Scholar Category: Domestic Violence

Aracsi Abrego

Major: Psychology

Project: In my Puska Pathway project I am looking for mental health areas. Specifically going into sexual assault awareness and domestic violence. I would love to work towards and find new ways to aid people and families in these intense situations.

Inspiration: This social issue sparked a passion inside of me because of my own history with sexual assault I wish I could have known what to do or who to turn to for help and different ways to find the solution to my problem. As for domestic violence, my mom has had a history of domestic violence and one of the main things that kept her in the situation was not knowing what to do or who to ask for help.

Future Plans: I hope to create first of all more awareness around these social issues but also to help find new ways to fight for the people who are going through situations like this. Also, find ways to give free mental health help to families.

Christy Vo

Major: Psychology

Project: I am thinking about spreading awareness about my social justice issue through art. I want to be ablate put murals or create designs to catch people’s attention on the matter.

Inspiration: I have always loved art and want to be able to use it to my advantage to do something about my social issue and what I think is important to talk about and stand up for.

Future Plans: I hope to help with getting people to become more knowledgeable about the issue. I want to eventually work my way up and improve my project to be able to help people in Domestic Violence situations

Jennifer Cassidy

Project: Teaching computers skills to domestic violence survivors


Inspiration: Being a child of a survivor and a survivor myself


Future Plans for Project: Give these survivors confidence in their own abilities


Stephanie Tolbert

Project: I have partnered with CU Denver’s Women and Gender Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to examine how sexual misconduct training practices in academic settings address identity. Specifically, my Puksta project will culminate with training materials and recommendations for inclusive gender and sexual representation within these trainings. These identities are already marginalized and silenced within society at large. If the same is happening within practices that attempt to prevent violence, and non-binary identities are not part of the conversation, then their experiences with sexual harassment are delegitimized and invalid.


Inspiration: My project began with a question of whether or not sexual harassment training is successful in creating any cultural change as more and more survivors began to publicly speak about their experiences. I also knew that I wanted my project to address issues surrounding gender identity and sexism. After attending events, speaking with faculty who are invested in this issue, and looking at training materials from various campuses, it became clear that what I needed to do was combine these issues into one project in order to change the heteronormative conversation around and within these training practices.



Evan Utzman-Nichols

Project: My Puksta project has focused on learning methods of prevention of sexual assault on college campuses, of course this project has ebbed and flowed within this realm. Currently I am focusing on the next task in my project, due to Covid-19 it has changed a bit, but I am focusing on getting the campus bars to undergo Blue Bench sexual assault prevention training.


Bailey Cross

Project: My community engagement project is The (Blank) Monologues. Inspired by The Vagina Monologues, The (Blank) Monologues is a student written and performed production about social issues facing students on campus. These issues include by are not limited to sexual assault, domestic violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. The target population served is the CSU community including students and staff, as well as our beneficiary, Crossroads Safe House.

Inspiration: I realized that there were so many issues that college students face, and all too often they are told that they should not discuss their experiences and they are swept under the rug. I firmly believe that we cannot solve these issues unless they are talked about in the open and put front and center.

Future Plans for Project: I hope to provide a platform for survivors to share their stories and let others know that if they have similar experiences, they are not alone. I want to ensure that these issues cannot be ignored.

Ciera Blehm

Project: Into the Light, an event to raise awareness on sexual assault and to help educate.

Inspiration: Seeing how people were affected by sexual assault and the fact that education was not nearly where it should be.

Future Plans for Project: To prevent one assault from happening

Andrea Bonilla

Project: Analyzing surveys provided from high school students and their knowledge on SA and DV within low income schools and those in upper class school districts. Also working on presentations and discussing these topics within the classrooms.

Inspirations: I worked at a police department for 2 years and with my time there I was able to see first hand how many individuals were being impacted as primary or secondary survivors of these issues. I wanted to do something about this and educate others in learning about the resources and signs of how this may look before or after the abuse.

Future Plans for Project: To really encourage high school students to be confident in being able to become bystanders and have the knwoledge and ability to help their peers if anything ever comes their way.