Nanette’s son Corey died from what began as a preventable injury on a campus pathway just 15 days into his freshman year at the University of Colorado Boulder. Shockingly, this was the third student death that semester. Discoveries about how unprepared most families are for emergencies and how college safety is defined, measured, and managed left Nanette in disbelief. Equally concerning was the level of emergency care provided to many students. She is driven to help colleges and injury prevention professionals acquire the data and resources needed to minimize the risk of injury and loss of life. She is equally committed to provide tools to prevent other families from living with the devastating loss hers does, every single day.
After a preventable loft bed fall nearly killed her son in his second year of college, Ms. Jacobs was shocked to learn that a staggering 71,000 ER visits each year are due to bunk and loft bed accidents, with falls being 75% of that number. After creating Rail Against the Danger, Inc.TM, in 2015, she began the quest to require the University System of Georgia’s 26 colleges and universities to have safety rails on all bunk and loft beds which was accomplished in 2019. Now she has set her sights on changing national safety standards for these elevated beds as a means of preventing needless injuries and death.
Angie Fiege, M.D.
Rachael’s First Week is the brainchild of Angi Fiege, who lost her daughter after a fall down stairs at an off-campus party. Angi is an Indiana Emergency Medicine, Critical Care and Trauma ICU Physician. More importantly, she is Rachael’s Mom and the woman behind the mission to educate students how to react within minutes of a trauma. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, she shares her heartache with thousands of young people each year with the hope of changing the fate of just one student. She acts as second mom to many of Rachael’s friends, who label her as Momma Fiege.
Leslie Lanahan lost her beloved son Gordie due to a tragic hazing incident, occurring just three weeks into his freshman year at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Leslie channeled her grief to become a pioneer in collectively exposing the problem and preventing the all-too-common loss caused by hazing. She launched the Gordie Foundation – which serves as the bedrock of the University of Virginia’s Gordie Center – chartered to educate about the dangers of substance abuse and hazing.
Gail Minger has an unwavering commitment to create learning environments that are especially safe for individuals in our neurodiverse communities. After losing her 19-year-old son, Michael as the result of a horrific and preventable incident in his college dorm, Gail championed the passage of Kentucky’s Michael Minger Act, a college safety act, and established the Michael Minger Foundation. The foundation advocates to improve campus safety through education and raising public awareness. She creates tangible environments and programs that are physically safe and personally rewarding for some of our most vulnerable and uniquely talented citizens. Gail believes “those that have the privilege to know, have the responsibility to act”.
Kathleen Cooney Bonistall, along with her family, created PEACE OUTside Campus, The Lindsey M. Bonistall Foundation after the tragic death of her daughter Lindsey in her off-campus apartment. Lindsey was just 20 years old and a journalism major at the University of Delaware when her life was cut short in a random act of violence. PEACE OUTside Campus is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate safety and security standards for off campus college communities nationwide. Kathleen’s life passion is to help reduce the risk of student victimization through positive empowerment to prevent similar tragedies from happening to other students and families. Lindsey’s legacy and message of safety has reached thousands of students and continues to highlight safety concerns for students living on and off-campus.
UNITED FOR CHANGE