Penn State Appoints Paul Apicella As Title IX Coordinator
Penn State announced today that Paul Apicella will serve as the Title IX Coordinator, a position that was created as one of the 18 recommendations from the sexual assault and sexual harassment task force. Apicella’s appointment follows a national search for a individual to spearhead the new office.
Apicella, an attorney who has experience with young Title IX offices, comes from Drexel University, where he served as deputy Title IX Coordinator for students as well as a Title IX compliance specialists since 2014. In his position at Drexel, Apicella conducted investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination and worked to coordinate compliance with Title IX, The Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Act.
“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the new Title IX coordinator at Penn State, and am excited to hit the ground running,” Apicella said. “Creating an educational environment that is free from sexual violence and other forms of sex- or gender-based discrimination is more than just a matter of legal compliance, it is an issue that is fundamental to the University’s mission and core values. As Title IX coordinator, I embrace the challenge of maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all members of our University community at University Park and each of the Commonwealth campuses.”
In his new role, Apicella will be in charge of the Title IX office, spearheading initiatives across the university to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment, as well as raise awareness of the issue and educate students, faculty, and staff. Apicella will also have to assure that Penn State is meeting all of the legal requirements that go along with Title IX as well as help carry out the other recommendations that were made by the task force. The new coordinator will also be in charge of assuring that all campuses have the necessary resources to implement these recommendations.
“Paul brings to a complex set of leadership responsibilities a nice blend of experience, insight and personal qualities,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims. “The search committee and the several dozen students, faculty and staff who participated in the interview process were greatly impressed by Paul, and yet we know that Paul alone cannot accomplish all that we hope to achieve by creating the new Title IX office at Penn State. Paul’s first task is to identify and hire other staff members, whose experience and expertise will combine with his to lead the effort, at all Penn State locations, to establish a model program that minimizes sexual misconduct and effectively addresses it when it occurs. I am eager to join with Paul in that effort.”
Apicella graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in psychology before going on to earn his juris doctor from Temple. Apicella also served as a member of the U.S. Navy.
“I understand that raising awareness in our community regarding issues of sexual or gender-based violence and discrimination — including the related resources and support services available through the University — is of primary importance,” Apicella said. “To that end, I look forward to making the engagement of our students, faculty and staff in a robust dialogue regarding these issues my top priority moving forward.”