Geneva, NY – Hobart and William Smith Professors Wesley Perkins and David Craig will travel to Washington, D.C. on Monday to receive officially an award for their ongoing and successful efforts in curbing alcohol abuse on college campuses. HWS President Mark D. Gearan will accompany the pair as they are honored for their work.
Perkins and Craig earned a very competitive grant last fall that was made through the U.S. Department of Education's “Model Programs in Higher Education.” The grant program was designed to identify and assist the most effective alcohol education programs in the country. The ceremony in D.C. will include presentations on the award-winning programs as well as remarks by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV).
Research begun several years ago on the Hobart and William Smith campus shows that most college students have dramatic misperceptions about the alcohol consumption of their peers. And those misperceptions have been shown to have a significant effect on their behavior. In an effort to give students accurate information from which to make choices, the Colleges initiated a comprehensive campaign developed by their Alcohol Education Program in 1997.
The program has shown dramatic results. Along with substantial reductions in student misperceptions of peer drinking norms, follow-up program assessments have demonstrated a 21 percent reduction in actual frequent heavy drinking, a 31 reduction in missed classes, and a 36 percent reduction in property damage related to excess drinking.
The program was one of only seven programs in the country to receive this recognition and funding, and it was the only small liberal arts school on the list. The success of the HWS program can be demonstrated not only by the reduction in alcohol-abusive behavior, but also by the fact that it has been adopted by many other institutions across the country as a model for their own efforts. For more information about the program at Hobart and William Smith, visit the website at www.hws.edu/alcohol. Information about the grant award is available at www.edc.org/hec/.
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