Three Dakota State instructors recently received a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to fund a workshop that raises awareness of sexual harassment.
As the AAUW president of the Madison branch, Dr. Maureen Murphy spearheaded the effort in applying for the grant. Dr. Murphy was particularly interested by the topic because she thought that it provided an excellent opportunity to blend in drama and new media elements. To help her in this regard, Murphy enlisted the services of English professor Dr. Stacey Berry and theater director Kelly MacLeod.
Right now, the project proposal consists of having student-actors acting out different situations relating to sexual harassment. These videos will be shown at a half-day workshop sometime in April.
“[While] the emphasis is middle school and high school girls, the workshops are open to boys and girls,” Murphy noted.
Of course, there is an opportunity for student involvement. Murphy said that MacLeod plans to hold a script-writing festival at her house for interested students. These students will be tasked at coming up with the different situations that will be presented in the videos.
To sweeten the pot for students, Berry said, “We will being doing some design and video awards. Those will have monetary prizes. We will put out announcements about what they are.”
While the project is presumably open to any interested student, Murphy said that students majoring in either English for New Media, Digital Arts and Design, and Audio Production would primarily be involved in producing the videos.
If students cannot or do not wish to be involved in the script-writing process or the official videos, Dr. Berry said they can submit their own work as long as it deals with the sexual harassment topic at hand.
Those interested in being involved in the project in some way should contact Dr. Murphy, Dr. Berry, or Kelly MacLeod for more information.