About Us

Mission Statement

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) exists to facilitate the success of students by providing advocacy and confidential counseling to those who have experienced sexual/gender-based harm during their time at USC.

Through its educational programs, RSVP fosters a better understanding of sexual violence, relationship abuse, stalking, and healthy relationships/sexuality. Above all, RSVP serves as a haven for students and provides opportunities to make change on campus, through its educational programs and peer outreach program, VOICE .

RSVP fosters an environment that enriches the USC experience across lines of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, ability and sexual orientation.

Commitment to Diversity

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) is committed to creating safe and affirming spaces for all people. Our center and staff are committed to students of all genders and gender identities and strive to provide an affirming space for all students.

The University of Southern California prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, mental disability, disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era. Gender includes a person’s sex assigned at birth and their gender identity, expression, or behavior, regardless of whether that identity, expression, or behavior is traditionally associated with their assigned sex.

Staff

Ekta KumarEkta Kumar, Psy.D.
Director
Pronouns: she, her, hers
(213) 740-4900
ekumar@usc.edu
Ekta is a clinical psychologist and director of Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP). Ekta completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University in clinical psychology and sociology, clinical psychology doctorate and master’s degree at the University of Indianapolis, and postdoctoral fellowship at Loyola Maryland Counseling Center. Her postdoctoral fellowship focused on providing culturally competent services on a college campus. Her specialty areas and passion lie within working with survivors of gender-based harm/trauma, LGBTQ population, ethnic minority clients, and college students. In her spare time, Ekta enjoys Zumba classes, cooking, and frequent trips to Six Flags.

Elizabeth LeeeditLiz Lee, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker
Pronouns: she, her, hers
(213) 740-4900
Lee438@usc.edu
Elizabeth attended University of North Texas for her undergraduate degree in Psychology and graduated from UCLA with a Master of Social Welfare. She has worked and volunteered in non-profits for over 13 years and specializes in dual diagnosis (substance abuse and severe mental illness), psychosis and gender-based harm. Liz likes to play the musical saw and the theme for her wedding was Super Mario.

Rachel Brosamle, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
Pronouns: she, her, hers
(213) 740-4900
Rachel is a licensed clinical psychologist and received her doctorate and master’s degree from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Loyola Marymount University and uses a multicultural and feminist approach to her work with students. Her specialty areas include trauma, anxiety disorders, identity development and healthy relationships. She is passionate about working with first generation to college students, survivors of gender and power-based harm, and LGBTQ+ individuals. On the weekends, Rachel loves to hike, cook and hang out with her cat, Louis.

Dianna Linares, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker
Pronouns: she, her, hers
(213) 740-4900
diannali@usc.edu
Dianna graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Masters of Social Work. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over 11 years and specializes in crisis response, individual counseling, advocacy and outreach for survivors of gender based harm/trauma, ethnic minorities and others within the marginalized community. Dianna enjoys being outdoors, staying active and spending time with friends and family.

Mynor Rios
Administrative Assistant
Pronouns: he, him, his
mynorrio@usc.edu
Mynor provides administrative support to RSVP’s personnel and oversees the department’s front office day-to-day operations. Mynor was born in Chicago, Illinois but was raised in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Stoney Point High School located in Chatsworth, California. Mynor enjoys photography and is an avid sneaker collector.

Kevin R Kevin Reeves, B.A.
Graduate Program Assistant
Pronouns: he, him, his
(213) 740-4900
cwm@usc.edu
Kevin is a Photographer and Filmmaker pursuing an MFA in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California. He graduated from Central Michigan University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts. During his undergraduate studies he volunteered for three years as a Sexual Aggression Peer Advocate where he was educated on issues of sexual aggression and gender-based violence. Kevin’s guilty pleasure is 80’s rock music.

Sivakami Ananthasingam, B.S.
Graduate Program Assistant
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Sivi is a Master’s student studying Social Entrepreneurship through the USC Marshall School of Business. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at USC in May 2016. During her undergraduate studies, she was a VOICE (Violence Outreach Intervention and Community Empowerment) representative and will be returning for VOICE Year 2. While studying at the University of Oxford, Sivi did research on the use of gender-based violence in regions of conflict, specifically focusing on Sri Lanka during the civil war and Iraq during the recent conflict with ISIS. Sivi enjoys finding new coffee shops and playing volleyball. Fun Fact: Sivi’s last name means ‘Happy Lion.’

Laurel Henderson, M.S., DDS ’17 Candidate
Barre Instructor, Albert Schweitzer Fellow
Pronouns: she, her, hers
laurelhe@usc.edu
Laurel is a fourth year dental student at USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. She has a Master of Science degree in Health and Strategic Communication from Chapman University. Laurel is a certified barre instructor and has been teaching barre classes for four years. She received an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for her trauma focused and informed barre classes here at RSVP. These classes aim to improve mental health among students who are survivors of trauma. In her spare time Laurel enjoys trapeze, aerial silks, volunteering on international dental trips, and serving as Miss Universal City USA 2016.

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services History

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) was founded in 1989 as part of the Division of Student Affairs. Originally called the Office of Women’s Issues, its purpose was to decrease sexism, offer rape-prevention programming, provide counseling/advocacy to women experiencing gender-based harm, provide referrals, and maintain a resource library. Kathleen Bartle-Schulweis became the office’s first employee, serving as Women’s Issues Advocate from 1989 until 1993. In 1993, the office hired its first director, Reverend Elizabeth Davenport, who worked at the center until 2003. From 2004-2015, RSVP has been led by various directors including Lori Strauss, LCSW (2004-2006), Karen Minero, Ph.D. (2006-2007), Danielle Lancon, LCSW (2008-2013), and La Shonda Coleman, LCSW (2013-2014). The current director is Ekta Kumar Psy.D. who was appointed to the Director position in 2014.

Over time, it became clear that the center should provide services to all students, not just with a focus on women. The center’s name developed to the Center for Women and Men, also known as the Sexual Assault Resource Center. In addition, Men CARE, which began in 2005 under the direction of Todd Hennman, was a campus-wide program to end all forms of sexual violence in the USC community through education, cultural change, and leadership development for men. In 2014, due to USC students’ desire to take further initiative in the area of men and masculinity-related issues, Men CARE evolved into a student-led organization entitled The Men and Masculinity Initiative.

RSVP also advises and works closely with the student organization, Women’s Student Assembly (WSA), which engages the USC community in critical dialogues surrounding feminist issues, oppression, and to raise awareness surrounding a variety of issues, such as body image and sexual assault prevention. WSA provides week-long programming for Take Back The Night and RSVP.

As of June 1, 2016, the center’s name changed to Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services (RSVP) to best clarify the support for sexual and gender-based harm for students of all gender identities. RSVP is a safe space for students of all gender identities and RSVP staff are committed to providing inclusive and affirming services to all students. Please see our mission statement for further information.

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