Hello, I'm Katherine Broendel, and I will be guest blogging this month about sexual violence. As Matt mentioned in a previous post, I am a Master's degree candidate in Public Communication at American University, and I wrote my capstone (thesis) on the framing of sexual violence in the media. The goal of my research was to reevaluate the current frames being used by the news media in order to provide women's groups and issue advocates recommendations on how to get accurate, sensitive coverage of sex crimes. My experience in graduate school has allowed me to focus on women's issues in communication, and I am currently the Communications Fellow at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Washington, DC.

Before going back to school, I earned my BA in Geography from the University of Mary Washington, where I focused my attention and classwork on Sub-Saharan Africa. I then worked for National Geographic's Education & Children's Programs on geographic literacy initiatives including the My Wonderful World campaign, and education outreach for films such as God Grew Tired of Us and Sea Monsters. I then went on to work for Amnesty International USA and Defenders of Wildlife. My professional experience in both geography and social issues has provided me with a unique perspective on communication theory and practice.

I'm really looking forward to blogging this month, and I'm grateful to Matt for the opportunity. I hope I will be able to provide some interesting insights and thoughts to the discussion. Thank you to the ScienceBlogs community for focusing on sexual violence this month. It's a pervasive social problem in need of greater public awareness and engagement in order to be diminished.

--"Guest blogger" Katherine Broendel