2017 SAAM Award Recipients

Legislative Advocate of the Year – Representative Eric Hutchings, Utah House of Representatives 

Eric_Hutchings.jpg“Representative Eric Hutchings was appointed in 2001 to the House of Representatives, chairs the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and is a long-time supporter of victims and the Utah Crime Lab. He made tremendous efforts during the 2017 legislative session to fully understand the complexities of House Bill 200, work with his legislative colleagues for its passage and was instrumental in prioritizing funding for House Bill 200. His efforts significantly aided in the unanimous passage of House Bill 200 and resulted in a significant increase in ongoing funding to test sexual assault kits. House Bill 200 was the first step in defining Utah’s response to victims and survivors of rape and sexual assault. Representative Hutchings' support of House Bill 200 sets a secure and reliable foundation for how the State will continue to resolve sexual assault in the future. We are grateful for Representative Hutchings' collaboration and the efforts he will continue to make in years to come.” 

Representative Hutchings was first elected to the Utah Legislature in 2001 and has served on the Criminal Justice Appropriations committee from that time. This assignment has given him a special opportunity to understand the workings of the criminal justice system in the State of Utah and has led to a passion for finding opportunities for reform. In 2015 Rep. Hutchings ran reform legislation known as the Justice Reinvestment Initiative that has helped to fundamentally change the way that Utah deals with crime and the victims of crime. He has served on the Utah State Sentencing Commission and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, as well as several national justice advisory groups. 

Education Advocate of the Year – Dr. Jennifer Roark, Utah State University  

Jennifer_Roark.jpg“Dr. Jennifer Roark has years of experience working with survivors and brings a wealth of knowledge and incredible passion to her career in education. She has worked to tirelessly to ensure that the Utah State University campus and our community are safe for everyone. She has worked consistently to create a coordinated community response team to address gaps in services for survivors of interpersonal violence. The CCRT brings stakeholders together not only to address issues but also build relationships with key stakeholders in our area. The work she has done will have a lasting impact on our community ensuring a coordinated response to survivors of interpersonal violence.” 

Jennifer Roark has been working in the field of violence against women for almost twenty years. She first began in 1998 as an undergraduate researcher for Boulder County’s Domestic Abuse Prevention Project, Boulder, CO. She has worked as a civilian program coordinator for the Clackamas County Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team (VAWA funded), a clinician working with survivors and offenders, and a researcher.

She has publications in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management and Crime & Delinquency regarding police decision making in domestic violence cases. During her career, she earned a B.A. (Women’s Studies & American Studies) and a PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MSW from Portland State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Utah State University, where she is working closely with community and university partners to create a coordinated response to interpersonal violence within Cache Valley. 

Student Advocate of the Year – Jasmine Despain, Utah State University I Am That Girl and Students for Choice

Jasmine_Despain.jpg“Jasmine Despain works tirelessly to make Utah State University a safer place for sexual assault survivors. Her passion, conviction, and vulnerability make her an incredible leader and advocate. I can't think of anyone who deserves the honor of this award more than her. Jasmine Despain is the founding president of USUSA Students for Choice as well as the President of the USUSA I Am That Girl club for the second year in a row. The purpose of I Am That Girl is to empower women a safe place to discuss important issues. Previous discussion topics included sex and shame, campus sexual assault, and healthy relationships. In February 2017 Jasmine organized a performance of The Vagina Monologues and raised over $2,000 for Utah State's Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (USU SAAVI) office. Jasmine also organized Take Back the Night for the third year in a row, an event where students march against sexual assault in all forms.” 

Jasmine Despain works tirelessly to make Utah State University a safer place for sexual assault survivors. Her passion, conviction, and vulnerability make her an incredible leader and advocate. I can't think of anyone who deserves the honor of this award more than her. Jasmine Despain is the founding president of USUSA Students for Choice as well as the President of the USUSA I Am That Girl club for the second year in a row. The purpose of I Am That Girl is to empower women while creating a safe place to discuss important issues. Previous discussion topics included sex and shame, campus sexual assault, and healthy relationships. In February 2017 Jasmine operated as an Assistant Director to the The Vagina Monologues and helped raise over $2,000 for Utah State's Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (USU SAAVI) office. Jasmine also organized Take Back the Night for the third year in a row, an event where students march against sexual assault in all forms.

