Grant Money Awarded to UW to Start Cowboy CHOICES Program

May 20, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming Athletics Department and the Alcohol Wellness, Alternatives, Research, & Education (AWARE) Program have been awarded a $30,000 three-year grant for the Cowboy CHOICES program, given to institutions by the NCAA, designed to involve athletics in expanded alcohol education on campus. The grant provides start-up funds for an exciting long-term project that solidifies the cross-campus partnership between the Athletics Department and the University Counseling Center.

This project proposes to prevent underage and excessive alcohol consumption among college students via a peer involvement program and social norm campaign. The program will have three main focuses, which include a Cowboy CHOICES Leadership Team, a Campus Prevention/Early Intervention Programming and a Targeted Social Norm Campaign.

Overall the goals of this program will be to reduce high-risk drinking and related behaviors among all college students; alleviate misperceptions concerning alcohol use and practices at UW with targeted high risk groups; and enhance the leadership skills and responsibility of college students involved in the Leadership Team.

"This is a great opportunity to have a real affect on the alcohol use on campus and to provide leadership roles to the student-athletes," said Academic Coordinator Sarah Kuennen. "We also look forward to working closely with groups across campus and in the community."

The success of the Cowboy CHOICES program will be evaluated based on both programmatic accomplishments and its effect on alcohol use among UW college students. Quantitative data on alcohol use and awareness of Cowboy CHOICES will be collected campus-wide and within target groups. Qualitative results will be collected through focus groups with participants in the Cowboy CHOICES program.