July 08, 2016 8:45AM
Through a unique partnership with Safehouse Crisis Center, Pittsburg State University now has a full-time, on-campus victim’s advocate.
Ali Smith, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Pitt State, was recently named Campus Victim Advocate by the Safehouse Crisis Center. Technically employed by Safehouse, Smith will be located on the Pitt State campus and focus her efforts on helping university students.
In this position, Smith will provide direct client services such as crisis intervention, advocacy and support counseling to domestic violence victims. She will also provide various types of counseling and support services to victims of domestic and sexual assault.
Smith, who helped provide advocacy and referral services on campus while completing her graduate degree in 2016, said she’s passionate about helping people.
“I’m very excited about this position and about having the chance to continue to help PSU students,” she said. “I take great pride in helping those in need, even if that just means being someone they can talk to. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
J.T. Knoll, Student Prevention and Wellness Coordinator at Pitt State, has worked with Smith for many years through the Gorillas In Your Midst and Students for Violence Prevention programs. He said Smith is perfectly suited for her new role.
“Ali is the top of the line,” Knoll said. “She’s one of the best peer educators I’ve ever been around. She combines a tremendous intellectual capacity with a drive and determination to get things done. She’s a special young woman, and we’re very lucky to have her on campus in this role.”
In May, Smith was selected to receive the “Outstanding Adviser Award For Excellence” for her work as adviser, trainer and mentor for the university’s Students for Violence Prevention program.
Under her leadership, Students for Violence Prevention, received the “Outstanding Program Award For Excellence” at the Meeting of The Minds Area 4 West conference in Kansas City.
In 2015, Students for Violence Prevention received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Outstanding Prevention Program award for “P.S. I Love You: Stalking Awareness Evening.”