownership in ending violence within their own communities,” said McDaniel. “They are the experts of their own needs.”

McDaniel is a violence prevention specialist for Virginia-based LAWS Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. She primarily works to serve women who have been victims of sexual assault. To better help them she is enrolled in a doctoral program researching social psychology with a focus on sexual assault prevention.

“I learn more about the structures that uphold violence and how I can better serve the actual needs of people, rather than assume I know what they need,” said McDaniel.

To make an even greater impact, McDaniel founded her own consulting firm, dedicated to helping individuals and groups do more to prevent, respond and assess instances of sexual violence.

She’s also pushing for change in her community. Before graduating from Wayne State University, she led a team of people who had already helped create survivor-centered Title IX policies at the university. She also established a survivor of sexual violence fund for students at Wayne State University and pushed for a statewide resolution that combats the sexual harassment many graduate students face.

“I try to put my own personal interests aside to support the needs and demands of the communities that I seek to support,” said McDaniel.

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