As Reinhardt University’s Prevention and Health Promotion Director in the Office of Prevention and Awareness, Ty Trader plays an important role on campus. Her position and department are new, and she is thoughtfully developing both with a grant from the Department of Justice.
In late 2020, the Office of Student Affairs received a grant from the Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). It focuses on raising awareness and providing education to the campus community about dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (DVDVSAS). Trader was hired in September 2021 to develop this, in addition to providing awareness, education, and prevention on other topics such as alcohol use and hazing. She has also been involved in the creation of the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT), which brings together people and organizations both on and off campus to serve as resources for someone in the campus community who may be a victim of a crime.
So far, Trader spent most of this past year behind the scenes, observing campus life, developing partnerships in the CCRT, and planning this new campus program, which officially launches this month. Trader will be providing information on prevention and education to groups on campus and ensuring the availability of courses online.
Her office will be a place where people can find the help they need. “Under the grant, I cannot act as a confidential source to someone who is experiencing or has experienced an incident. However, my office will be a referral source. I will have the information needed to help a student, faculty, or staff member who may be impacted by violence. I can refer them to the appropriate resources for help, both on and off campus.”
Trader is a nationally certified victim advocate, trained to provide support to a victim of a crime, from emotional support to finding resources. She says she always wanted to be a police officer, but a personal experience put her on a different path. “When I was 17, I was robbed at gunpoint. After the incident, I believed there was more that could have been done to help me.”
Following high school, Trader pursued her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and then her master’s degree in public administration. After getting a job with both the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and Kennesaw State University’s Office of Victim Services, Trader had a choice to make – become a police officer or become a victim advocate. “After considering current societal issues and the impacts on victims, I decided that I wanted to make a difference. I went through a year-long training program to become a victim advocate. I always knew I wanted to help victims, and I knew I had found my calling.”
Trader appreciates Reinhardt, sharing “Reinhardt has a very accepting and welcoming family dynamic.” This year, she will be teaching First Year Seminar (FYS) and is eager to know her students. “I am the first to graduate from college in my family, so I understand the challenges for first-generation students.”
Family and spending time with friends are priorities for Trader, who also loves to travel. “I’ve been to 15 states,” she says, since only beginning her travels in 2021. “My favorite place so far is Chicago, with it's rich energy and diversity."