Meet Stephanie our Ingham County Sexual Assault Advocate

Stephanie is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of music, plants and chicken tenders. When she isn’t clumsily falling off her skies down a mountain, off her bike down a hill, off her kayak into a river, or off her own feet while playing sports, you can find her on the couch binge-watching Bob’s Burgers or reading fantasy novels. She is the proud fur mom to a 4-year-old rescue black cat named Pierre who loves to cuddle just as much as he loves to bolt around the apartment whenever its pitch dark outside and he feels like giving his mom a heart attack. You’ll often find Stephanie cracking jokes with family or loudly singing along to 90s and early 2000s songs while finding fun new eateries with friends.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your history and why you were interested in EVE, to begin with?

A: I’ve been at EVE now for a little over three and a half years. What initially got me involved was my interest in helping survivors of sexual assault and collaborating with other professionals who are involved in sexual assault response. Through my undergrad in the social work program at MSU, I became very interested in SART teams and coordinated efforts to assist survivors and create systems change.

Both in the US and across the world, sexual violence is a pervasive issue that violates not only a person’s human rights, but their bodily autonomy, often times leaving devastating mental health

issues that may follow a survivor for decades or even the rest of their life. Sexual assault affects everyone, though women and marginalized populations are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual assault within their lifetimes.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you in your current position?

A: As an advocate, there really isn’t a “typical workday,” since everyday is different and every client has different needs. I was actually just trying to explain what I do to one of our MSW interns yesterday and whenever I try to give a synopsis, it ends up being a half hour long speech of all of the different services I can offer depending on a client’s needs and the systems they are working to navigate. I’ll do my best not to do that here!

Q: What do you most enjoy about working for EVE?

A: I love working with my clients and celebrating their victories with them, whether that may be in securing safe housing, accepting a new job, making progress in therapy, standing up to their offender in court, or finding happiness and self-empowerment again. I also love the people that I work with, both within my agency and our community partners. I would not be able to do the work that I do without the truly incredible people whom I work with and have worked with. They give me light and hope on the darker days. Seeing the work that all of our different departments specialize in and being able to work closely with other agencies has been a personal highlight of the work that I do.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not at EVE?

A: When I’m not working, studying for my classes or completing projects for my field placement, I love spending time with friends and family. I’m passionate about nature, I love spending time up north or out biking and kayaking, and I hope to hike all of the national parks across the country. I have a lot of work to do on that front, as I have so far only hiked the Grand Canyon, which started my obsession. I also love to travel and am excited to travel more internationally when it is safe to travel farther than the distance from my bedroom to my living room. I have a 4 year old black cat named Pierre, who is such a sweetheart, but will scream endlessly if you aren’t able to decode his different meows quickly enough to give him what he wants, mostly it’s just your undivided attention. My sister has recently gotten me hooked on reading fantasy novels, starting with one that she is currently in the process of writing. We usually spend our weekends together on her couch reading.

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