The 2017 ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference

Thank you for joining us for the 2017 ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference! Please visit the 2018 ATIXA Annual Conference site to learn about this year’s event.

OCTOBER 3rd – 6th, 2017

ATIXA_Logo       atixa_scope_joint_conf2017       SCOPE_Logo

Registration for this event has closed.

Now Available: Full Conference Program

ATIXA/SCOPE 2017 Joint National Conference has gone mobile! If you are attending the conference, plan now to receive the schedule, maps, reminders and more on your iPhone/Android, all for free.
Download the conference mobile app today

Please contact ATIXA at for questions. 

Please Note: ATIXA and SCOPE do not work with any Hotel Travel Agencies. Reservations for hotel accommodations must be made with the Sheraton directly. 

Call for ProgramsConference Sponsors & Exhibitors | Conference ScheduleConference Speakers 

Conference Registration | Pre- and Post-Conference Opportunities | Apply for a Scholarship | Student Poster Session

Hotel & Conference Location | Mentoring ProgramSpecial Events | Contact the Conference Committee

The Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) and the School and College Organization for Prevention Educators (SCOPE) announce the 2017 ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference, October 3rd-6th at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ATIXA and SCOPE host a joint conference to underscore the essential fusion of compliance and prevention in any conversation about campus sexual violence.

Read the official press release.

Call for Programs

The 2017 ATIXA/SCOPE Conference Committee welcomed concurrent session program proposals for the Joint National Conference, to be held October 3rd – 6th, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Call for Programs is now closed.

Student Poster Session

Please note that the Student Poster Session has been closed due to lack of submissions. We hope to bring back this program in the future.

Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors

2017 Sponsors | 2017 Exhibitors | Become a Sponsor and Exhibitor

2017 Sponsors






2017 Exhibitors


Become a Sponsor and Exhibitor

Thank you for your interest in becoming a conference sponsor and/or exhibitor. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get your brand and/or services in front of more than 450 Title IX administrators and prevention educators as they come together to “bridge the gap” between prevention, action, and response.

Please review our Sponsor & Exhibitor Opportunities Informational Brochure for additional information on sponsoring levels and exhibit schedule.

Review remaining Sponsor & Exhibitor opportunities available.

Email our team at for interest and inquiry next steps.

Conference Schedule

The conference will begin the evening of Tuesday, October 3rd with an opening keynote and welcome reception. Wednesday, October 4th and Thursday, October 5th will include a variety of concurrent and featured sessions, as well as roundtables and optional events, such as theme dinners. The conference will conclude with a midday keynote on Friday, October 6th.

Pre-conference opportunities will be available Monday, October 2nd & Tuesday, October 3rd; additional fees apply. Post-conference opportunities will be available Friday, October 6th-Sunday, October 8th; additional fees apply.

Tentative Conference Schedule

  • Monday, October 2nd & Tuesday, October 3rd, 9am-5pm: Pre-conference Opportunities
  • Tuesday, October 3rd, 7:00pm: Opening Keynote & Welcome Reception
  • Wednesday, October 4th & Thursday, October 5th: General Conference Sessions
  • Wednesday, October 4th: Student Poster Session
  • Friday, October 6th, Mid-morning: Closing Keynote
  • Friday, October 6th-Sunday, October 9th: Post-conference Opportunities

Now Available: Full Conference Program

Conference Attire

Attire for all ATIXA/SCOPE events is business casual. Rooms are air-conditioned and evening temperatures can be chilly, so we recommend carrying a jacket or light sweater for your comfort. Average temperatures for Philadelphia in October range from 50°F to 70°F.

