President Antonucci honored for work against domestic violence
Fitchburg State University President Robert V. Antonucci was recognized Monday, Oct. 1, with the Great Guys Award by the YWCA Central Massachusetts in recognition of the campus-wide Fitchburg Anti-Violence Education (FAVE) program.
The honor was presented during the Daybreak Breakfast that kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The awards ceremony was held on the College of the Holy Cross campus.
The YWCA Central Massachusetts’ created The Great Guy Award in 2004 to recognize the outstanding contributions of men in the central Massachusetts community who have been inspired to learn and better understand the issue of domestic violence, and who have demonstrated their commitment to end violence against women and children.
Antonucci was recognized because of his support for FAVE, launched in 2011 to prevent interpersonal and relationship violence, sexual assault and to support those affected by violence.
“This award recognizes Fitchburg State’s commitment to building a safer, healthier community, on campus and beyond,” Antonucci said. “I’m proud of the work we have done at the university and our commitment to addressing these issues.”
FAVE is directed by Fitchburg State Professor Jannette McMenamy and Erin Travia M.A., LMHC of Fitchburg State’s Counseling Services, is its assistant director. FAVE collaborates with the YWCA of Central Massachusetts/Battered Women’s Resources to meet training needs and to link survivors with community-based resources.
A key component of FAVE is mandatory educational programming for incoming first-year and transfer students about issues of interpersonal and relationship violence and sexual assault. More than 2,200 students have been trained since the program’s inception in 2011.
The FAVE project is supported by a grant awarded to Fitchburg State University by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, through the Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program.
Also recognized as a Great Guy at this week’s awards ceremony was Lyonel Jean-Pierre, staff attorney with Community Legal Aid.
The keynote speaker for the event was actress Lisa Regina, herself a survivor of domestic abuse and the founder of A Write To Heal, a non-profit organization that utilizes the power of words and voices through writing, performance, and filmmaking exercises.