Award for Student Achievement in Sexual Violence Prevention

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Published March 6, 2023

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering is pleased to announce its second annual Award for Student Achievement in Sexual Violence Prevention for the 2023–2024 academic year.


Staggering statistics characterize the problem of sexual violence: approximately 20% of women and 6% of men experience sexual assault during their college studies.1,2  These numbers are, if anything, underestimates, as incidents of this crime go vastly underreported by victims.1,3  Students are encouraged to think creatively and take initiative across the full spectrum of intellectual endeavors.  There is every reason to believe that UB students can generate innovative and impactful ideas in the area of sexual violence prevention.  The purpose of the award is to encourage such innovation and to directly engage students in solving a problem that so disproportionately affects them.

Each year the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) will present an award of $1,000 to a student or team of students who makes what is judged to be the most notable advance or contribution in the area of sexual violence prevention.  Submitted works or actions can be in any field or medium of expression.  Examples of eligible submissions include, but are not restricted to, the following types of creative products or actions.

●    Documented organization and completion of an event that achieves significant dissemination of information or training on sexual violence prevention4

●    Preparation of a high-quality research paper that presents a significant social behavioral thesis or survey study addressing any aspect of sexual violence and its prevention5

●    Development of a detailed concept and design for, or prototype of, a technology that helps prevent sexual violence (such as a phone or computer app that helps students keep each other safe)

●    Creation of a literary or artistic work (essay, poem, painting, sculpture, musical composition, choreography, film, performance work, etc.), based on personal experience, research or other forms of discovery, or creative activity, that raises awareness of the problem of sexual violence in the university community and its impact upon the victims

●    Development of a design for a campus signage or messaging campaign raising awareness of the sexual violence problem, supporting victims, or otherwise contributing to positive culture change

Each individual has their own most inherent medium and means of expression, and all media and modalities are eligible and encouraged, provided they are constructive and do no harm.

Undergraduate and graduate students in all majors and departments are eligible for this award, not just CBE students.  Submissions may take the form of a physical manuscript or other object delivered to the CBE department office (308 Furnas Hall), or an email with an attached PDF file, video file or link thereto, computer code, or other attachment sent to For events, the submission must include a description with photo and/or video documentation.  If another delivery format seems to be called for, please contact the CBE department office at the aforementioned email address for guidance.  In all cases, a cover letter must be included that clearly identifies the author(s) or creator(s) of the submitted work with contact information.  Work for which academic or thesis credit has been or will be received in any department cannot be re-used for this award, i.e., it must be a new work created specifically for the CBE award.  The submission deadline is April 17, 2023.

Entries will be judged by a majority vote of a diverse panel comprising: (i) CBE faculty, staff, and students; (ii) representatives from the Office of Student Life; (iii) members of the UB Violence Prevention Team and/or the Student Advisory Board to the VPT; and (iv) faculty from other departments asked to help assess submitted works for which it is felt that insufficient expertise exists within the CBE department to make an informed judgment.

Before starting work on a submission for the award, applicants should familiarize themselves with the topic of sexual violence prevention and available resources at UB’s sexual violence prevention webpage. The Violence Prevention Team4 would be happy to provide good overview materials and campus-specific data sources to give applicants solid groundwork from which to begin their projects.

References and footnotes

1National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Info & Stats for Journalists, Statistics about sexual violence.  Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

2Krebs CP, Lindquist CH, Warner TD, Fisher BS, Martin SL. 2007. The campus sexual assault (CSA) study: final report.  Ref. (i) in [1].  Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

3Fisher BS, Cullen FT, Turner MG. 2000. The sexual victimization of college women (NCJ 182369).  Ref. (c) in [1].  Accessed Feb. 17, 2021.

4This type of activity should be coordinated with the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response unit so that they can provide guidance on best practice and avoid “harmful helping” attempts.  Contacts: Anna Sotelo-Peryea MUP, CA, Associate Director of Health Promotion (; Aaron Maracle, LMSW, Violence Prevention Specialist (

5Appropriate survey topics would include knowledge, attitudes and behaviors.  Surveys on victimization experiences should not be conducted, as that is sensitive and highly assessed on campus already.