Conference Speakers

Opening Keynote | Closing Keynote | Featured Speakers

Opening Keynote

Compliance vs. Cultural Change: Designing Innovative Sexual Assault Prevention Programs that Transform Campus Communities

Keynote Speaker: Gail Stern, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Catharsis Productions

The enduring problem of sexual assault on college campuses is not a new issue. However, it is only relatively recently that the breadth and depth of the phenomenon has reached the general public. High-profile cases from Stanford University’s Brock Turner to Baylor University’s multiple allegations of gang rape by athletes, have injected both horror and urgency into this critical conversation. When high profile campus incidents occur, however, institutions frequently frame the problem of a few “bad apples,” rather than viewing them as an indicator that deeper problems exist within their own culture. Furthermore, many campuses mislabel the cause of the problem, blaming sexual violence on drinking, confusing gender and sexual norms, and approach solving the problem by focusing on compliance with the letter of the federal law, not the spirit or ethics that fueled it. The academic community is an eco-system, and it requires that all of its stakeholders be invested in any significant cultural change model. Educational initiatives must focus on the unique subcultures of each campus, reinforcing the values and principles that undergird not just the law, but the core of the institution itself.

This keynote address will highlight the lessons learned from 25 years of practice as a sexual assault and violence prevention educator with college audiences, the U.S. Military, and law enforcement. It will provide broad, principled direction for the dynamic educational approaches we need to change the culture.

Dr. Gail Stern is the co-founder of Catharsis Productions and co-author of the non-stranger rape prevention program Sex Signals, which is presented over a thousand times each year to civilian college and military audiences around the world. Dr. Stern has served as a subject matter expert for each branch of the U.S. Military. She participated in the development and delivery of the Air Force – Wide Bystander Intervention Training (BIT) program and was responsible for the development of the BIT Women’s Module; she also co-designed and delivered the accompanying Train-the-Trainer program from 2007-2010. Dr. Stern co-developed a 20- hour peer education curriculum and training program on sexual assault and harassment prevention for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

Closing Keynote

Putting Ourselves Back in the Narrative: Crisis and Opportunity in Uncertain Times

Closing Keynote Speaker: Nicole P. Eramo, Ph.D., Executive Director, Assessment and Planning, Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer, University of Virginia

All of us who do Title IX work on campus know of the Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus” and its impact on the fight against campus sexual assault. The article both sensationalized the campus sexual violence climate and furthered a simplistic and well-trodden narrative of institutional indifference to the problem. The subsequent unraveling of the articles narrative caused many to question the existence of a campus rape problem and returned us to a tried and true rape myth – women lie. Much has been written about the article and its ugly aftermath.  Often lost in the coverage of journalistic failures and “catfishing” love interests, however, is a meaningful exploration of the widely held perception that colleges and universities are indifferent to rape and rape victims.

Nicole Eramo, the university administrator at the center of the now retracted Rolling Stone story, will talk about the trope of “institutional indifference” and how the shifting ground of Title IX and Clery compliance and media coverage of rape as a black or white issue has left institutions struggling to keep up with ever-changing regulations, opened well-meaning administrators to career ending attacks, and often grossly mischaracterized institutional practices and motivation. With continued uncertainty under a new federal administration, colleges and universities must use this moment of crisis as an opportunity to reassert our viewpoint and expertise into the ongoing compliance and enforcement narrative while serving as champions of the good work of our people and institutions along the way.

Dr. Nicole Eramo is the Executive Director of Assessment and Planning in the Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer at the University of Virginia. In this role, she leads divisional efforts around assessment and planning, as well as taking the lead on major initiatives to strengthen programs and services for students. In November of 2014, Rolling Stone released the story “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.” The story included a graphic account of the rape of a University of Virginia student only known as “Jackie,” recounting therein interactions with her dean, Dean Eramo, and portraying Nicole as indifferent to a horrific gang rape and intent on covering up the matter to protect the reputation of the University. The story soon fell apart under increased journalistic scrutiny and was ultimately called “a story of journalistic failure that could have been avoided” by the Columbia School of Journalism. The magazine officially retracted the story in April 2015. Nicole ultimately sued the magazine for defamation and the author of the piece, the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, were found responsible for defamation with “actual malice” in a jury trial lasting over three weeks in the fall of 2016.

