Waterman receives CCWRC ‘Partner in Prevention’ award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Emily Waterman, a doctoral candidate in Penn State's Department of Human Development and Family Studies and a Prevention and Methodology Training Fellow, was presented with the Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC) Partner in Prevention Award at the Center’s seventh annual Celebration Luncheon on Tuesday, May 23.

The Partner in Prevention distinction is an award given to an emerging leader in the community who helps the CCWRC in its work to end domestic and sexual violence through primary prevention.

Waterman was honored for her work as assistant director for social science in the Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab (HUDDDIL) where she led a team that strengthened the research and evaluation of the Penn State Athletes Take Action (PSATA) program sponsored by the CCWRC.

PSATA, founded by Gizelle Studevent, a Lady Lion basketball player, is an anti-bullying program with a mission to make a difference in the lives of teens. Each month during the school year, Penn State athletes visit Mt. Nittany Middle school to engage sixth graders in activities, discussions and lessons about teen bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, and healthy relationships. The program has been in effect since 2012 and has reached over 1,000 students. More than 100 Penn State athletes have participated in the PSATA program over the years.

With the help of the HUDDIL team, Waterman incorporated the Centers for Disease Control’s six protective factors for interpersonal violence into the program’s content. The risk factors include nonviolent conflict resolution, effective communication skills, ability to negotiate and adjust to stress, belief in a partner’s right to autonomy, shared decision-making, and trust.

“Emily's award from the CCWRC is a terrific example of how the college is working at the intersection of teaching, research and outreach to create meaningful impact for the Centre Region,” said Meg Small, director of HUDDIL, which is located in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center. Small’s lab brings together interdisciplinary teams that work to decrease the time between scientific discoveries and their broader social impact.

Other members of the HUDDIL team are Alicia Ali, Danielle Barrasse and Morgan Bryan, undergraduates in the College of Health and Human Development; Sarah Kidder, research assistant in the Prevention Research Center; and Susanna Walter, a recent graduate of the State College Area School District.

Waterman, whose passion is preventing interpersonal violence and supporting healthy relationships, said, “We are so grateful to the CCWRC for their recognition and thrilled that they are finding value in our partnership.” 

The HUDDIL team and CCWRC will continue their partnership in hopes of expanding the PSATA program to other middle schools in the area.