In February 2017 Jasmine operated as an Assistant Director to the The Vagina Monologues and helped raise over $2,000 for Utah State's Sexual Assault and Anti-Violence Information (USU SAAVI) office. Jasmine also organized Take Back the Night for the third year in a row, an event where students march against sexual assault in all forms.

Nursing Advocate of the Year - Camden Caifa, Southwest SANE 

Camden_Caifa.jpg“Camden has served as the Director of Southwest SANE since 2011. In addition, she serves as the Washington County SART Director. Her dedicated service in addressing sexual violence in Southern Utah has not been recognized previously. As UCASA is a statewide organization, recognition beyond Salt Lake County is necessary. She volunteers a large portion of her time as Director of both Southwest SANE and the Washington County Sexual Assault Response Team. She is a leader in Southern Utah in addressing sexual assault and in caring for victims of violence. Under Camden's leadership, the Washington County SART has expanded their meeting schedule with strong collaboration between disciplines. Camden provides training and mentorship to the team of forensic nurses in Washington County, Southwest SANE.”

Camden Caifa has been a Registered Nurse for 18 years. She graduated from California State University in 1998 with a BSN and a minor in Marketing. She has been actively involved in the care of emergent and critical care patients for the majority of her career including flight nursing for the past 8 years. She was hired onto the SW SANE team in August of 2007 and attended the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Training in Provo, Utah. In 2011 the SW SANE Team was being dissolved and with the assistance of Dr. Robert Foster she took on the challenge of revamping the team to fit the needs of the Washington County Community. 

Camden has volunteered her time to be the SW SANE II Program Director and Team Educator; she takes great pride in the small team that has been developed. It was through the IAFN SANE Sustainability Program, International Conferences, SW Emergency Physicians, and the collaboration and support of many SANE Leaders across the state of Utah that SW SANE II is an active and accomplished team. Camden has also been an active member of the Washington County Sexual Assault Response Team since 2010. She was elected and served as Co-Chair in 2015 and Lead Chair in 2016 in which she strived to focus on team building, collaboration, writing clear guidelines, and providing community education. Camden is grateful for the many mentors that have supported her work in bringing best practices, quality care, and a supportive attitude to the bedside of Sexual Assault Patients.

Law Enforcement Advocate of the Year –  Kortney Hughes, Provo Police Department

Kortney_Hughes.jpg“Kortney has dedicated her career to assisting victims of crime at the Provo Police Department. After participating actively in and researching the issue of untested sexual assault kits Kortney began working internally to locate untested sexual assault kits in her department. Through her tenacity and work, almost 300 untested kits were discovered and subsequently identified and submitted to the Utah Crime Lab. Her commitment to victims did not end there and Kortney applied for a grant from the National Institute of Justice that allowed Provo to submit 30 untested kits. This grant made Provo only the second jurisdiction in the state to do so. 

Kortney Hughes has been a member of the Provo Police Department, Provo City, Utah, for the past 20 years. She is currently assigned as the Victim Services Program Coordinator/Grant Manager in the Criminal Investigation Unit. Kortney also serves as a department Public Information Officer, responding to press inquiries and interviews, is a member of the Provo Police Department Stress Management Unit, providing support and assistance to the members in the department, and sits on the Chief of Police’s Advisory Council.

As the Victim Services Coordinator, Kortney is charged with the coordination of all efforts by the Provo Police Victim Services Division, including supervising program personnel, grant management, developing and conducting training for police officers and the community; along with conducting research and collecting statistical information on violent crimes to assist in developing training agendas and needs. The Victim Services Division provides direct support and crisis intervention to all victims of crime.

Kortney is a graduate of the International Chiefs of Police Women in Leadership Institute, the Strangulation Prevention Institute, and the Utah Victim Assistance Academy. She was recently awarded the Provo Police Department Division Commander award for her involvement in the implementation of the lethality assessment and the elimination of  Provo Police Department’s sexual assault kit backlog.

