Perkins and Craig Present Social Norms – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Perkins and Craig Present Social Norms

Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, and David Craig, professor of chemistry, were invited to give multiple presentations at the 2009 National Conference on the Social Norms Approach, which convened in Minneapolis, Minn., from July 12 to14. 

Perkins presented a pre-conference intensive seminar for newcomers to the field of health promotion titled, “Introduction to Social Norms Theory and Practice” and spoke on a panel about “Policy, Prevention, Practice: What’s Age Got to Do With It?”   

In collaboration with Kristin Bennett of Tompkins County Youth Services and Judy Epstein of the Ithaca School District, Perkins presented “Ten Tips to Implementation of a Middle School Social Norms Campaign,” describing a very successful project to promote health and safety in a local middle school.  In collaboration with Shannon O’Neill of Siena College, he presented and assessed Siena’s “Successful Application of the Social Norms Approach in a Small College Setting with Multiple Strategies.” 

Craig and Perkins presented their research on a “Multi-Site Social Norms Intervention for Student Athletes: An Analysis of the Effect of Program Exposure on High Risk Drinking.”  

Finally, along with Jessica Perkins of Harvard University they presented their joint research on “Misperceptions of Sweet Drink Consumption Norms as a Risk Factor for Personal Consumption and Overweight Status among Secondary School Students.”

Perkins and Craig are co-directors of HWS’ Alcohol Education Project, a collection of education and research initiatives. Their work has been presented internationally to inform people about social norms and abuse problems related to alcohol and other drugs, bullying and weight norms.

Perkins is a graduate of Purdue University, and he received his M.A., M. Div., M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is the author of dozens of journal articles about substance abuse prevention and has been honored with national awards for his work in preventing alcohol and drug abuse in colleges and universities.

In addition to his teaching duties, Craig is the director of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Alcohol Education Project and is principle investigator of a program of BAC research at HWS.  He is a leader in interdisciplinary program development particularly in the integration of the sciences into programs focusing on health and wellness at both the college and secondary school levels and has published numerous publications and a recent film on this subject.

Perkins and Craig are also the developers of Campus FactoidsTM electronic media resources for social norms prevention campaigns, as well as the Social Norm Surveys Online from HWS, and have promoted these strategies nationally at workshops for secondary schools and higher education nationwide. 

Their Alcohol Education Project has received two “Model Program” grant recognition awards from the U. S. Department of Education for success in preventing alcohol abuse in a college-wide population and for one focusing on intercollegiate athletes.  Their work is also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a premiere model for substance abuse prevention.