Mel Dickey

Grad Student Researches sexual violence on college campuses

NAME: Mel Dickey
CLASS: Grad Student
MAJOR: Higher Education and Student Personnel

How do you conduct your research?
Right now, I am analyzing data from the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Education in regards to sexual assault and rape. I am also reading a wide range of literature on the topic in order to create a literature review at the end of the semester.

How did you find this topic?
I became interested in this topic because of my own collegiate experiences with sexual violence against women, and the fraternity and sorority community. 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. My Master’s program is in Higher Education Administration so I work with college students everyday and I want to make their experiences the best they can possibly be. 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.

What are your research interests?
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.

How did you get involved in research at Kent State?
The Higher Education program has a course option titled Individual Investigation where I can conduct research and work on a project for the semester. This seemed to be the best choice for me considering I want to pursue a career in sexual violence prevention.

How do you think you have grown as a student and/or as a professional as a result of research?
Being able to do research has helped me gain confidence and skills that will help me stand up and make change in the world. I participated in the Three Minute Thesis competition, where I worked on my presentation skills and received funds that I am putting towards attending professional development conferences next semester. My research is also helping me put theory to practice in order to solve the real life issue of sexual violence against women.