Military Sexual Assault: Acknowledging the Past to Forge the Future

  • Michele Papakie, PhD

    In 2010, Dr./Lt. Col. Michele Papakie left her full-time job as a journalism professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for a six-month deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan.  She assume she would be performing her Equal Opportunity manager role – working out injustices, mediating relationships, etc.  When she arrived, however, she was assigned to the Army, and her job was EO program manager AND Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program manager for Regional Command East.  After expertly and professionally handling at least 25 cases of sexual assault – male on female, female on male, male on male, female on female – she returned home to re-assume her civilian responsibilities as a mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, professor, township supervisor, adviser and mentor.  She again (incorrectly) assumed she knew enough about reintegration that she would enjoy a smooth transition from airman to civilian.  She was wrong.  During this presentation, Lt. Col Papakie will share her personal journey of “acknowledging the past and forging the future.”