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Haven and Sexual Violence Support and Resources Staff

On-Campus Staff

Dawn LaFrance

Dawn LaFrance, PsyD

Director of Counseling and Psychological Services
Director of Sexual Violence Support 

Phone: 315-228-4286
E-mail: dlafrance@colgate.edu

Dawn is a confidential resource.

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It is my privilege to serve as director of Haven. I started working here in 2001 after completing my undergraduate degree at Lafayette College and earning master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at the University of Indianapolis. During my training, I worked primarily in community mental health and university counseling centers. I spent my internship year at Utah State University's Counseling Center.

I have enjoyed so many things about my work and life in Hamilton, especially my many interactions with Colgate students. I am excited to work closely with our community to promote Haven, Colgate’s sexual assault response center. Outside of Colgate, I love spending time with my partner, children, and our dog, Colgate Raider. In my free time, I enjoy running and being active outside.
Denise Contreras

Denise Contreras

Assistant Director of Survivor Support Services

Phone: 315-228-4286
E-mail: dcontreras@colgate.edu

Denise is a confidential resource. 

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I joined the counseling staff in 2015 and thoroughly enjoyed my first year working with a dynamic team and supporting students at Colgate University. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, I had the opportunity to travel and serve as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force for over seven years. Following my separation from the military, I pursued my college education and received my bachelor and masters degrees in Social Work from Texas State University in 2006 and 2007. My MSW program in direct-practice was built on the liberal arts perspective.

It is my pleasure to serve as the Assistant Director of Survivor Support Services. Sexual violence and other forms of violence affects everyone, my goal is to continue to support those who experience such violent acts and act as an advocate for change through prevention, education, and advocacy support.

I have extensive experience working on the issues that initially brought me to social work: prevention and education, crisis intervention, and a desire to support the emotional health of young adults. My focus includes trauma and PTSD, alcohol and substance misuse, life transitions, grief/loss, relationships, identity, and trans/queer mental health and healing. I am a generalist who enjoys helping students identify their strengths to re-explore and develop new ways of coping with stress. My approach to the therapeutic process involves a strengths-based perspective and cognitive behavioral techniques with trauma-informed clinical care. In my practice, I explore decolonizing health and wellness and use ancestral healing work as a source of self-healing.

When I'm not wearing my social work hard hat, you can find me jogging, attending sporting events and tailgating. I am a faithful Texas Longhorn football fan and now a Colgate Raider fan of every sport possible! I also enjoy reading, art, concerts, traveling, and spending time exploring the East Coast!
Natasha Torres

Natasha Torres '15

Program Coordinator 

Phone: 315-228-4286
E-mail: ntorresstaff@colgate.edu

Natasha is a confidential resource. 

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I graduated from Colgate University in 2015. I am Office of Undergraduate Studies scholar and received the Voice of Consciousness Award as a senior for my work in co-organizing an 101 hour sit-in that led to the Colgate for All 21 Point Plan. 

As a student, I was the Chairwoman of Sisters of the Round Table, a student-organization for women of color. I co-founded the Social Justice House, a residential house on Broad Street for students interested in a living environment committed to addressing social justice issues. I interned for the Center of Women's Studies and was a member of Broad Street Association. I majored in Educational Studies with a minor in Women's Studies, which informs my passion and advocacy work at Haven and beyond. After graduating, I did some non-profit work with the Cleveland Leadership Center and Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America. 

I started at Haven in 2016 as a Residential Fellow and currently serve as the center’s Program Coordinator. I care deeply about social change and centering the voices of those most impacted by institutional violence. I believe that healing must be accessible, especially when working with survivors of multiple forms of violence. I don't identify as an artist, but believe in its healing properties to reconnect with the body, mind and spirit. I incorporate that in my work with Haven through organizing events and speakers that empower people to explore and define their experiences, trauma and healing process. I enjoy reading, graphic designing, and spending time with my friends (who are brilliant, inspiring, and hilarious). 


