Mel Dickey


Mel Dickey, Graduate Student, Higher Education and Student Personnel

For many, a graduate degree is a way to build a resume and be a better professional. For Mel Dickey, her graduate study is a chance to help make life better for millions of women on college campuses across America.

“I am currently researching sexual violence against women on college campuses, and how we can create better prevention programming for men,” Dickey said. “I am interested in sexual violence against women, masculinity theories — specifically dealing with men from the ages of 16-26, and the socialization of gender in America.”

In between classes, Dickey focuses her research efforts on analyzing data on sexual assault and rape from the National Institute of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education. She finished the Fall 2016 semester crafting a literature review on the topic.

Dickey said her time in the fraternity and sorority community as an undergraduate exposed to her to many experiences involving sexual violence against women, and impressed upon her the severity of the problem.

“I became interested in this topic because of my own collegiate experiences,” she said. “I firmly believe in what the Greek community stands for and I would like to help the fraternities in particular act in accordance with their values.”

Dickey’s graduate program is in Higher Education Administration, which puts her in a position to work with college students every day. She said it drives her even more to try make their experiences the best they can possibly be. She’s using the individual investigation course option to conduct research.

“This seemed to be the best choice for me considering I want to pursue a career in sexual violence prevention,” Dickey said. “When students experience sexual violence, their lives are flipped upside down and it may become more difficult for them to earn their education. I want to prevent this from happening.”

Dickey said the research process has helped her grow grown as a student and a professional.

“Being able to do research has helped me gain confidence and skills that will help me stand up and make a change in the world,” she said.

Dickey said participating in events like the Three Minute Thesis competition developed her presentation skills and provided her with funds that will allow her to attend professional development conferences this semester.

“My research is also helping me put theory to practice in order to solve the real-life issue of sexual violence against women,” she said.

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