Facilitator Training Team

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Tina D. Pierce, PH.D

Founder and CEO of WORTH (Working Through Obstacles Reaching True Heights)

Dr. Tina D. Pierce is the Founder and CEO of WORTH (Working Through Obstacles Reaching True Heights), an education consulting company that provides evidence-based trainings and programs to cultivate leadership and civic engagement. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the WORTH Foundation, a non-profit fostering community engagement through civic education and leadership development. Dr. Pierce teaches Introduction to Nonprofits at The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs. With 15+ years of teaching, advising, and research experience, she seeks to empower people to use their voices in their community.

Previously, Dr. Pierce was the Assistant Director of the Young Scholars Program at OSU, where she worked to increase the academic outcomes and career exploration of pre-collegiate first generation college students from economically challenged backgrounds. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University in the Center for Black Studies, Department of Political Science, and Department of Women's Studies from 2009-2013. She launched a student facilitated mentoring programs Newark, Ohio; convened university-wide workshops and forums on social entrepreneurship and social justice; and designed experiential courses.

Dr. Pierce’s passion for community service is exemplified through her leadership roles in major initiatives including: the Columbus City Schools Policy Committee and Partnership Planning Committee, the Kids Voting Central Ohio Advisory Board, the NAACP Columbus Ohio Branch Unit 3177 Committee on Education, the Undergraduate Research Section for The National Conference of Black Political Scientists, Ohio Health Care Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, and the Professional Development Committee for the Volunteer Administrators’ Network Board. Dr. Pierce was also a founding member of the United Way of Central Ohio Women’s Leadership Council.

Dr. Pierce is a graduate of The Ohio State University, earning a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science with a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in College and University Teaching; a Master of Arts in Political Science; a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences with Distinction in Political Science; and a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with Distinction in African American and African Studies. She attended Columbus City Schools, graduating from Beechcroft High School. Dr. Pierce and her husband have four children Andrew II, Malcolm, Catherine, and Michelle.


Deborah Schipper

Sexual Violence Prevention Expert

Ms. Schipper has been working in the field of sexual violence prevention and crisis intervention for over 30 years. She began her work as a rape hot line volunteer with one of the first rape crisis centers in the country. While working at the crisis center, she had the great fortune to study under one of the pioneers in women’s self- defense, Sunny Graff.

Previously, Schipper was the Coordinator of the Sexual Violence Education and Support program in the Student Wellness Center at The Ohio State University. Schipper’s workshops and programs focus on the prevention of sexual violence and address situations of sexual violence, intimate partner abuse, sexual harassment, and stalking. She is certified as a self-defense instructor by the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and has instructed thousands of women, girls, children, and other vulnerable people in the community, in K-12 classrooms and on college campuses. Her classes include training in mental, verbal, and physical self-defense techniques and strategies and focus on sexual assault prevention. Schipper’s self-defense curriculum has shown to have a significantly positive effect on the psychological constructs of assertiveness and self-efficacy, which, in turn, has been positively linked to rape resistant behavior.

Schipper is also particularly interested in the phenomenon of ‘victim blame’ that exists in situations of sexual violence and her work addresses connections between what are traditional ‘avoidance’ sexual assault prevention strategies and victim blaming attitudes that can and do inhibit reporting and disclosure of sexual violence.


Sibyl Cato WEst, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Counseling
Co-Director, Frederick Douglass Institute

Dr. West is an associate professor in the Department of Counseling at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches a variety of school counseling content and diversity related skills-based courses, including Introduction to Professional School Counseling, Management of Professional School Counseling Programs, and Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Counseling. Recently, Dr. West traveled to Indonesia to speak with other school counselor educators and school counseling graduate students about comprehensive school counseling programs. Prior to teaching in higher education she worked as a professional school counselor in Tucson, Arizona and as a school counseling supervisor in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to teaching and supervision, Dr. West is involved in other professional endeavors. She is a member of the National School Counselor Educators Coalition, established by the National Center for Transforming School Counseling and The Education Trust to foster the training and development of professional school counselors. She also serves as a reviewer for Counselor Education and Supervision and Professional Issues in Counseling and has co-authored book chapters in A Guide to Practicum and Internship for School Counselors-in-Training, A Counselor’s Guide to Career Assessments, and Career Counseling: Foundations, Perspectives and Applications. Dr. West has been an invited speaker on diversity and advocacy related issues locally, state-wide, and at the national level. Dr. West’s research interests include recruitment and retention of minority students in counselor education programs, advocacy and professional school counseling, and school counselor preparation programs, and the development of counselors-in- training.

Dr. West is a graduate of Truman State University in Kirksville, MO where she earned her B.A. in English. She earned her M.Ed. in School Counseling from The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The Ohio State University.

Additional members

ROX staff members Lauren Hancock, Lisa Hinkelman, Lauren Morosky, Nancy Willis and Rachel Zufall also serve as members of the ROX Facilitator Training team.