EPIC: Empowering Prevention & Inclusive Communities

EPIC is a program to prevent sexual harassment and gender discrimination. EPIC was created by and for UW academic student employees and postdoctoral scholars — including graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants, research assistants, staff assistants, graders, and tutors.

EPIC’s goal is to respond to the needs of departments and communities and work to:

  • Shift UW culture and create new community norms
  • Empower academic student employees and postdoctoral scholars to prevent and respond to sexual harassment
  • Support academic student employees and postdoctoral scholars in identifying how power and identity intersect to create oppressions that facilitate sexual harassment and discrimination in academia

Prevention training overview

Our innovative prevention training is a comprehensive, research-driven, two-hour interactive session for UW academic student employees and postdoctoral scholars. This Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Training examines sexual harassment in a new way and covers:

  • What constitutes sexual harassment
  • Rights and available resources
  • The roles individuals can play in stopping harassment
  • Building skills to create safer workplaces, interrupt harassment when it happens, and support those who experience harassment
  • To learn more about what happens in an EPIC training, review our EPIC Program Flyer 

Register for a training

EPIC currently offers two trainings, if you have never attended an EPIC training please register for the 1.0 training.

EPIC 1.0: Starting in 2018, the EPIC team worked with student, faculty, and administrative stakeholders to develop an innovative, research-driven sexual harassment prevention training for UW ASEs and Postdocs. This interactive, 1.5 hour zoom training builds on extensive research to provide participants with skills in bystander intervention, sexual harassment prevention, and more, and is tailored to the needs and interests of each department’s ASEs and Postdocs.

Register for EPIC 1.0: Preventing Sexual Harassment Training

EPIC 2.0: In this 1.5 hour training, we build on our 1.0 conversations to analyze how power works in our departments and work on concrete action steps to prevent sexual harassment. We discuss our particular departments, where our power comes from and what needs to change. We may make healthy use of breakout groups depending on how many people come to each session.

Register for EPIC 2.0: Action Steps

Program implementation

EPIC was developed and is being implemented by UW graduate student and postdoctoral scholar training specialists under the guidance of UW SafeCampus and in close coordination with key stakeholders, including UW academic departments, School of Medicine, Title IX, Student Life, Student Affairs, Student Services, the Graduate School and UAW Local 4121.

Program history

Established during negotiations for the 2018–20 UW/UAW collective bargaining agreement and the 2019–21 UW/UAW postdoctoral scholar collective bargaining agreement, the UW and UAW Local 4121 agreed to jointly create an innovative program for the prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination, to educate and provide skill-building specifically geared to the unique dual role academic student employees play as both students and employees, and to the role of postdoctoral scholars. It is a shared goal of both the University and the UAW to support prevention-focused culture change.

To learn more about the collective bargaining agreement that created EPIC, see the UW-UAW 2018-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement: Under “Memorandum of Understanding,” read the “Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training.”

To learn more about the collective bargaining agreement that incorporated the postdoctoral scholars into the EPIC program, see the UW-UAW 2019-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement: Under “Memorandum of Understanding,” read, “Sexual Harassment and Prevention Training.”

For information about protections against harassment for UW-UAW union members, view Article 20: Non-Discrimination and Harassment.

EPIC Team Members


Paige Sechrest
Paige Sechrest
Prevention, Education, & Communications Manager

Paige is a Ph.D. candidate in the UW Department of Political Science. She specializes in public law, comparative politics, and quantitative methodology. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in political science. Her dissertation explores how various publics interpret violent interactions between police officers and people of color in France, in order to understand the extent to which the notion of the rights-bearing citizen has transformed to include the very people it was designed to marginalize. In addition to being a graduate student, she is a poetry lover and a news enthusiast.


Kaelie Giffel 
EPIC Program Training Specialist

Kaelie (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate in the UW Department of English and the Recording Secretary for UAW 4121. She is committed to organizing for a better, more accessible university. Her dissertation, Women with Issues, studies how women novelists have represented and intervened in patriarchal modes of perception. Her work brings together violence prevention and feminist literary criticism.

Contact & Feedback

Questions? Reach the EPIC program at We are continually seeking feedback from stakeholders across all UW campuses and would appreciate comments, concerns or thoughts about the development of the EPIC program and training.