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UT Tyler staff member honored with 'Hope Award'

TYLER, April 25, 2013-- Samantha Dwight, health education specialist at The University of Texas at Tyler, received a 2013 “Hope Award” from the East Texas Crisis Center, Kim Harvey-Livingston, director of student services, announced.

Awards are presented to outstanding citizens and businesses that have gone above and beyond as volunteers and professionals to help victims of domestic violence.

Dwight was among the nine 2013 recipients recognized at the East Texas Crisis Center’s bi-annual Hope Awards Ceremony April 24 at the Tyler Public Library.

“We are so proud of the work that Samantha does with our students in regard to sexual assault awareness and response,” Harvey-Livingston said. “She is passionate about prevention efforts and supporting survivors on and off campus, and I am excited that she has been recognized by the community in this way.”

Dwight recently completed East Texas Crisis Center’s volunteer training and serves in an on-call capacity as a hospital advocate. In this role, she is dispatched to a hospital when a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault is admitted and the center is contacted.

Dwight has served UT Tyler since 2008. As the health education specialist, she oversees peer educator student organizations and coordinates with university departments to extend outreach efforts through UT Tyler’s student health and wellness department. She also presents health education programs on and off campus, serving as a liaison between the university and Tyler community.

Among memberships, Dwight is a BACCHUS peer educator, QPR suicide prevention gatekeeper and serves on the UT Tyler Campus Assault Response Effort.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakland University.

The East Texas Crisis Center acknowledges April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month annually with the goal of increasing awareness in the community about the nature and prevalence of sexual violence.

The Hope Awards are held twice a year – during Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month in April and again during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

A non-profit agency, the center provides help, hope and healing to victims of family violence and sexual assault. The center serves a five-county area including Smith, Wood, Rains, Henderson and Van Zandt Counties.

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