Legal Advocate of the Year – Zakia Richardson, Utah Legal Services 

Zakia_Richardson_Photo.jpg“In 2015, Zakia courageously applied for and accepted a grant-funded position with that is the first and only position of its kind in Utah. It focuses specifically on the civil legal needs of sexual assault victims and survivors. For the past two years, Zakia has committed her legal advocacy skills and passion for victims’ rights to help individuals and families who have been harmed by sexual violence. Systemic barriers and a lack of training on the unique concerns and challenges to survivors of sexual violence in accessing civil legal remedies have long prevented survivors from fully accessing legal services. This is especially true when the perpetrator is not an intimate partner. In addition to providing individual legal advocacy, Zakia advocates for policy change to reduce institutional and social barriers for survivors of sexual violence. She never ceases to seek out new strategies to address survivors’ needs, no matter how complex.”

Zakia Richardson is a staff attorney at Utah Legal Services, Inc. who works exclusively with victims of sexual assault and human trafficking. Her position is funded by a Department of Justice grant and administered by the Office of Violence Against Women. Zakia represents clients throughout the state of Utah in high conflict cases in family law, protection from abuse and immigration law. Zakia currently serves on the Utah Sexual Violence Council as the Legislation and Policy Committee co-chair and serves on the Utah Trafficking in Persons as the legal subcommittee co-chair. Zakia graduated from the University of Virginia and the University of Texas School of Law. She volunteers as a Board of Director at the American Academy of Innovation middle school and high school and serves on the Women Lawyers of Utah board where she represents the Utah Minority Bar Association and Young Lawyers Division as a liaison.

Tribal Advocate of the Year – Chrissandra Murphy, Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation

Chrissandra_Murphy.jpg“Chrissandra has held many positions and served in many roles for the Confederated Tribes and has a deep understanding and commitment to her community. She has been the driving force behind many programs to benefit Goshute children, adults, and elders. Winnie has enthusiastically embraced the role of Prevention Educator and has successfully completed a curriculum on building healthy relationships with Goshute youth.” 

Chrissandra Murphy is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation in Ibapah, Utah. Upon graduating from high school in Riverside, California, she returned back to Utah and attended various colleges in Utah and Nevada. She returned back to the reservation and started working for the tribe in the early nineteen eighties.

Chrissandra has two children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She is presently working with the alcohol and drug prevention program which also includes domestic violence, child abuse, sexual violence, and other forms of interpersonal violence.

Program Partner of the Year – Weber State University’s Safe@Weber

Safe_Weber.jpg“The Weber State University Women’s Center’s Safe@Weber Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services Program envisions a future where all relationships are healthy and built upon a foundation of safety and respect. This future is full of engaged, supportive, and accountable communities. Since its inception in the summer of 2015 Safe@Weber has put on 93 awareness raising events and primary prevention training for the Weber State University community as well as surrounding communities. In just 20 months Safe@Weber has educated, trained, and provided advocacy services to nearly 15,500 people including students, staff, and community members.” 

The Weber State University Women’s Center works toward creating a more inclusive, equitable, liberatory, and safe community. In particular, the Safe@Weber program utilizes a multi-pronged approach focusing on interpersonal violence prevention and advocacy, social justice education, and empowerment building. Until we address, stop, and prevent all forms of violence and discrimination the work will not be done.

The Safe@Weber Violence Prevention and Advocacy Program strives to create safe and healthy relationships for all through collaboration, education, skill development, community action, and support.

  • Safe@Weber educates the about dynamics of sexual and relationship violence, consent, bystander intervention, and other ways to stop and prevent violence utilizing best practices, feminist, critical race, queer, educational, and public health theories.
  • Safe@Weber provides trauma-informed survivor-centered advocacy and emergency services to survivors and their support networks, and specialize in Title IX related advocacy and navigation.
  • Safe@Weber focuses on decreasing risk factors for experiencing and engaging in violent behaviors, and increasing protective factors and skills in problem-solving, organizing, leadership and team management, and communication.

