LECOM Students Walk in High Heels for Domestic Violence Awareness

Erie, PA – Approximately 15 LECOM medical students put on women’s high heeled shoes on Saturday and walked one mile around the Villa Maria Academy campus on West 12th Street. For the women, it was a breeze. But the two men who participated in the event walked away with sore feet and a greater appreciation of what many women go through on a daily basis.

“Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” is an event organized by LECOM students to raise money and awareness for SafeNet, an organization devoted to ending domestic violence in Erie, Pa. This is the second year LECOM students participated in the event.

LECOM students Joseph Manchester (OMS 2) and Craig Van Tassel (OMS 2) walk a mile in high heels to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Second-year medical students Joseph Manchester and Craig Van Tassel were the only men brave enough to stuff their feet into women’s high heeled shoes. Joseph Manchester said the shoes hurt his feet slightly, but overall the experience was a positive one. “The money is going to a good cause,” Manchester explained. “It was just an hour out of my time. It wasn’t a big deal even though we have a test Monday.”

“It was a little uncomfortable at first,” said Craig Van Tassel. “Then my feet went numb so I didn’t feel it after that.” Van Tassel said women face many obstacles that men do not understand. “I give them a lot of credit for wearing these things,” Van Tassel exclaimed. “One mile wasn’t bad but walking in these things every day would be miserable!”

The event was organized by Erin Brennan, 1st Vice President of the Student Government Association. She said she admires the men who participated. “I’m impressed,” Brennan said. “I know women who have trouble balancing in high heels and the fact that they had to squeeze their feet into those shoes to make them fit, it’s definitely a nice sign of solidarity.”

LECOM’s Student Government Association will match the money raised at the event. The organization is also planning to do a community service project for SafeNet. Brennan said it’s important for future physicians to learn about domestic violence, especially ones who work in primary care or emergency rooms. “You might have a woman come in who has experienced domestic violence,” she said. “Just being sensitive to those needs and knowing that there are avenues for her to get help and for you as a physician to be able to help her is beneficial.”

LECOM students Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to raise awareness about domestic violence. Taking part in the event were (L-R): Erin Brennan (OMS 2), Ansley Falcon (OMS 2), Katie Bower (OMS 2), Craig Van Tassel (OMS 2), Joseph Manchester (OMS 2), Heather Baran (OMS 2), Susan Lazzaro, LECOM Director of Student Affairs, Christina Rawana (OMS 2), Kelly Lyons (OMS 1), Tiffany Pruchnik (OMS 1), Jamie Rhodes (OMS 1), Lauren Suggs (OMS 1), and Katherine Jones (OMS 1)


The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

September 27, 2010
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