HWS Alcohol Education Project

History of Project

The Alcohol and Other Drug Education Project began in 1982 with collaborative research on college students and design of new prevention strategies by Dr. H. Wesley Perkins, professor of sociology, and Dr. Alan D. Berkowitz, counseling psychologist, who served as Project Co-Directors. Their initial goal was to support substance abuse prevention in higher education nationally through research publications, professional presentations, and consultations with other colleges and university programs, and locally through assisting in the development of new programs on the Hobart and William Smith campus. The Project has given primary emphasis to issues of alcohol abuse among college students, but Project initiatives have also incorporated attention to other drugs and to students in secondary education. In addition, beginning in 1987 Professor Perkins extended the study of alcohol use and abuse to an ongoing follow-up of graduates in post-collegiate life.

Over the next 15 years thousands of Hobart and William Smith students experienced a wide variety of Project supported initiatives including residence hall workshops, resident advisor training, counseling sessions, children of alcoholics support groups, peer assistance programs, campus lectures, academic courses, and mass media campaigns designed to confront the problems of alcohol and other drug use among collegians and to address misperceptions of student norms. More than ten thousand undergraduates, alumni and alumnae have also participated in research and assessment surveys on substance use over the course of this Project. During the same time period the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Project received increasing attention in the form of information, reprint, and consultation requests and guest speaking invitations from administrators, counselors, faculty, health educators, residence life coordinators, and students at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

In 1996 Dr. David Craig, professor of biochemistry, joined Dr. Perkins and the Project as Co-Director when Dr. Berkowitz left Hobart and William Smith for a new position in private consulting. At that time a newly formed model program was initiated locally at HWS with the help of a U.S. Department of Education grant. For the first time the Project brought together a comprehensive social norms campaign using print and electronic media throughout the HWS campus. These efforts were reinforced with innovative curriulum infusion strategies developed here as well. Today the Project with its emphasis on interdisciplinary teaching and curriculum development, co-curricular education, myth reduction campaigns, and the use of multimedia technology in these endeavors is widely cited as a model program that has produced successful reductions in alcohol abuse and other positive impacts on student well-being. Its practical prevention-oriented scholarship is widely cited and its research and prevention strategies have been successfully implemented on many other campuses and in secondary school settings. The Project's most recent initiatives also include programs reducing alcohol abuse and promoting health among student-athletes, the design of social norms programs for middle schools and high schools students, and the implementation of social norms interventions to reduce alcohol abuse at U.S. Airforce bases. For more information see Pulteney Street Survey article (HWS alumni/ae news magazine).

Many activities of the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Project have been supported by several generous grants from the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation, the State of New York, and the U. S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education as well as grants from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Current and Past Personnel

PROJECT DIRECTOR (1982-present):
H. Wesley Perkins, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology
Dept. of Sociology
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456
Phone: (315) 781-3437
E-mail: perkins@hws.edu

PROJECT DIRECTOR (1996-present):
David W. Craig, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry Emeritus
Dept. of Chemistry
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456
E-mail: craig@hws.edu

Jessica M. Perkins, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development
Peabody College
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN  37203-5721
email: jessica.m.perkins@vanderbilt.edu

Alan D. Berkowitz, Ph.D. Formerly Counseling Psychologist at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Berkowitz currently consults and lectures for colleges and universities on issues of sexual assault, drug prevention and diversity.
Email: alan@fltg.net

Sarah Pelkey, William Smith College '09 (2012-2015)
Kiah Perkins, M.S.W. (2012)
Debbie Herry (1998-2012)

Ethan M. Healy (1999)
Hobart College '99

Michael G. Ruiz (1998)
Hobart College '99

William J. Badger (1997)
Hobart College '97

page last modified: 09/26/2018