Honorable Mention – Carla Galvez, Rape Recovery Center

Carla_Galvez.jpg“Carla has worked in violence prevention since 2013. Carla's advocacy work at the YWCA of Salt Lake and at the Rape Recovery Center has exemplified a strong commitment to ending sexual violence and ensuring that survivors are treated with dignity and respect from a strong lens of empowerment. Carla consistently receives feedback about what a strong impact she has made on the lives of survivors. Since 2013 Carla Galvez has worked with survivors of sexual violence, first with the YWCA of Salt Lake (2013-2015) as a shelter advocate. In 2015 Carla was hired by the Rape Recovery Center in the role of Victim Advocate. Carla makes a huge impact on the lives of every survivor she works with. This nomination grew out of many, many survivors sharing praise for Carla's mindful presence, authentic empathy, and empowering approach has been to their healing. Carla has a unique ability to validate others through her very presence, and brings a calm grounded energy to every interaction.”

Carla Galvez is a Salt Lake City local and proud first generation American. Her family is from Guatemala and she is fiercely proud to continue holding the culture and language of her heritage in her life. She is passionate about improving access to great services in our community, especially for those that are in marginalized or underserved populations.

From a young age, Carla knew that helping others was more than an activity, it was a part of who she is at her core. Throughout the years, Carla has volunteered and has been involved in activism for many causes. Her education is based in humanities, health, and wellness and is a reflection of her character, tenacity, and integrity. Carla believes that people can heal and it is an honor to hold space for those in their journeys.

Honorable Mention – International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake City

International_Rescue_Committee.jpg“In 2015, the International Rescue Committee - Salt Lake City office started at the Bridge to Safety Project which is a domestic violence and sexual assault screener. They use this tool with all their female clients to assess if newly arrived refugees are survivors of past or current violence and then will refer to community organizations based on their responses. On top of screening, they have started to develop women's empowerment programs and education to help newly arrived refugees understand their rights. They use a survivor-centered approaching in all their programming.”

The International Rescue Committee is one of two refugee resettlement agencies in Utah and resettles over 600 refugees each year from across the world. The majority of their clients comes from Somalia, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Burma, Syria, Nepal, and Afghanistan. Bridge to Safety is IRC's response to the gender-based violence they have seen among their clients. Bridge to Safety screens all incoming refugee women 18 years and up for current and past sexual assault and domestic violence. Bridge to Safety is made up of trained screeners within IRC that hold a variety of roles- including Youth Coordinator, Mental Health Program coordinator, Caseworker and Micro-Enterprise coordinator. Through the Bridge to Safety project, screeners try to decrease barriers to access to quality care and try to create safe spaces for women and girls. The Salt Lake City office has been running the Bridge to Safety project since 2015. They have seen a great increase in reporting of violence along with a greater ability to refer and give proper care to victims of abuse.

Honorable Mention – Beth Weekley, Wasatch Forensic Nurses

Beth_Weekley.jpg"Beth Weekley has been a forensic nurse for over a decade and has been the Director of Wasatch Forensic Nurses since 2009. During this time Beth has cared for over 100 patients, in addition to leading the team through continued growth. Most recently expanding services to Utah County and participating in electronic medical record development. She serves as a liaison with the prosecutor's office as well as provides expert witness testimony on strangulation. She assists community partners to understand issues related to the medical/forensic exam, serving on committees such as Salt Lake Sexual Assault Response Team, Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and Utah Sexual Violence Council. Beth is a dedicated nurse working to end sexual violence."

Beth graduated from the University of Utah as a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1999. She worked as a “float nurse” for Intermountain Healthcare before joining Wasatch Forensic Nurses (formerly Salt Lake Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) in May of 2007. Wasatch Forensic Nurses is a non-profit team of specialized nurses who conduct medical forensic examinations on patients reporting sexual assault.

Beth became director of Wasatch Forensic Nurses in 2010 which gave her the opportunity to expand beyond patient care. As Director, Beth has facilitated education and training throughout the community for care of survivors of sexual violence. She manages a team of over 20 nurses who are on call 24/7 to respond to emergency departments throughout Salt Lake and Utah Counties. When called upon, Beth provides expert testimony on the mechanism of injury related to non-fatal strangulation in criminal proceedings.

