Hopkins Hall | Room #407E | 413-597-4977 | [email protected]
Education: B.A. Williams College, Political Science (2005)
M.S. Northeastern University, Law and Public Policy (2009)
In my role, I’m responsible for all aspects of student-facing sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking prevention, response, and advocacy programs as well as the broader health education program at Williams. I’m always happy to meet with individuals and student groups to talk about how to make Williams a safer, healthier, more just and thriving place.
The most exciting thing I’m thinking about right now is the connection between transformative justice practices and prevention. Prior to returning to Williams, I worked for 7 years in several roles at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, organizing communities to prevent sexual violence and working with my colleagues to improve systems responses based on the experiences of those harmed by sexual violence.
My education has come from institutions, but more fully from the history of many justice movements, books and podcasts, storytelling, being in community with people, and in the words of Amita Swadhin, “people who trusted me with wisdom that goes beyond my own experience”, for which I am deeply grateful.
Outside of work, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, traveling, cooking, reading, organizing my community for justice and liberation, hanging out with my kids, and gathering with friends and loved ones.
Laini Sporbert, Assistant Director for Health Education (she/her/hers)
Hopkins Hall | Room #407C | 413-597-3165 | [email protected]
Hello! I’m a Health Educator who has been at the college since 1997 (yikes!). I do primarily substance use education and counseling, mental health awareness, sex ed, and information on sleep. I see students individually and in groups, and provide educational workshops across campus (invite me to your thing for a workshop!). I work with a number of student groups including Peer Health and the Berkshire Doula Project.
A long time ago, I received a BA in Psychology with minors in social work and women’s studies. Slightly less long ago, I completed an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Addictions. My Master’s thesis is on using the harm reduction method with college students to decrease harmful behaviors, and I have extensive training in motivational interviewing.
I am a proud north Berkshire native, and currently serve on our local Public Arts Commission. I previously served on the Cultural Council of the Northern Berkshires, and the MCLA Alumni Board. Until recently, I was on the Board of Directors of Elizabeth Freeman Center since 2005. I am active in several community-based prevention and recovery working groups. When I am not at Williams, I also help promote Young People in Recovery in the Berkshires. And when I’m not doing either of those things, I enjoy folk music. I’m known to drive almost anywhere in New England for a good folk show. I also like to knit, take walks in the woods with friends, travel when I can, cook/bake, and hang out with my fluffy cat Chino.
Riley Kavanagh, Violence Prevention Coordinator (she/her/hers)
Hopkins Hall | Room #407A| 413-597-4232 | [email protected]
My role consists of creating educational programming for Williams students that centers on preventing intimate partner violence. I focus on the many ways intimate partner violence shows up on a college campus and how we as a community can prevent harm. A huge part of building a healthy community is to have conversations and raise awareness on bystander intervention, boundaries, and giving students the skills to build healthy relationships. I supervise SAPR’s Peer Educators, who deliver workshops to their fellow Williams students and I collaborate with various student organizations to aid them on their mission to foster a healthy community at WIlliams College. My door is always open to have conversations with students about their experiences, as well as to talk about programming they would like to see on campus.
Before joining the Williams SAPR office, I received my bachelors degree from the University of New Hampshire where I joined many activist organizations, including the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire. It was at UNH that my interest in intimate partner violence prevention sparked. For four years I volunteered at my campus crisis center, SHARPP. There, I was educated on preventative programming and how to provide support and advocacy for survivors. At SHARPP and the Reprofund I realized the deep love I have for this work. I owe my start in this field to the wonderful staff at SHARPP who taught me that my passion for preventing intimate partner violence did not have to end when I graduated.
Recently, I have become deeply fascinated with the way media (books, movies, social media) has impacted the way we view consent and healthy relationships. In college, I began researching the various ways pornography ingrains toxic ideals into our sexual and consent culture. It is my goal to start a conversation around how a lack of consent has been romanticized by the media, as well as give students the tools to deconstruct the media that appears before them.
I am a New Englander at heart, having grown up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I am thrilled to be returning to Massachusetts after four years away. Besides being a community activist, I am an avid reader and swimmer. During the pandemic I discovered the joy I had for cooking for friends as a form of love and look forward to exploring the farmers markets in the Berkshire area!