Featured Speakers

Featured Session A

  • Transgender Rights Under Trump
    • Erin Buzuvis, J.D., Professor, Western New England University School of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies
    • The Trump Administration has changed the course of administrative enforcement of Title IX’s favorable application to transgender students’ rights. This presentation will examine the legal implications of the new Administration’s policies regarding transgender students civil rights, including most notably, its revocation of OCR’s prior guidance on this issue.  It will also emphasize the role that the courts have and will continue to separately play in defining the scope of Title IX’s application to transgender individuals, as well as how state laws provide an alternative basis for evaluating educational institutions’ responsibilities to ensure nondiscrimination and accommodation for the transgender members of their communities. 
  • Roles and Best Practices of Title IX Coordinators in Varied Institutional Settings
    • Julia Dunn, M.A., Associate Dean of Students and Title IX Administrator, Whitman College
    • Leah Gutknecht, MBA, Assistant to the President and University Title IX Officer, University of Northern Iowa
    • Sharon Perry-Fantini, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Equity, Access, & Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator, Tiffin University
    • The published guidance from the 2011 DCL provided much needed clarification and expectations on the role of Title IX Coordinators and the importance of support for the position. The panel will share their experiences as Coordinators related to effective organizational structures, training and development on a shoestring budget, overcoming barriers, university-wide collaboration, and creating a diverse and culturally competent investigation team.  This session will explore the best practices from public, private, predominantly white, and other types of institutions of higher education.

Featured Session B

  • Title IX Enforcement: A Lifeline for LGBTQ Students
    • Eliza Byard, Ph.D., Executive Director, GLSEN
    • Title IX has historically been an important tool protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students to an education free from violence and discrimination. This session will address critical information on the vital role Title IX coordinators have in protecting this often at-risk population of students. The session will also address efforts by states and local districts that specifically target transgender students, in particular by preventing them from using the restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, and the recent rescission of U.S. Department of Education guidance on accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students under Title IX.
  • How Not to Get Sued:  Lessons Learned and Best Practices Gleaned from Title IX
    • Patricia Hamill, Esq., Partner, Conrad O’Brien PC
    • Matthew Kaiser, Esq., Partner, KaiserDillon PLLC
    • Andrew Miltenberg, Esq., Partner, Nesenoff & Miltenberg LLP
    • Students found responsible in sexual misconduct proceedings are increasingly turning to the courts for relief.  Some of these lawsuits have succeeded in forcing a settlement or returning students to campus; others have been dismissed at the earliest stages.  This presentation will highlight some of the most significant recent legal developments in such lawsuits and provide insight into what makes for a valid legal claim—and what doesn’t.  The presenters will use this current and existing legal precedent to discuss best practices in Title IX student disciplinary proceedings from notice, to investigation, to hearing, to appeal.  The program presenters are nationally renowned for their work in this area and have been involved with some of the highest profile cases in the country.

Featured Session C

  • Campus Sexual Assault Response: Six Novel Approaches You Should Consider Trying; Including Two Already Proven, and One Being Tested
    • John Banzhaf III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D., Public Interest Law Professor, George Washington University Law School
    • To deal with what has been called an epidemic of campus sexual assaults, some argue that complaints should be handled solely by the police, even though the high burden of proof in criminal cases can make prosecutions – much less successful convictions – very difficult. But the government has pressured U.S. colleges to investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual assault, although critics maintain that colleges often lack the necessary resources, frequently deny the accused fundamental procedural protections, and have built in conflicts of interest. Banzhaf offers six concrete proposals for dealing with these problems. The emphasis is on workable solutions, not just on studies, statistics, and/or academic rhetoric.
  • Title IX and Athletics:  Effective Practices for Compliance, Coordination Culture

    • Leslie Gomez, Esq, Vice Chair, Institutional Response Group, Cozen O’Connor
    • Scott Schneider, Esq., Partner, Fisher Phillips LLP
    • Gina Maisto Smith, Esq., Chair, Institutional Response Group, Cozen O’Connor
    • High profile issues related to sexual and gender-based harassment and violence continue to arise in athletics departments, leaving colleges and universities inquiring about the lessons learned nationally.  The panel, comprised of practitioners and litigators, will discuss effective practices for the coordination and integration of institutional compliance responsibilities under Title IX, Clery, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and related authority.  The discussion will include a primer on Title IX compliance obligations in athletics, an assessment of recent compliance activity associated with athletics gender equity, significant Title IX athletics litigation developments, and thoughts about the immediate future of compliance and litigation activity.  The panelists will close with practical solutions to help promote compliance and implement evolving effective practices for athletics departments. 