Throughout the past decade, Beth has witnessed tremendous growth with Wasatch Forensic Nurses mission of providing compassionate care and professional timely collection of forensic medical evidence as part of a multidisciplinary team. Of course, this expansion would not have been possible without the ongoing dedication, guidance, and support of so many incredible community partners.

Honorable Mention - Ashley Larsen, Utah Valley University

Ashley_Larsen.jpg“For over 10 years Ashley has served student victims of sexual assault at Utah Valley University. She has been an Ombudsman, Director of Student Conduct and had various positions within the Title IX office. She is presently a trained Title IX administrator and a Title IX senior deputy. Her personal touch and ability to connect are the reason that she delivers survivor-centered care remarkably. She is also a trained and talented trauma-informed investigator that conducts herself with great care and determination. She is an energetic and passionate presenter, some of her noteworthy presentations include multiple trainings on consent and bystander intervention for various groups of UVU students, staff, and community members.”

Ashley is the Associate Dean of Students at Utah Valley University, as well as a Title IX Deputy Coordinator. Having worked on student conduct and Title IX issues for the past 10 years she has a unique perspective on the range of issues that Utah's college students and their communities face. She is passionate about higher education and uses it as a platform to teach college students about their role in sexual assault prevention. 

Having been a victim of rape in college herself, she strives to build a more safe and inclusive environment for every student. This means on any given day you will find Ashley having hard conversations with UVU students about sex and consent, connecting victims of sexual assault to campus resources or developing critical campus policy. She has lead several of UVU's safety initiatives from mass violence prevention to the Whitehouse It’s On Us campaign.

Ashley possesses a Master of Education degree in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Science degree in English Literature from Utah Valley University. She resides in Orem with her almost three-year-old son, who she hopes will grow to be a “raised-right man” with a healthy attitude about sex and respect for others.

Honorable Mention – NiCole Batten, Wasatch Forensic Nurses

“NiCole Batten is an individual who quietly works behind the scenes caring for victims of sexual violence and supporting the Wasatch Forensic Nursing team 24/7 as the Resource Nurse. We often don’t recognize those working behind the scenes, but their efforts and work need to be acknowledged. NiCole Batten is a Wasatch Forensic Nurse, caring for over 250 patients over the past 11 years. Since 2010 NiCole has served as Resource Nurse, requiring her to be on call 24/7 to assist with problems and answer questions from nursing team members. She has had family and personal time interrupted when someone needs her. The team could not function as smoothly without NiCole's quick and appropriate problem-solving. NiCole has assisted with other team responsibilities including chart reviews, mentoring new nurses and checking in with nurses after they do a case. We want to honor NiCole for her selfless service to her teammates and patients.”

Honorable Mention – President Kevin Worthen, Brigham Young University

Kevin_Worthen.jpg“Under President Worthen’s leadership, Brigham Young University has made significant improvements to their campus response to sexual misconduct. President Kevin Worthen serves as the 13th President of Brigham Young University. In 2016, President Worthen responded to concerns of some students and other members of the community on how BYU had responded to students’ reports of sexual assault. President Worthen took these concerns seriously and quickly responded. He formed an Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault to investigate BYU’s response to sexual assault and develop recommendations for improvements. President Worthen’s approach to the problem was focused on helping students and creating a safe campus environment consistent with the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. President Worthen released the entire Final Report of the Advisory Council. Under his leadership, BYU is currently in varying stages of implementing the twenty-three recommendations made by the Advisory Council.”

Kevin J Worthen began serving as the 13th president of Brigham Young University on May 1, 2014. A hallmark of his presidency has been his focus on building an environment where students are both inspired and motivated to learn. As part of this, he has emphasized the safety and well-being of students.

President Worthen previously served as BYU’s advancement vice president and as dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he is the Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law. 

He earned an associate degree at the College of Eastern Utah (now USU Eastern). He then received his bachelor of arts in political science and his Juris doctorate from BYU. Following a clerkship with Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court and three years of private practice with a law firm in Phoenix, Arizona, President Worthen joined the BYU Law School faculty.

