February 21, 2022

Richey named next director of Center for Advocacy, Response and Education

Juanita Richey

The Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) has announced that Juanita Richey has been hired as the director of the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE). Richey has been serving as interim director since December 2021.

CARE provides free and confidential advocacy services to students who have experienced power-based personal violence (e.g., sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking) along with free campuswide prevention programming to any Purdue-affiliated organization or course. Workshops aim to engage the campus community in discussions about topics like bystander intervention, identifying power-based personal violence and survivor support.

Richey wants students to know that CARE is a place where they can be seen and heard without fear. Students can share their story on their own terms and decide what their next step is with support and resources for mental and academic well-being needs.

“Juanita brings a wealth of experience in working with students in crises, advocating for victim/survivors, educating and presenting on prevention programs, and creating a culture of care among a team,” says Katie Sermersheim, associate vice provost and dean of students.

Richey is excited for the opportunity to grow the services CARE provides to students. Her goals include connecting with groups across campus to customize training and prevention workshops as well as growing the education ambassador program and increasing opportunities to help students empower each other.

"Students, faculty and staff are enthusiastic about creating positive change," Richey says. "There is a lot of interest out there across campus, and I see CARE as a place to collaborate and create a place to unite those efforts. I strive to be a bridge builder.  I have an open-door policy, and I hope to brainstorm ideas and continue important conversations with our students and campus partners.”

Richey came to Purdue in 2014, when she was hired as a student support specialist for the crisis management team within ODOS. In that position, she served on the on-call team and responded to after-hours crises, where she provided support and connected students to resources and services on campus to help with mental health and academic needs.

“Her experiences are broad and her compassion and care for students is celebrated. We are very fortunate to have Juanita in this role, and I am confident the campus community will benefit greatly from her leadership,” Sermersheim says.

Before her career at Purdue, Richey worked for the Lafayette Police Department as a victim advocate program specialist and for Juvenile Alternatives Tippecanoe County as a direct care worker. She has earned numerous certifications and completed professional development training programs including Safe Zone (Purdue), Green Zone (Purdue), Trauma Training (Division of Mental Health & Addiction), Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.), QPR Train the Trainer, Trauma Informed Care (YWCA), Critical Incident Stress Management and Victim Assistance Academy (Federal Office for Victims of Crime). Richey received her bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Grand Valley State University and her master's in human services from Liberty University.

Richey’s appointment as director of CARE was effective Feb. 8. CARE is located in Duhme Hall, Room 139. 

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