Registration open for family violence panels with local professionals

Mar 14, 2023 at 03:07 pm by WGNS News

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — As an assistant professor of Child Development and Family Studies, Rebecca Oldham wanted to offer her students and the larger campus community an educational experience that went beyond the classroom — a networking and learning opportunity to interact with working industry professionals to be better prepared for the wide array of circumstances they may encounter in their careers.  

Oldham partnered with multiple colleges and departments to offer all MTSU students three panel-style events focused on different types of family violence and featuring local field experts, Q&A sessions, networking opportunities and refreshments.  


The first series about child abuse will take place Wednesday, March 29; the second about stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence will take place Monday, April 3 and the final about elder abuse will take place Monday, April 10. All will be held in Room 104 of the Academic Classroom Building with the first panels taking place from 2:20 to 3:45 p.m., the networking sessions from 3:45 to 4:10 p.m. and the second panels from 4:10 to 5:35 p.m. 

Those interested can register to attend in person or via Zoom at Oldham also plans to record the panels via Zoom with closed captioning and make them available for students. 

“Accessibility is a priority at this event,” Oldham emphasized. “The building and room are very accessible for people with limited mobility, and there is a question on the RSVP for people to specify if they have other accessibility needs.” 

Oldham said that though attending in person will make it easier to ask questions during panels and participate during networking, she will have someone monitoring Zoom, so students can still virtually participate and submit questions for panelists. She added that those with any questions or concerns can contact her at

She initially launched a panel-style event for her students when she first taught the Violence in the Family course in 2020, and it received overwhelmingly positive feedback. 

“I felt like it was important to make sure that the course was grounded in reality — that meant bringing in the voices of field professionals who bring a kind of expertise that I just don’t have,” Oldham said.  

After two years of the panel being such a great success for her students and their calls for a longer event, Oldham decided this year to expand from one panel to three and open them up to the larger campus community, knowing all students could benefit because the issues are so interdisciplinary.  

“There are so many contexts in which professionals would need to know about the signs of abuse, how to prevent it, how to intervene and what kinds of policies and cultural changes are necessary to create a safer society such as the domains of psychology, sociology, social work, education, health care, criminal justice, public policy and others,” she said. “Plus, if a panelist inspires them, they have grounds to make follow-up contact with that person after having seen them or met them in person during the networking portion of the events.” 

This year’s event is sponsored by the College of Behavioral and Health SciencesCollege of EducationMT Engage, Child Development and Family Studies, Department of Political Science and International RelationsPublic Health Program and Physician Assistant Studies Program. For more information on Child Development and Family Studies, visit the website at


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