AU Press Releases

Alumna's Riley Lecture to focus on sexual violence prevention and public health

Alfred University (AU) alumna Dr. Kathleen Basile, a behavioral scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will present the 2014 Riley Lecture in Women’s and Gender Studies on Monday, March 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the Knight Club, Powell Campus Center. Her presentation, open to the public, is titled “Sexual Violence Prevention and the Importance of Public Health.”

Basile serves as lead behavioral scientist of the Sexual Violence and Child Maltreatment Team in the Research and Evaluation Branch of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the CDC, Atlanta, GA.

Employed at the CDC since 2000, she will focus on the federal government’s work addressing violence against women, major findings coming out of related government-funded studies, and how public health solutions can help combat this major social problem.

The DVP is the primary CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry organization tasked with surveillance, evaluation, and program dissemination and implementation across many violence topics including intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child maltreatment, youth violence, suicide, and elder abuse.

At the inaugural Riley Lecture in April 1996, AU Professor of Sociology Karen Porter, former director of the Women’s Studies program, noted that the lectureship “validates the work of women’s studies. It reaffirms our sense of community, and it helps make that community visible.”

Porter taught Basile at AU and nominated her for the Abigail Allen Award (2012), presented in honor of one of the University’s founding mothers who dedicated her life’s work toward improving the quality of women’s lives. Porter also was instrumental in inviting Basile back to campus for the Riley Lecture. She says she is looking forward to hearing about her former student’s recent work.

“I am thrilled that Kathleen accepted our invitation to deliver the Riley Lecture and can’t wait to welcome her back to campus,” said Porter. “As a leader in the interdisciplinary field of violence prevention, Kathleen no doubt will impress us with her insight into the problems of intimate partner violence. Her talk will serve to break the silence about sexual violence, making violence prevention a community responsibility, rather than a victim’s burden.” 

Basile has authored or co-authored more than 80 presentations, journal articles, chapters, reports, and other publications. She has guest lectured annually at Emory University since 2004 and at George State University from 1997-2005. She has received and been nominated for numerous awards for her work in public health.

Basile earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and minored in women’s studies at AU. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D., both in sociology, at Georgia State University.

During her time at the CDC, Basile has served as a planning team member, supervisor to the Emerging Leader Program, chaired the DVP’s Violence Against Women Working Group, and has served as a subject matter expert, and consultant. She has also been a member of the American Sociological Association, the Southern Sociological Society, and the CDC/ATSDR Behavioral and Social Science Working Group. She has been named to the international honor societies Alpha Kappa Delta and Pi Gamma Mu.

Once a year, Alfred University hosts Riley Lectureship in Women’s and Gender Studies. Charles Riley and Elizabeth Hallenbeck Riley were AU alumni, Charles in 1935 and Elizabeth in 1936. Elizabeth was a local activist involved in women’s rights issues. Their daughters, Pamela Riley Osborn (’62), Patricia A. Riley (’65), and Melissa Riley sponsor the lecture series in memory of their parents. The Riley sisters’ gift is a completion of the memorial Charles Riley had planned for his wife but had not completed before death.