When Kristin Waltz attended Ohio University in the late '80s, the pavement on Morton Hill was uneven, Baker University Center had not been built and the Survivor Advocacy Program did not exist.
Fast-forward 26 years after she graduated, Waltz is now the SAP survivor advocate and case manager.
Under that role, she provides crisis intervention and advocacy services to students who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Her role will include direct victim services, crisis intervention and emergency response.
“I’m going to be working directly with the survivors and perhaps family and friends who may need some support, may need some education on the process on what their loved ones going through,” Waltz said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some families already this year, so that was pretty neat to see the care and support that our students are getting.”
Waltz, who started her new position July 18 and earns a salary of $48,000 a year, splits shifts for on-call crisis hours with SAP Director Kimberly Castor and the SAP graduate assistant Mackenzie Roman.
Delaney Anderson was the program coordinator of the Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program, but left her position in October for a job outside the university. Anderson, whose annual salary was $37,230, was a licensed and credentialed non-mandated reporter, meaning she did not have to report suspicions of abuse.
Some of Anderson's roles were briefly overseen by Alicia Chavira-Prado, special assistant to the vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion, who was not a credentialed non-mandated reporter and didn't have a role in advocacy services, according to a previous Post report. The lack of a non-mandated reporter in Anderson's position led to the program temporarily shutting down Nov. 16.
In March, the university announced SAP would reopen Fall Semester.
The purpose of SAP is to provide confidential support and counseling to survivors of sexual assault, stalking and relationship violence. SAP is under the Division of Student Affairs and reports to Associate Dean of Students Patti McSteen.
“They have worked very hard to establish connections on campus and within the Athens community to better serve our students,” McSteen said in an email.
While SAP is confidential, the program does not provide traditional counseling like Counseling & Psychological Services.
“We do the crisis intervention referral, case management and advocacy work,” Waltz said. “We are trauma informed. We will help someone get into CPS for traditional counseling. ... We’re not a source of long-term, ongoing therapy, but we can do some brief crisis intervention work and support for students.”
Originally from Dayton, Waltz received her undergraduate degree in social work from OU in 1990. She obtained her Masters Degree through The Joint Master of Social Work Program, which is run by North Carolina AT&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
After graduate school, she stayed in North Carolina where she worked in adult mental health before moving back to Ohio two years ago.
“I came back to Ohio because my mother is 82 and I wanted to be closer to her, and I liked the Athens area,” Waltz said. “It’s close to my heart. Anyone who’s gone to school here usually, I think has a little bit of that left in them.”
In addition to spending time in the SAP office at Lindley Hall, Waltz can be seen at Casa Nueva performing as lead vocalist for her band, the Come On, Come Ons.
“I like to say she has a powerful voice both on and off the stage,” Castor said.