April 2, 2019
Contact: Sandy Connolly (651) 259-3902
St. Paul, MN -Commissioner Dennis Olson is pleased to announce the hiring of Laura Linder-Scholer as the new Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. In this position, Linder-Scholer will provide support and resources to Minnesota colleges and students to help prevent sexual violence on campus and improve incident responses.
In 2015, legislation was signed into law requiring college campuses to provide sexual assault training to students and staff, as well as enhance cooperation efforts between institutions and local law enforcement. Linder-Scholer is tasked with supporting colleges in these efforts, especially at smaller institutions that may lack the resources necessary to fulfill these requirements.
"All of our students should feel safe, seen, heard, and valued," Lieutenant Governor Flanagan said. "This position will serve as a critical resource for students and schools in helping manage both prevention and response."
"College leaders, staff and students are working hard to keep college campuses in Minnesota safe, but we know this work can be more challenging for campuses with smaller budgets and fewer staff," said Olson. "Laura has a strong background in sexual violence prevention and will be an important resource and ally for both victims and campus staff."
Linder-Scholer will also provide technical assistance to postsecondary institutions around compliance with federal Title IX regulations, and promote best practices in trauma-informed survivor response.
"I am eager to help build connections and competency across Minnesota higher education institutions," Linder-Scholer said, "with the ultimate goal of making our campus communities safer, more equitable, and better prepared to respond to reports of sexual violence."
Earlier this month, Linder-Scholer released three campus toolkits for Sexual Violence Prevention Month (SVPM)in April: an Information Toolkit, an Event Planning Toolkit, and a Promotional Toolkit. Each toolkit is designed to help campuses raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate their community on how to get involved in prevention efforts. SVPM logos, banners, and fliers are included in the toolkits and are also downloadable.
Linder-Scholer also plans to participate in the upcoming Ramsey County Sexual Assault Response Collaboration, an event at which municipal and county leaders from law enforcement, public health and prosecution will gather to announce their collaborative response to sexual assault across our community. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Richard H. Rowan Public Safety Training Center in St. Paul.
Prior to coming to OHE, Linder-Scholer served as the Sexual Violence Prevention and Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota and volunteered as a sexual assault advocate for Rice and Ramsey County. Linder-Scholer graduated from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN), holds two graduate degrees in higher education from Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) and the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis, MN), and currently serves on the board of two nonprofit organizations dedicated to sexual violence prevention.
Linder-Scholer can be reach at Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-259-3975.