SUNY OPTIONS PROGRAM TO RECEIVE NATIONAL AWARD
NEW PALTZ -- Options: A Resource Center for Healthy Choices at the State University of New York at New Paltz has been selected as one of 20 programs nationwide to be recognized for its exemplary approach to assisting students to make healthy decisions which prevent substance abuse. SUNY New Paltz is the only college or university in the country to receive the award. The awards are presented annually (in eight of the past 10 years) by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the National Prevention Network.
The programs that receive recognition must be those which have been developed and implemented and which can serve as models for other individuals or organizations that seek to implement prevention innovations in their communities. The New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Service nominated Options: A Resource Center for Healthy Choices for the national honor.
In the ten-year period that the award has been handed out, there has been only one other university which has been cited. Options: A Resource Center for Healthy Choices was developed and funded by three consecutive FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education) grants which were co-authored by Robin Cohen and Raymond Schwarz. Cohen is the assistant dean for student development; Schwarz is the acting assistant vice president for student affairs; both co-direct Options. Since its inception, nearly nine years ago, it has received many awards. The mission of the Options program is to create a campus where high-risk drinking does not occur and healthy lifestyle choices are promoted.
The award ceremony will take place Monday, March 17 at 2pm in the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Please note additional background information on Options:
As a research-based program, Options applies social influence and environmental change models using five strategies to promote low-risk choices in a context of wellness and public health. These strategies include peer education, social marketing techniques, alcohol-free programming in social and academic settings, advocacy projects and community service involvement.
Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in 1996, and named one of the top 10 college programs in the 1993 National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week competition, "the cornerstone of the success which Options has realized has been developed through coalition-building," said Raymond Schwarz, a co-director of the program. "Year-round involvement of students, staff, faculty and community contacts in mutually beneficial program planning is the key to that success," he added. With more than 250 student volunteers serving as liaisons to 150 clubs, organizations, teams, fraternities, and sororities, there is direct participation from and input into the campus culture.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.