A Kansas University doctoral student in developmental and child psychology is coordinating the university's new alcohol awareness campaign.
Jannette Berkley-Patton, Gladstone, Mo., will begin work this spring as the project's facilitator. The campaign is designed to reduce alcohol abuse and associated health problems among college students.
KU officials joined Haskell Indian Nations University and the city in a task force designed to tackle underage drinking. The results of the task force, released in December, call for tougher local underage drinking laws and education efforts at the two universities.
This program, titled "Kansas Campus Awareness Campaign to Prevent College Student High-Risk Drinking," is based on a Northern Illinois University model that uses a mass media campaign to correct false perceptions of drinking norms.
"Jannette is an ideal person for this role, based on her knowledge of the university, her previous work with the Kansas Health Foundation and her expertise in health promotions," KU Associate Provost Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett said.
The Kansas Health Foundation, based in Wichita, awarded KU $450,000 for the four-year campaign. The foundation awarded similar grants to Kansas State University, Emporia State University and Fort Hays State University.
Berkley-Patton is a former electrical engineer who returned to KU to study health promotion and community development. She graduated from KU in 1987 with an electrical engineering degree and worked for Allied Signal Aerospace in Kansas City and Alcoa in Dallas before returning to KU. She is presently a graduate research associate for other foundation-financed grants at KU and is conducting analyses of data collected with a substance-abuse prevention coalition.