- What are you most excited about your workshop?
DR: When most people think about the role of technology in adolescent relationships, they tend to think of things like cyber-bulling and sexting. While those are important topics to discuss with young people, I am most excited to talk about the impact technology is having on the verbal and non-verbal communication skills of adolescents, as well as the impacts it can have (both positive and negative) on their emotional intelligence. I am thrilled at the opportunity to facilitate a session where sexuality educators from all over the country will have the opportunity to discuss this important issue and explore strategies for bringing this information into the classroom.
- Who do you hope will attend your workshop?
DR: My hope is that anyone who works with young people in the classroom or a community-based organization will attend my session at this year’s National Sex Ed Conference – regardless of their level of comfort using technology. Whether you are new to the field or a wealth of sex ed knowledge, my hope is that youth-serving professionals of all levels of experience will attend this session and share their expertise about the role of technology in adolescent relationships.
- Can you tell us a little about who you work with, and what issues you are most interested in?
DR: I work for a national sexuality education organization called Answer. Answer is based at Rutgers University and is the home to our teen-to-teen magazine and web site Sex, etc. and sexetc.org. As the director of training at Answer I have the privilege of working with teachers and sexuality educators from all over the country. I enjoy many different aspects human sexuality, but I’d have to say that two of the issues I’m most interested in are teaching sexuality education to adolescent boys and creating safe and inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ youth as well as addressing their specific concerns around healthy relationships.
- When you meet someone new how do you describe what you do?
DR: When I first meet someone new I try to describe my work in very basic terms. I’ll typically say something along the lines of “I provide professional development for teachers who teach sex ed.” If they find this idea fascinating (which many do) I am prepared to give a more detailed explanation of the wonderful world of sex ed. On the other hand, if they are not friendly to the idea, I am armed with talking points about why I am passionate about the work I do and why I feel it is vital for people to have this information. Either way, it’s not something I dance around. I am proud of the work I do and feel very fortunate to have a career in a field with so many amazingly dedicated and compassionate professionals.