It’s not hard to measure the success of Mandy Mount, director of Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE). According to student and CARE staff member Lauren Michelle Smith, “You can see her success reflected on the faces of every survivor (of assault) who walks in and out of her door.”
“Her dedication to the UCI community and to survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence cannot and must not be overlooked,” she writes. It hasn’t. Mount received the fall 2007 Living Our Values Award for an employee who has been at UCI less than five years.
Mount got her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland and was appointed CARE director in 2005. Some consider hers the hardest job on campus, but she loves it.
“Trauma does come through this office, but the work is very hope-focused,” says Mount, who counsels survivors of sexual assault. “It’s rewarding to help survivors find their voice, and provide opportunities for them to reach out to others who’ve been hurt.”
Still, she would rather stop assaults from happening in the first place. To that end, CARE offers programs for men and women about dating, intimacy and sexual assault.
“We give workshops that help students build healthy relationships and deal with the issue of consent,” Mount says. She trains students in the Right to Know peer program to provide these educational programs and support victims of sexual violence.
Mount has expanded CARE’s services. She’s formed a Sexual Assault Support Group on campus, a UCI chapter of One in Four – a national men’s program that teaches how to support assault survivors, UCIPD CARES – a forum for students to obtain information about reporting in a safe environment, a two-part healthy relationship workshop series and online training programs.
Because of her, notes Smith, UCI has become “an increasingly tolerant, respectful and empathetic campus population.”