Recently, the academic deans of all five service academies and US Air Force Academy (USAFA) SAPR leads visited AF CyberWorx and received their first hands-on experience with human-centered design and left to approach their respective SAPR programs with new energy.
Participants included Brig Gen Andy Armacost, Dean of the Faculty, USAFA; Brig Gen Cindy Jebb, Dean of the Academic Board, US Military Academy; Dr. John Ballard, Academic Dean and Provost, US Merchant Marine Academy; Dr. Kurt Collela, Academic Dean, US Coast Guard Academy; Dr. Andrew Phillips, Academic Dean and Provost, US Naval Academy; Maj El-Len Serra, USAFA SAPR Subject Matter Expert; Dr. Kimberly Dickman, USAFA SAPR Lead; and Dr. Trevin Campbell, USAFA SAPR Program Manager.
While collaborating with one another and with AF CyberWorx’s user experience (UX) team, the deans and SAPR leads addressed very human challenges with human-centered thinking. An AF CyberWorx UX facilitator lead the participants in a mini sprint that sought to answer the question, “How might the faculty and deans enhance the effectiveness of our SAPR programs?”
The program began with each attendee creating a SAPR-related persona. The persona’s identity could take the shape of a victim, an instructor, a bystander, a SAPR staff member, or any other person that could be involved in a given SAPR scenario. The sprint continued with the important step of “mind mapping,” where participants identified ideas, phrases, and pain points that their personas would deal with in their journey. Next, the participants developed need statements that focused on what the selected persona needs to be successful in accomplishing their goal within the problem statement. The two teams both picked one final user needs statement to focus on during ideation.
During the ideation process, the top solutions participants focused on were town hall meetings, recognition of do-gooders, hiring impactful speakers, building teams for discussion opportunities, SAPR classroom focus days, training on how to incorporate myth-busting in the classroom and holding the classroom accountable for inappropriate comments/statements. These solutions aimed to improve SAPR and help prevent sexual assault in the future among all five academies.
Finally, the teams picked their favorite solutions to further ideate into the prototyping stage. Although it was a short session, they were able to generate further ideas on how their solutions could come to fruition and help improve SAPR at each academy.
Next steps for SAPR will be to further ideate by conducting a week-long sprint with a variety of participants that could provide the deans with more concrete paths forward. The solutions would aid in the recognition and prevention of sexual assault across all campuses. AF CyberWorx was honored to host the SAPR focus group and hopes that their newly learned human-centered design will aid them in implementation of more effective SAPR programs within their academies.