Completed research includes studies of Brazilian immigrant women’s transnational health practices; Latinas’ experiences of accessing cancer prevention services; the health implications of Latinos’ responses to and experiences during Hurricane Katrina; and the development, testing, and dissemination of the Language for Healthcare Access initiative, an innovative, community-based English language curriculum designed to improve healthcare access knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy among limited English proficient, recently immigrated Spanish speakers. Messias has designed and tested several Community Health Worker (CHW) interventions with Hispanic/Latino populations in South Carolina and Texas. ENLACE: A Promotora-Led Physical Activity Intervention Trial for Latinas in Texas National Institutes for Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1R01HL111718-01A1Messias, D. H., PI 20% effort; Sub-Contract for Parra-Medina, PI,782,702; Sub-Contract Budget: 2,00008/15/2012 – 5/31/2017 Experiences of Rural Southeastern Latino Parents of Children with Asthma University of South Carolina Office of Research Aspire I Grant Estrada, R. Those numbers are up from 2015, when 74 students reported offenses to the school’s sexual advocacy office – SAVIP.At least 94 students reported offenses to SAVIP for each of the three years before.“We are doing a lot more to raise awareness around sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking,” said Rebecca Caldwell, director of Strategic Health Initiatives at USC’s Student Health Services.So far in 2016, 30 students have told USC’s office of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention and Prevention that they have been sexually assaulted.“The process of choosing to come forward, of having the slate of options to choose from, is really empowering.” At least 57 University of South Carolina students have reported offenses to the school’s office of Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention and Prevention.
Instead, they say it shows the school’s campaign to raise awareness of sex offenses and the support available to victims has taken hold among students.
“Education is critical when it comes to stopping sexual assault and encouraging students to report,” Hickman said in a statement.
“Understanding what constitutes sexual assault, the definition of consent and what it means to be an active bystander are of utmost importance.” Caldwell said those efforts are important because they reach potential sex crime victims and their friends, whom a victim will turn to.
USC officials say they expect the number to increase as the school’s public awareness campaign about sexual assault takes hold with students.
Messias received a BA in Latin American Studies, with High Honors and Distinction from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, IL in 1969.