In her emotionally gripping talk, Koestner discusses her journey from victim to survivor. Interweaving her own story with vignettes from survivors across the country, Koestner offers a three-fold message of successful sexual communication, responsibility in the use of drugs and alcohol, and respect, for self and for peers. It provides students with a blend of facts, statistics, realism, and thought-provoking challenges around relationships, respect, substance use, and decision-making. Seeing sexual assault through Koestner’s eyes enables students to challenge stereotypes and confront conventional beliefs and behaviors.
“It’s really cool that she is coming to our campus. She has a lot to say and what she is saying is extremely important. She is an excellent speaker and it is extremely moving. I think our students, faculty, and staff need to hear it,” said Stephanie Rowland, UTC Title IX Coordinator.
Koestner will also be giving a talk to faculty and staff from 5 – 6 the same day about warning signs to look for if a student is in trouble, what can be done to help these students, and the positive impact caring faculty can have.
Koestner is a national expert on student safety and wellness issues. She has presented to more than one million students in the United States. As the first victim of date rape to speak out nationally and publicly about her experience at The College of William and Mary, she appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine. She has guest starred on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC Nightly News, CNBC Talk Live, CNN, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Later Today, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight and other national television programs. In 2011, Koestner’s Foundation, Take Back The Night, was chosen by the TV Show, The Good Wife, as their charity of choice for their Celebrity Golf Tournament.
She has lectured at over 2500 schools in North America, including the incoming classes at MIT, Brown University, West Point, the US Naval Academy, Amherst College, Williams College, the top 200 officers of the Department of Defense, and the American Association of School Administrators. In 2007, Coe College awarded her an honorary doctorate for her extensive work on student safety and public service. She has assisted the US Department of Education in developing and providing programs to women in high risk communities.
Koestner is the founder of Take Back The Night, an international event and non-profit organization with the mission of ending sexual violence in all forms. In 2010, the US Ambassador to India invited Koestner to keynote and lead a 19 day campaign in India to raise awareness about Violence Against Women. Her testimony on Capitol Hill was instrumental in the passage of federal student safety legislation.
Koestner’s visit is a part of the Know More campaign on Campus, which seeks to educate about sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking. The campaign plans to incorporate multiple in person events.
“This is part of a more comprehensive campaign trying to bring this to the forefront and change our culture regarding sexual violence,” Rowland said.
Know More features five modules online on UTC Learn, focusing on defining some concepts like consent, bystander intervention, and victim blaming. The modules will span six weeks, but students can enroll at any point.
“The online training will be a good primer, to get a baseline and understand some of the terms, before Katie gets here,” Rowland said.
Rowland first heard Koestner speak at the Tennessee Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Summit in January, 2015, along with Chancellor Steven Angle and others from UTC.
“There, we heard her speak, and immediately started talking. It’s very moving and we were all kind of blown away. I thought it was important to have her come to campus and speak,” Rowland said.
Click here (http://www.utc.edu/sexual-misconduct/know-more.php) to learn more about the Know More campaign.