WWU students attend Missouri Victims Services Academy

Eight William Woods University seniors and two social work
professors recently attended the Missouri Victims Services Academy at Lake
Ozark. MVSA is a statewide victim advocate education program designed and implemented
by victim service professionals throughout Missouri.
The three-day conference involved training sessions provided
by various presenters, including WWU professors George Garner and Dr. Elizabeth
Wilson.  Other presenters included
representatives of the FBI, Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual
Violence, Missouri Department of Corrections, Missouri Department of Health and
Senior Services and the Columbia chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
William Woods University has been an academic partner with
MVSA since 2007.  Other partners are the
Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Missouri Office of
Prosecution Services.
Training offered at the academy included:
  • Victims in the courtroom
  • Human trafficking
  • Mental health and victims of
  • Elder abuse
  • Crisis intervention
  • Victims of distracted driving
  • Cyber bullying and social


While the WWU professors gave presentations at the academy,
the students had the chance to experience their career field outside the
“[MVSA] provided networking for the students and helped them
see professionals from different disciplines and allowed them to see different
career paths,” Wilson said.
Devin Bain of St. Peters, Mo., attended the academy and said,
“It really opened my eyes to career opportunities and it made me aware of
social conditions I didn’t know about before.” 
She also agreed that the conference provided her and the other students
with good connections.
Wilson hopes that “William Woods will continue to be an
academic partner” at future academies. 
She also serves on a committee that surveys victim advocates across the
state, and she hopes to receive more feedback for future academies. 

Bain recommends this program for other social work
majors because it was helpful “to see the diversity of the social work field.”