Featured Session D

  • Higher Education Law & Policy: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going, and How Might “Compliance University” Evolve?
    • Peter Lake, J.D., Professor of Law, Charles A. Dana Chair, and Director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, Stetson University College of Law
    • In his 25+ years as a law professor, legal scholar, trainer, and consultant, Professor Lake has observed and written about the evolution of higher education law and policy, with particular emphasis on issues involving student safety and wellness.  How will the past shape the future?  What law and policy directives might we see at the federal and state levels?  What is “Compliance University” and how will it continue to develop?  Professor Lake will discuss these important topics and provide the audience with important legal and compliance updates and bold predictions for the future of our field.
  • Trauma-Informed Daily Living: Making People as Important as Process
    • Jyl Shaffer, M.A., Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator, Montana State University
    • Being trauma-informed is about more than understanding the biology of how trauma impacts the brain. Trauma-informed is about taking proactive steps to make sure our systems do not cause new harm to a victim who comes to us for help. Sometimes that means we as professionals have to shift our way of thinking and our way of doing. This talk will help make sense of why we as Title IX professionals need to be trauma-informed and practical ways to make those changes in our daily work. Trauma-informed practices are better for everyone involved in our process; when done right, our trauma-informed systems have the potential to be the foundation to create culture change on our campuses. 

Announcing a new Featured Session!

  • OCR Interim Guidance and the Future of Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
    • Brett Sokolow, J.D., President & CEO, The NCHERM Group; Executive Director, ATIXA
    • Saundra Schuster, J.D., Partner, The NCHERM Group; Advisory Board Member, ATIXA
    • W. Scott Lewis, J.D., Partner, The NCHERM Group; Advisory Board Member, ATIXA
    • Daniel Swinton, J.D., Ed.D., Managing Partner, The NCHERM Group; Senior Associate Executive Director, ATIXA
    • Catherine Spear, J.D., Former OCR Attorney and current Associate Vice President for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the University of Virginia; Affiliated Consultant, The NCHERM Group
    • Now what?! With the release of the Department of Education’s “Interim Guidance on Campus Sexual Misconduct,” and the revocation of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter and the 2014 Q&A on Title IX and Sexual Violence, many are wondering how to proceed and what this means for the future of Title IX in schools. This featured session will provide an in-depth discussion of the current and future state of Title IX as it applies to sexual misconduct in schools. Featured speakers are among the nation’s leading experts in the field, The NCHERM Group’s Partners: Brett Sokolow J.D., Saundra Schuster J.D., Scott Lewis J.D., and Daniel Swinton J.D., Ed.D., and former OCR attorney/current Associate Vice President for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights at the University of Virginia, Catherine Spear, J.D.

Conference Registration

 Download W9 | Registration Cancellation Policy | Registration Policies

Joint National Conference Registration Rates
Registration for this event closed at 5PM EST on Monday, September 25th.

  • ATIXA Member: $439
  • Non-ATIXA Member: $499
  • Student (degree-seeking and not a full-time employee of any institution): $109

ATIXA Super Members: Visit your resource library for information on how to apply your complimentary registrations.

Conference registration fee includes the attendee welcome reception, continental breakfast, morning beverage service and afternoon snack breaks each day. All other meals, lodging and transportation costs are the responsibility of the participants.

Conference registration is not included in any pre- or post-conference training opportunities. Separate registration fee is required for general conference attendance.

Registration fees apply to all attendees, including retainer clients and all concurrent session presenters. 

Pre- and Post-Conference Opportunities

General conference attendance is not required to attend a pre- or post-conference event. Conference registration is not included in any pre- or post-conference training opportunities. Separate registration fee is required for general conference attendance.


Monday, October 2nd & Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017; 9am – 5pm daily


Friday, October 6th – Sunday, October 8th, 2017; Friday, October 6th: 2pm – 6pm, Saturday, October 7th: 9am – 5pm, Sunday, October 8th: 8:30am – 11:30am

Pre- and post-conference registration fee includes course registration and printed materials, certification, light continental breakfast, and morning and afternoon beverage services. All other meals, including lunch and dinner, lodging and transportation costs are the responsibility of the participants.

