Virginia Tech survivor turns tragedy into empowerment

Kristina Anderson

Acts of violence can be unpredictable and seem to be an omnipresent threat in modern life. The very thought of them can be chilling.

But survivors of incidents of mass violence are showing amazing resilience, and their stories provide lessons in how people can be prepared and not paralyzed by the unthinkable. Kristina Anderson, a survivor of the Virginia Tech tragedy, shares her story of personal empowerment with the University of Oregon in a free presentation April 4 at 7 p.m. in Room 156, Straub Hall.

"Safety Is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy" is free, but tickets are required.

Anderson was 19 when the shooting happened on the Blacksburg, Virgina, campus in April 2007. A sophomore, she was shot in the back and foot during the rampage that killed 32 and wounded 17.

Since then, she has created the Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools and become an international advocate in bystander intervention, active shooter response and violence prevention within schools, workplaces and public spaces.

Anderson will share a candid, first-hand account of her personal experience, the journey towards recovery, and her mission to educate others in how to take personal accountability to create active threat response plans, as well how to communicate the importance of violence prevention within institutions of learning and in communities.

In the wake of recent incidents of mass violence nationally, many UO faculty and staff have been interested in active threat training and other ways to be better prepared, an urge Anderson would only encourage.

Anderson is a guest presenter for the 2018 Disaster Resilient Universities Summit, held at the UO April 4-5.