Campus Life

Health Promotion Coordinator Appointed To Governor’s Task Force

Dr. Denise Crisafi of Student Life has worked in interpersonal violence prevention education for almost 15 years.
By Corie Ritter and Mariah Patrick, Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs June 8, 2023

Dr. Denise Crisafi
Dr. Denise Crisafi

Texas A&M University Division of Student Affairs

Texas A&M University Health Promotion Coordinator Dr. Denise Crisafi has been appointed to the Governor’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Task Force, Campus Working Group. 

Through this working group, Crisafi will assist in creating and advancing actionable policy recommendations and improving content, effectiveness and accessibility of training and resources. In addition, the working group will provide accurate information regarding resources for survivors in a centralized, accessible, understandable format, and promote culture change that counters prevalent myths about sexual assault and reflects the reality of sexual assault dynamics and its effects on adults and children. 

 “It is humbling to know that I am able to represent the Texas A&M campus in a circle of individuals who are also committed to sexual violence prevention,” Crisafi said. “I am excited to hear about the ways other campuses are engaging with sexual violence prevention, and also highlighting our strategic plan, programming and areas of growth for sexual violence prevention.” 

 Personal experiences with her family and friends led Crisafi into the violence prevention and response field. Similar to other narratives I have heard from colleagues in the field of violence prevention and response, I did not initially select this career path,” Crisafi said. Though she does identify as a survivor of domestic abuse, the primary catalyst for her current career was watching her best friend experience an abusive relationship during high school. 

“Like many young people who do not know where to find reliable information on healthy relationships and trauma-informed care, I thought I could save her by giving her an ultimatum to stay with him or come with her friend group. To my surprise at the time, she chose him and as a result, I unintentionally isolated her even more into a relationship that ended up taking her years to break free from. When she was able to safely leave the relationship, we rekindled our friendship and reflected on how our community lacked resources, informed individuals and adequate response mechanisms to address teen dating violence.” 

 Over the past five years, Crisafi has worked with students, colleagues and community members to increase the intentionality and visibility of sexual violence prevention. My charge as an educator is to empower others to create better communities than the one I grew up in, and invite them to be change agents in how we talk about relationships and seek responsible policy solutions to this public health issue.” she said. 

 Crisafi earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in applied sociology-domestic violence prevention track, and doctorate in sociology from the University of Central Florida and in 2022 was awarded the Randy Matson ’67 Association of Former Students Award by the Division of Student Affairs. 

Media contact: Mariah Patrick, 979-845-3111, 

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