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Our Team

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Executive Director: Marc D. Rich, Ph.D.

E-mail: marc.rich@csulb.edu

Picture of Dr. Rich

Marc D. Rich, Ph.D., is a Professor at California State University Long Beach, where he directs a violence prevention peer education troupe (interACT), teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, and serves on the Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation for Students team (CARES).  As a nationally recognized leader in interactive curriculum and the prevention of predatory violence, Dr. Rich has created and assessed inappropriate pursuit and rape prevention programs that have been utilized on college campuses and military bases worldwide.  He is frequently invited to present at universities and conferences, and has led interactive workshops at many locations including VA hospitals, detention facilities, housing projects, domestic violence shelters, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, and Take Back the Night gatherings.  His cutting-edge, interactive approach to rape prevention has been showcased in leading scholarly journals and highlighted in multiple media venues.  As a researcher, he has published over twenty peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, including the first empirical study of an interactive, role-player based approach to the prevention of sexual assault.  His peer education prevention programs have been proven to raise awareness about violence and predatory strategies, debunk rape myths, build empathy for survivors, and provide audiences members with strategies and the confidence to intervene.  In corporate settings, Dr. Rich trains security teams to be better prepared for workplace violence.  He is a high-level practitioner of Krav Maga, the Israeli self-defense system, and has designed and evaluated the curriculum for women’s rape prevention programs.

Managing Director: Kelly Janke (KJ), M.A.

Picture of Kelly Janke

KJ worked with interACT as undergraduate, and earned his Master’s degree while working with the troupe and conducting research on masculinity and violence against women. KJ served as a Lead Trainer for several years, learning the necessary skills to manage the day-to-day operations of interACT. KJ continues to perform and facilitate shows when he is not overseeing rehearsals and other troupe business. He teaches a variety of classes at CSULB.

Team Leader: Barry Lyrse, M.A.

interact_barryBarry is a recent graduate of the CSULB Communication Studies Graduate program and a nationally certified EMS educator. As an undergraduate and graduate troupe member, Barry has performed at universities and military bases around the world. Barry has performed in multiple scenes including sexual assault prevention, inappropriate pursuit, Discrimination, and threat assessment. As a leader in troupe Barry is responsible for performing, training actor-educators, and being a member of interACT’s research team. Barry’s passion and expertise in Communication Studies stems from his graduate focus on race, religion, social activism, gender, Infidelity, sexuality, technology, as well as the power of performance and narratives. Barry is more than honored to continue his work in interACT..

 

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSOCIATES

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Monica Carranza, B.A

carranzaheadshotMonica is a second year student in the CSULB Communication Studies Graduate program. She received her undergraduate degree from Humboldt State University. While at Humboldt State she was introduced to women’s studies and critical race theory. These courses inspired her to get involved with social justice work. She was a part of M.E.Ch.A de Humboldt State- a Chicano student movement and Check It-a violence prevention organization. She have been working with interACT since 2015 and is honored to be a part of the troupe. 

Rebecca Gonzalez, B.A.

DSC_9404 (1)Having earned her BA in Communication from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), Rebecca is a first-year graduate student and new to the interACT program. She is thrilled to be granted the opportunity to promote social justice awareness and education through performance with the troupe. Having been involved with her former university’s theatre program, she firmly believes in the power of performance art to spread knowledge. Rebecca’s strong foundation of course work in Gender Communication, Intercultural Communication, and Relational Communication, along with her membership in the Pride Alliance at TAMU-CC have sparked a passion in her to actively participate in fighting for social justice. Involvement with the interACT program at CSULB is truly an honor to Rebecca, and she cannot wait to begin working with the troupe this Fall 2016.

Sasha Sanders, B.A

image1Sasha began working with troupe in 2013 as an undergraduate student at CSULB. In 2015 she received a BA in Communication Studies with a concentration in Communication, Culture, and Public Affairs. She is currently a second year graduate student in the CSULB Communication Studies program. Her interests of study include social activism, coalition politics, feminism, and critical race theory. Sasha is grateful and honored to work with interACT and pursue her passion in social justice. She has performed throughout the United States at universities, conferences, and military bases. She has performed in the sexual assault prevention and inappropriate pursuit shows. She has experience acting and facilitating for interACT and looks forward to growing with interACT and making an impact in the world. 

Stefani Wlaschin, B.A

IMG_9325Stefani received her Bachelors Degree in Media and Cultural Studies and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. This is her first year working with interACT and she is beyond excited for the amazing opportunity. Stefani was first introduced to interACT in 2015 and when she saw the show for the first time. She was instantly engaged and moved by the way the show was performed by the team and the audience. She is passionate about the issues that interACT discusses through their shows and is excited to be able to teach people about these issues as well. 

 

LEAD TRAINERS

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Eduardo Arvilla, B.A.

IMG_0940Eduardo recently graduated with a Communication Studies degree.  He began working with the troupe in 2015. His introduction to interACT was as an audience member and scene participant. This experience, he says, is where he “finally found a tangible platform that empowers people to take a stand for social justice.” Since then, he has performed for various high schools, universities, and conferences throughout the United States. His work covers sexual assault prevention, inappropriate pursuit, and threat assessment. Eduardo is excited to continue his growth with the troupe and is honored with the opportunity to educate and empower others.