Marywood receives $30,000 from ‘It’s On Us’ grant


Marywood is one of 36 schools that received the grant. Photo credit: Briana Ryan

Emma Rushworth, Contributor

Marywood University is taking a stand against sexual assault with the help of a grant from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “It’s on Us” program.

Marywood is one of 36 colleges or universities across Pennsylvania that will share a $4 million grant from the “It’s on Us” program. The program launched in 2016 with the goal of combating sexual assault on college campuses.

Associate Director of the Counseling and Student Development Center Brandice Ricciardi, Director of the Office of Equity and Title IX coordinator Dr. Yerodin Lucas and Dean of Students Ross Novak make up the team from Marywood who applied for the grant.

Before applying for the grant, the group sent out a campus climate survey. Results from the voluntary survey provided the group with data explaining what was missing on Marywood’s campus in terms of sexual assault awareness.

“We know what the needs are and now we have the data to prove what the needs are,” said Lucas.

A main component of the application process was creating an estimation of how funds would be allocated if received. Marywood’s award totaled $30,000.

With the grant money, the team will purchase data management software to house any complaints concerning sexual assault, which will make the process easier and more user friendly.

Another portion of the grant will be spent on improving the Promoting Awareness for the College Transition (PACT) program. This program is designed to create a better understanding of topics such as healthy relationships, stalking and sexual misconduct for incoming students.

The grant will also be used to pay for the training of staff, faculty, campus safety and first responders in dealing with sexual misconduct. To help provide this training Marywood will be working in conjunction with local agencies.

Ricciardi said she believes the group’s intensive work was the reason why the grant application was successful.

“I cannot think of a better group to work with for doing this,” said Ricciardi.

Novak said his hope is to have everyone on campus looking out for one another.

“We have our little Marywood community, but that’s centered in the Scranton community and helping one helps all,” said Novak.

Contact the writer: [email protected]