Interns

Intern portrait

Jessica Pearce '18

Haven Intern

E-mail:
jpearce@colgate.edu

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My name is Jessica Pearce and I am a senior at Colgate. I am an educational studies major, an OUS scholar, and a first generation college student. This year I look forward to being a Femtour, serving on the Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Coalition, and being involved with organizations including Sisters of the Round Table, Lambda and QTPOC.

I love being creative and I enjoy cooking, playing guitar, reading, writing and editing videos. I am interested in journalism, art and activism and am excited about finding ways to combine the three. I am currently working on ethnographic research about the experiences of first generation students of color at predominantly white institutions. 

I feel so lucky to work with an amazing team this year at Haven. I strongly believe in Haven’s mission and I am interested in connecting with people through healing. I hope to honor the students alumni and professors who imagined and created Haven and made it a reality on campus.

Intern portrait

Jailekha Zutshi '21

Haven Intern

E-mail:
jzutshi@colgate.edu

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When I was 15, I heard someone talk about the most traumatic time of their life. This person was affected by violence in multiple ways, many of them institutional. I was especially struck by the individual in question’s grace and courage, and how they still found it in themselves to be truly happy and fulfilled. The immediacy and urgency of their story made me decide to work to change the statistics, one story at a time. 

As a freshman, I hope to contribute to Haven's goal of creating a safe, supportive space in which survivors can heal, love, embrace, and empower. I believe true recovery is acknowledging that an incident may change you, but does not necessarily define who you are.

I've been dancing for over 12 years, and have taught dance to children, adults, and blind learners. I'm excited to integrate my love of dance with Haven's mission of survivors of trauma and violence to enable and empower them to build awareness and embrace themselves.

Aside from dancing, I enjoy reading, debating, running, and spending time with my loved ones. I’m tentatively considering a major in Economics, and hope to become a policymaker who creates positive change.

 


Off-Campus Resources

Rochelle Robinson, Campus Advocate for Help Restore Hope Center

Rochelle Robinson

Help Restore Hope Center Advocate 

Phone: 315-363-0048 x2149
E-mail: rrobinson@liberty-resources.org

Rochelle is a confidential resource.

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Hello, I am the Enough is Enough Campus Advocate with the Help Restore Hope Center.  I have been an advocate with Help Restore Hope Center since 2015. I am a life-long resident of Madison County, NY.  I am an alumna of Niagara University with a degree in Social Sciences and Spanish.  I am currently a part-time graduate student at Syracuse University pursuing a degree in Social Work.  My goal is to be a clinical social worker with a specialization in trauma healing, and to continue working with victims/survivors of violence.  Prior to my role as an advocate at the college campuses in Madison County, I was an advocate at the Madison County District Attorney’s Office.  My passion for working with victims/survivors of violence has developed from an initial wish to end sexual violence.  After learning more about the root of violence, and how identity intersects with violence, this passion has evolved into a much larger desire – to put an end to interpersonal violence.  Some topics that I am learning more about are the intersectionality of identity and violence, queer, transgender and gender-non conforming experiences of violence, and the psycho-somatic experience of trauma. 
 
My work here at Colgate involves providing confidential support to those affected by sexual violence, relationship violence, and other forms of violence – that includes stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and domestic violence.  I am a confidential resource, and have no responsibility to report any information shared with me to anyone here at Colgate University.  I can meet with student victims/survivors to discuss options for reporting, to provide a linkage to information and resources and to provide advocacy with law enforcement, Colgate administration/staff/faculty, medical staff and individuals within the legal systems.  I am also able to provide education and trainings upon request to student groups, faculty and staff.  Any student at Colgate has the option to seek out my help regardless of when or where the violence occurred.  I am present on campus on most Tuesdays from 10:00am until 4:00pm in Haven.  I invite you to drop by, or reach out via phone, email or text to see if I am available.