The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce that Alex Warner, Ph.D., has been named the director of the University’s three-year Campus Safety Grant. Courtesy of University of Maine-Farmington

FARMINGTON —The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce that Alex Warner, Ph.D., has been named the director of the University’s three-year Campus Safety Grant.

UMF was awarded the grant totaling almost $300,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women in the fall of 2020 to strengthen the University’s ongoing efforts to educate about and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus.

September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month and the grant will help invigorate the University’s mission of working with the campus and local community to create a safe environment for all.

The focus of Warner’s role is to connect with campus members, local agencies and community partners as the University builds on existing partnerships with local criminal justice and victim service agencies, such as the Farmington Police Department, the District Attorney Office for District Three and Safe Voices and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services.

“I am looking forward to enhancing UMF’s relationship with key organizations and agencies in the community whose focus is to keep the campus and community safe,” said Warner, who uses both she and they pronouns. “This program will provide us with new opportunities to work together to raise awareness of and respond to gender-based violence, including sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking.”

A lifelong social equity advocate, Warner has taught at a number of schools, including San Francisco State University and the University of Iowa. Dr. Alex (as her students call her) published work on feminist discourses of consent and sex, was a founding member of the Women’s Leather History Project and served on the Board of the Committee for LGBT History (a subset of the American Historical Association.)

Warner received her Ph.D. in American History with a focus on Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Rutgers University in 2011. They later received their training as a sexual assault advocate after moving to Maine in 2017.

Celia Canavan, a junior majoring in secondary education from South Easton, Massachusetts, is working with Warner to help bring the student voice to the program.

“This program’s goal is to provide the campus community with a violence prevention program that is sensitive to all demographics and accepts you as you are,” said Canavan. “The UMF faculty and staff involved with the program welcome student involvement and see student engagement as an essential part of understanding campus needs and finding the best solutions.”

Kelly M. Bentley, UMF associate professor of Community Health Education, will oversee the grant effort, which will benefit UMF students, faculty, and staff as well as the surrounding community by supporting a position dedicated to assessing campus needs and developing and implementing a targeted sustainable strategic plan focused on healthy relationships and campus violence prevention.