Kaaren Williamsen Named New Title IX Coordinator

Kaaren Williamsen
Kaaren Williamsen (photo by John Noltner)

President Rebecca Chopp announced today that Kaaren Williamsen will join Swarthmore College on July 7th as the new Title IX coordinator. Williamsen is currently director of the Gender and Sexuality Center and Title IX deputy coordinator at Carleton College.

"Kaaren brings a profound understanding of Title IX to this position and has established a national network and reputation for her work in the prevention and education of sexual assault," Chopp says. "She is universally described as an exquisite listener, a collaborative partner, and someone whom students, faculty, and staff alike find approachable and accessible."

"Words cannot express the relief, confidence, and excitement with which I welcome Kaaren to our campus," says search committee member Abigail Henderson '14, a cognitive science major from Arnold, Mo. " I believe she will work passionately every day to help this campus become a safer, more gender-equitable place and will be an administrator who students can trust."

Williamsen is the founding director of Carleton's Gender and Sexuality Center where since 2001 she has developed innovative sexual violence prevention programming including peer education, comprehensive sexuality education, men's groups, survivor support, new student orientation and FemSex/MSex, a student-led, no-credit course on health sexuality. She has also been responsible for Carleton's training programs related to sexual assault and harassment. In addition to her many contributions related to Title IX, Williamsen has also created institutional support services for LGBTQ students including peer mentor programs, support groups, campus education, peer education, and professional development for faculty and staff.

Williamsen received a B.A. in honors philosophy from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, an M.A. in counseling and student personnel psychology from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. in women's studies from Minnesota State University. She is presently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, where her dissertation will focus on campus conduct response to student sexual misconduct.

"Many colleges and universities are struggling to respond to sexual harassment and assault on campus, and while Swarthmore has had its challenges, I was immediately impressed by the openness, thoughtfulness, and campus-wide dedication to the issue of getting this right," Williamsen says. "It takes a team effort to create supportive, fair, and appropriate responses to sexual assault and to create meaningful and robust prevention programs. I am delighted to join this team and am excited for the work we will do together."