By: Ritik Shrestha ’22
In January, Anna Thompson joined CC as the new sexual assault response coordinator, a role that supports the campus’s initiative to become a safer and more open place for students to discuss their experiences. Thompson says she’s excited to work with students to make a lasting impact on campus culture. Here, Thompson shares a little bit about her life and what she hopes to accomplish while working at CC.
What is the main way your position will impact students at CC?
As the sexual assault response coordinator, I’ll be someone on campus that students can seek out for help about their case. I want to make people comfortable coming to talk to me about what they have experienced and I can help them make the next steps whether that is through law enforcement or through on-campus resources. I know that all cases and people can be very different so I just want everyone to know that I am here to help with anything.
What is your professional and educational background before CC?
Before I came to CC, I attended New York University where I majored in Spanish and a minored in public health. After my undergraduate studies, I went to Ohio State University where I got my master’s degree in public health. While I was in Ohio, I developed an interest in public health by volunteering at a local rape crisis center. During my time there I was a volunteer advocate who helped victims figure out their options to move forward and eventually I was hired at the center full-time to work as a long-term advocate and continued that work full-time.
Why do you think you are a good fit for the job?
I think my biggest strength is that I am an adaptive person. During my time at the rape crisis center, I got a lot of experience working with many people with different backgrounds and viewpoints and I was able to learn how to bridge the divide caused by differences. I also think I am someone who is very encouraging and supportive in a way that brings out the strengths of others so that work can be done as effectively as possible.
What influenced you to get into this field and profession?
Public health is something that I’ve been interested in since high school and I explored it outside of my schooling. When I went to NYU and did my minor, that was a great hands-on educational experience with the subject and I wanted to pursue it even further during graduate school. I also think that my strong background with Spanish helps because I always wanted to be able to break down barriers of communication with others.
What do you like about CC so far?
When I visited I was amazed by the energy of the campus. I feel like students here are dedicated and genuinely want each other to succeed. These were values that I have as well and I knew for sure that I wanted to work here. I also love the small and close-knit campus community; this is a very personable place which I like.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
Being new to Colorado Springs I’m still in the phase of discovering all the outdoor activities this place has to offer. I definitely want to visit the Garden of the Gods and the different hiking trails. I also really like to read and I’m a big soccer fan although my team, the Columbus Crew, aren’t doing too great right now. I’ve also been involved with the Democratic Socialists of America back in Ohio so I hope to get back into that especially since Bernie Sanders just announced that he’s running!
What is one interesting fact that people might not know about you?
Back in high school I did a study abroad where I traveled around Japan and did a homestay in Hefei, China. I was able to live the life of a high schooler in China and I can confirm it was really intense. The kids in my homestay family were constantly studying and it was a completely different environment from what we have here. Although the stress and workload wasn’t something that I loved, it was still a great experience and I’m glad I did it.