Conference registration is not included in any pre- or post-conference training opportunities. Separate registration fee is required for general conference attendance.

Apply for a Scholarship

The scholarship application is now closed.

In service to the field, ATIXA & SCOPE welcomed the submission of scholarship applications for the upcoming Joint National Conference and ATIXA Training Courses as part of our pre-conference and post-conference opportunities. These scholarships aim to assist our colleagues in their professional development and commitment to their chosen profession.

Scholarships will be awarded to applicants based upon written responses to application questions. A limited amount of scholarships will be awarded, and submission of an application does not mean a scholarship will be awarded. The receipt of a scholarship award in previous years does not preclude applicants from submission for or receipt of a scholarship.

For questions regarding the scholarship application, please email

Conference & Training Event Hotel and Location

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Please Note: ATIXA and SCOPE do not work with any Hotel Travel Agencies. Reservations for hotel accommodations must be made with the Sheraton directly. 

ATIXA has secured a discounted room block at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, rates ranging from $189/night – $229/night, plus applicable taxes and fees. The ATIXA discounted room block is now closed.

Make your reservations online today. Reservations can also be made by contacting the hotel directly at 1-866-716-8134 and mentioning the ‘2017 ATIXA/SCOPE Joint National Conference.’ All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit and guaranteed with a major credit card. Questions regarding included amenities or reservations must be directed to hotel.

ATIXA cannot make special arrangements or assist in capturing discounted room rates post room block closing date or if the block should sell out prior to the noted deadline. Any reservations made after the group block has sold out or closed will be accepted on a space and room-type availability and at prevailing room rates.


Airport: The hotel is located 30-minutes away from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). There is a train from the airport to Suburban Station, a 6-minute walk to the hotel.

Train: 30th Street Station is a short cab ride or a 20-minute walk away from the hotel. Ride SEPTA from PHL into Philadelphia. There is also a train from Suburban Station to the airport.

Uber: Guests who have an active SPG account and an Uber account can now register to participate in the SPG-Uber Benefits Program which allows you to earn one Starpoint for every U.S. dollar you spend with Uber.

Airport Shuttles


For your convenience, both self- and valet-parking will be available at the hotel. Self-parking is available for $38 per day. Valet-parking is available for $44 per day and includes full in and out privileges.

What to Do in Philadelphia

Learn more about local Philadelphia attractions.

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, a Philadelphia Pride hotel, celebrates the diversity of the Philly, including the city’s vibrant, year-round LGBT community. The City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus erected 72 rainbow signs demarcating the 9 square blocks of the Gayborhood — from Chestnut Street to Lombard, from 11th Street to Broad. Look for these signs and you’ll know you are in the heart of the city’s gay community! Download your Gayborhood guide to discover access to dazzling nightlife, hip restaurants, stylish boutiques and more.

Urban Adventures offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore Philadelphia with a resident guide. Forget the average history tours, their day tours are designed by those with local knowledge that can’t be found in a guidebook. You’ll visit all the top Philadelphia sights, as well as a couple of hidden gems, without any of the stress that comes with trying to navigate your way through a new city.

Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Restaurants

Dining Options

Mentoring Program

ATIXA and SCOPE are pleased to continue last year’s inaugural mentoring program at this year’s conference for attendees. Our goal is to help those interested in or new to the field, or those attempting to move up in the field, meet with more experienced Title IX and advocate/prevention colleagues to ask questions, get advice, network, etc.

The mentoring program sign-ups are now closed. A member of the conference committee will reach back out to those who signed up in advance of the event with information on your assigned partner, as well as a date, time, and location to connect at the conference. We look forward to creating some exciting opportunities together!

Contact the Conference Committee

For more information, please contact:
Michelle Issadore, SCOPE Executive Director & Conference Co-Coordinator or 610-644-7858
Marianne Price, Former ATIXA Associate Executive Director & Conference Co-Coordinator