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Susan Fineran

Susan Fineran is a leading voice on the subject of peer sexual harassment and its effect on adolescent mental health. A researcher in this field since 1995, Dr. Fineran was invited to present at the 2011 National Summit on Gender-Based Violence among Young People, hosted by the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and the U.S. National Institute of Justice in Washington, DC. Dr. Fineran is a licensed clinical social worker and her professional career includes experience in the areas of aging, substance abuse, child and family treatment, sex discrimination and women's issues. Dr. Fineran has been researching peer sexual harassment and bullying and their impact on adolescent mental health for over 25 years. Her work has been influential in several Supreme Court cases as well. Two of her early studies were cited in amicus briefs regarding the responsibility of schools to provide an environment protected from sexual harassment by peers [1999 United States Supreme Court, Davis v. Monroe County board of Education (97-843)].

Dr. Fineran’s research has also focused on the effects of bullying and sexual harassment on sexual minority youth and she has been an advocate for instituting more prevention education to combat sexual harassment in K-12 schools. Over the past decade, Dr. Fineran has published extensively in her research area concerning sexual harassment, bullying, and adolescent mental health and is a co-author of the book Sexual harassment, education and work: Current theories, research and best practices for prevention. Additionally, she has conducted the few studies examining sexual harassment of working teenagers in high school. This research has been highlighted in a number of national publications including; The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, E-Zine AlterNet, Family Circle, The Oregonian, and NASW News. Dr. Fineran has received three $300,000 awards (2009, 2013 & 2017) from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to fund the University of Southern Maine Campus Violence Safety Program. Dr. Fineran is Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern Maine School of Social Work and Women and Gender Studies Program. Her education includes an MSW from the Catholic University of America, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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