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Promoting Empowerment and Community Engagement

Welcome to the Benedictine University PEACE (Promoting Empowerment and Community Engagement) team page! The PEACE team began on campus after October, 2016 when the University received the Violence Against Women Act Campus Grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Starting with a small core team of staff, the team has expanded to include faculty and staff from across the University, as well as students and community partners. The responsibility of the PEACE team is to promote messages of violence prevention in connection with our University values and Hallmarks, advise on policies and procedures that reflect best practices and current legislation regarding incidents of gender-based violence (sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking), and coordinate training and communication amongst Title IX, Law Enforcement, Victim Services, and the larger Benedictine community.

It's On Us Benedictine University!


The PEACE Team launched this campaign on our campus in January, 2018 when three student leaders approached staff to find out how they can get more involved to educate their fellow students about violence prevention and survivor support on campus. They organized a seminar to talk about consent, bystander intervention, and bystander intervention; created a poster campaign; and helped direct our first It's On Us video. This passion from students led to our Prevention Peer Educator program and now we share this video and campaign with all of our Freshmen students. It is grounded in our University Mission and Hallmarks, that guide us to welcome all to campus, value every member of our community, and show each other love by treating everyone on our campus with dignity and respect. It's on ALL of us to prevent gender-based violence and create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. Find out more about how you can get involved in this National campaign at


The PEACE team works to bring areas across campus together to promote a culture of violence prevention under the Benedictine University values of:

Academic Success

“Our students can only achieve their academic aspirations if they learn in an intellectual environment that is supportive, accepting, open, and safe. We are called to sustain such a space by our Benedictine Hallmarks of hospitality and community.“


—Steven Burgess, Faculty


Healthy Lifestyle

“We value each of our student athletes tremendously. Our goal is that we are developing mature and confident men and women who understand that violence has no place in their lives - whether it's on the court or field nor in their interpersonal relationships.”


—Kate Heidkamp

Appreciation for Community

“Students participate in community as active members; appreciate the tradition and heritage of Benedictine; and contribute to the common good through purposeful action. Violence prevention is taken very seriously because each member of our community serves a unique purpose in the Benedictine community.”


—Monica Ragusa
Residence Life


Spiritual Growth

“The Benedictine Hallmark of conversatio calls us to continuingly better ourselves. We recognize the ways we are called to honor the dignity of ourselves and the dignity of others.”


—Carrie Ankeny
Campus Ministry

Balanced Living

“A life lived in balance consists of study, work, leisure and prayer. When these components are in balance, eliminated is the need for violence.”


—Hope Keber
Former Director, Counseling Center


Leadership Skills

“Leadership nurtures appropriate social and emotional behaviors by providing students with the communication and conflict resolution skills necessary for modern life. Learning these techniques uses an approach that engages, informs, and empowers student to step up and prevent violence.”


—Joan Henehan, former staff
Student Engagement and Leadership Development



Bernadette Ramsden, LSW
Violence Against Women Act Grant Coordinator
(630) 829-1326

Tammy Sarver, Ph.D.
Title IX Coordinator
Professor, Political Science
Scholl Hall, Room 228L
(630) 829-6473