Sheila Broderick receives the Coveted Badge Award

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Submitted by Dr. Zoila Airall, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Campus Life
Blogging towards cultivating consciousness


I am very happy to share with you that last Monday, Sheila Broderick received the Coveted Badge Award from the Duke University Police Department at their annual Department ceremony.  As the only award recipient outside the Police Department, Sheila was honored for her work as counselor/advocate and educator.  Her nominee, Lt. Stotsenberg wrote the following:  Sheila as a victim's advocate and counselor at the Duke Women's Center works with countless victims of sexual and domestic violence.  She has put heart and head on the line in supporting these victims, often coming into the Emergency Department at late hours and just sitting with the victim as s/he goes through heart wrenching process of a SANE examination.  Sheila is always excellent at coordinating with Duke Police CID.  The relationship between the Women's Center and Duke Police's Investigations section has seen some of the first successful prosecution in the very difficult cases of acquaintance rape.

Sheila was received with a rousing applause from Lit John Daley and DUPD.  

Sheila Broderick, our Gender Violence and Prevention Intervention Coordinator describes her work in the Women’s Center as one of making connections and told me, “Zoila, I feel privileged to be part of their journey.”  Sheila is referring to the students with whom she meets and counsels on a range of gender violence crisis situations.  Young adults, Sheila explains typically are struggling with issues of forgiveness, responsibility, finding their place in the world, forming relationships and knowing how to talk to parents.  She finds hope in her work with victims because of the resiliency of the human spirit.

I asked Sheila how she creates balance in her life.  She chuckled and shared that at her core, she is very shy but loves connecting with all types of people to hear their stories and how they cope through life’s challenges. And no, she does not find this draining.  For self-care, Sheila loves to try new restaurants and music that are both local and not big labels.  She also rides her bike to work, takes yoga lessons, runs/walks the Al Buehler Trail and with a broad smile, assured me that she does not do marathons, team, or group competitions.  But my biggest surprise was hearing about Sheila’s penchant for pets.  Not only does she have a dog, Sheila raises chickens because they errate the soil and provide fresh eggs and most surprising, she has become a keeper of bees because they are a slow dying breed and we need them to pollinate our food.  Who knew this about Sheila?

This shy, but devoted advocate’s experience with gender violence and prevention intervention has caused her to think seriously about how we can be more effective on topics such as misogyny and male privilege. Sheila said, “I can’t keep bees from dying but I can do my part and keep bees.”  Her other deliberate decision in life was to not participate in what she refers to as adults’ choice to withhold information from youth.  She is a strong advocate of parents talking to kids about sex.  “I didn’t want to do it, but I did it with my kids.  It is a matter of life or death.”

Finally, Sheila believes she has one of the best jobs at Duke because of the many colleagues who care for her.  “It is the connection to a variety of people and relationships that I have at this University that keeps me coming back every day.  Everyone from the IT guys like Dan Harder telling me, I appreciate what you do, Sheila.”  

We all appreciate what you do, Sheila. Congratulations and well deserved.

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