National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Advocacy Awards:

NOVA is honored to award the following winner and honorees for their outstanding efforts, leadership and dedication to assisting and empowering victims and survivors of crime. Throughout the week, NOVA will recognize advocates in the areas of Pioneers in Advocacy, Community-Based Advocacy, System-Based Advocacy, Campus Advocacy and Military Advocacy. Please check our website throughout the week as we celebrate their dedication to crime victims!

Campus Advocacy

NOVA 2017 Exceptional Victim Advocate Award

Wanda Swan

Respect Program, Office of Health Promotion
Emory University

“Student after student shared with me, at the time her supervisor, and with Wanda that her work had changed or saved their lives.  Her warm, welcoming, empathetic demeanor coupled with exceptional skill, language, and persistence led to her remarkable integration and success within our campus community, and I can see she continues to make her mark now at Emory, quickly moving from Associate Director to Director, building a strong, victim-centered and trauma-informed violence prevention and survivor support campus center.  She continues to navigate institutional politics with impressive savvy and nerve, making change on college campuses despite the hurdles that arise in areas devoid of pre-college sexual health education, in which strong religious convictions often maintain a climate of silence and victim-blaming, in which upper level administrators fear too much press or too much dialogue on admittedly tough topics, and as she navigates the heavy hand of our current compliance landscape, which can focus too heavily on outdated risk reduction tactics or insufficient check-the-compliance-box efforts rather than engaging in the time and effort it takes to build a current, inclusive, intersectional, and, most importantly, effective comprehensive violence prevention program that actually creates culture change in the community.”

NOVA 2017 Honored Victim Advocates

Joahn Sperry

Lead Advocate
Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention
& Prevention
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina

Lynn Spillers

Victim Advocate
ASU Police Department
Tempe, Arizona

“”Jo” exemplifies all of the qualities of an IPV advocate – passionate, compassionate, dedicated, hard-working, and she never gives up or quits on her clients. Her experience has been an enormous benefit to survivors at USC and others on campus who can learn from her many years in the field. She is truly a workhorse – putting in overtime and sacrificing for survivors. She advocates for them in every way possible, including speaking up for their rights with others (whether it be law enforcement or judicial officials on campus) and overall living a life dedicated to ending interpersonal violence. Jo paid out of her own pocket to receive the NOVA Campus-Based Advocate certification and she is constantly seeking information that can help her clients and help the office grow. When I called references for her, one of her former law enforcement partners in the military told me that in over 13 years of law enforcement, she is the best victim advocate he’s ever worked with. This has not gone unnoticed here at USC where the SAVIP staff and others on campus have quickly realized her passion and expertise at her job… I cannot imagine this office without her – she is one of USC’s most important assets.” “Lynn is driven and has a high passion for the work she does that often times can go un-recognized in a fast paced working environment.  She is organized and proactive in the Department and Community.    Lynn continues to become more knowledgeable by attending trainings, most recently to name a few have been IACLEA which focused on Title IX and Clery Act, Trauma Informed Sexual Assault Investigations, Boyhood Sexual Abuse, Critical Incident Stress Management, Sexual and DV Coalition Conference and Neurobiology of Trauma Informed and Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview.  Immediately after being hired, Lynn reached out to the ASU Community and met students, faculty and staff members…Lynn coordinated a tour of the Mesa Family Advocacy Center as well as the Scottsdale Family Advocacy Center for the Office of Dean of Students so they could have a better understanding and knowledge of what victims of sexual assault have gone through.  Lynn is highly dedicated to the job she does and has an enormous amount of passion for the field…She has demonstrated passion and perseverance in facilitating victim justice and healing by both promoting and ensuring victims’ legal rights as well as crucial services to meet victims’ needs for recovery are met. I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this prestigious award.”

Alex Brown

Safe Place
California State University Chico
Chico, California

“Alex developed violence prevention and intervention program at CSU, Chico through rigorous evaluation, strategic planning, fund development, and community organizing; Provided counseling, crisis intervention, and advocacy services to CSU, Chico victims and survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking; Coordinated strategic branding, outreach, and messaging to CSU, Chico campus community about various forms of violence and prevention strategies; Implemented the Green Dot Violence Prevention Strategy at CSU, Chico through development of an implementation team, creation of outreach and messaging materials, and bystander training for students, faculty, and staff; Facilitated professional training and workshops to campus community members about violence, trauma-informed practices, victim rights and options, Title IX, consent, bystander intervention, healthy relationships, and other topics. “

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