Honorable Mention – Jess Burnham, Safe Harbor Crisis Center 

Jessica_Burnham.jpg“Jess Burnham is the Coalition Coordinator for the Davis County CARES Coalition. Jess founded the Community Allied Resources to End Sexual Violence (CARES) Coalition is an effort that began in Davis County in April of 2016 with the intention of preventing sexual violence. As Coordinator for the Coalition, she has been actively working to create a variety of prevention programs to prevent sexual violence throughout Davis County. The CARES Coalition has been engaged in work such as Bystander Intervention Training, bar and restaurant outreach, and actively engaging with residents on social media about consent, coercion, and sexual violence.”

Jess Burnham serves as the Prevention Education Coordinator for Safe Harbor Crisis Center. She teaches violence prevention education in schools and wider community using evidence-based curricula focusing on empathy development and healthy relationship skills, to reduce risk and promote protective factors against violence. She believes it is our individual and collective responsibility to create a “Safe Utah” free of interpersonal violence and the conditions that allow it to perpetuate. She has previously worked with organizations such as The Road Home, the Utah Women, and Education Project, Girl Child Network Worldwide, and the Worldwide Organization for Women. She received her BS in Peace and Justice Studies, Sociology, with a minor in Gender Studies from Utah Valley University in 2012.  

Honorable Mention – Deann Tilton, Talk To A Survivor


"DeAnn has continually demonstrated her passion for helping victims of sexual violence over the past several years. She founded Talk to a Survivor to help create awareness about sexual violence. She has worked with legislation to help get bills passed, I feel like the most notable has been HB277. She is focused on not only helping victims but also preventing sexual violence and she works tirelessly to do so."

DeAnn Tilton is the founder of Talk to a Survivor, a survivor-led non-profit that supports survivors and works to mobilize Utah communities to prevent sexual violence. With a grant from the Utah Department of Health, Talk to a Survivor created the Healthy Boundaries program to address and prevent sexual harassment in Utah middle schools.

DeAnn serves on Utah’s Sexual Violence Council and the Utah Health Department’s Healthy Relationships Taskforce. In 2015 and 2016 DeAnn helped pass Utah legislation that expanded and eliminated the statutes of limitation for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

DeAnn has a Master’s degree from the University of Utah in Human Development and Social Policy. 

Honorable Mention – Dina Nielsen Ph.D.,  Davis Applied Technology College

Dina_Nielsen.jpg"Under Dina Nielsen's leadership, the Davis Applied Technology College has taken incredible steps to prevent and respond to sexual violence and other forms of intimate partner violence on campus. The programs developed by Dina are groundbreaking and stand as a shining example of what technology colleges can accomplish in assuring the safety, security, and well-being of their students.

They have taken the unprecedented step of creating services and advocacy opportunities for students, faculty, and community members on campus.

Dina deserves to be recognized for spending the time and energy to develop a world-class program that is supporting students, faculty, and the community-at-large. "  

Dr. Dina Nielsen currently serves as the Director of Student Services and Financial Aid at the Davis Technical College in Kaysville, Utah, where she is surrounded by an amazing team of people who are as passionate about preventing sexual assault as she is. Prior to Davis Technical College, Dina served in a variety of capacities at colleges from Ohio to Arizona to Las Vegas, including Utah State University and Southern Utah University. She has also served in several non-profit capacities, including chairing Relay For Life events in Findlay, Ohio, Cedar City, Utah, and Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, she was an active member of Voices of the River, a choir in Mohave County, Arizona, that supports scholarship development for Mohave Community College. Dina holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Weber State University; a Master’s of Social Science from Utah State University; and a doctoral degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her dissertation focuses on how campus legends, rituals, traditions, and symbolism influence place attachment in students.

She is especially proud of the work she has done with the Cosmetology program at Davis Technical College, partnering with Safe Harbor to teach future professionals to identify signs of violence during services and intervening when clients disclose domestic or sexual violence, a training program that has recently been made into law by the state of Illinois.