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UW AWARE Program Coordinator Receives Governor's Award for Education and Prevention

April 24, 2009
Lena Edmunds

University of Wyoming AWARE Program Coordinator Lena Edmunds is among recipients of the Governor's Council on Impaired Driving Citizen Awards.

She will be honored with the education and prevention award Wednesday, May 6, during the Governor`s Conference on Impaired Driving at the Ramada Plaza Riverside in Casper.

The Governor's Council on Impaired Driving protects the health, safety and welfare of citizens. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal each year honors individuals and organizations whose outstanding efforts have helped reduce impaired driving throughout the state. The governor also will recognize Wyoming's top 100 peace officers for their commitment to removing impaired drivers from Wyoming's roadways.

"I am honored to receive this award for the important work that we do at the University of Wyoming. There are many people on campus and in the Laramie community working together as a team to address this issue at UW and across Wyoming," Edmunds says. "Impaired driving prevention and alcohol abuse prevention are challenges that UW has been working proactively to address for a long time. We will maintain this as a priority."

Edmunds is recognized for her AWARE (Alcohol Wellness Alternatives, Research and Education) Program efforts.

The education and prevention category is for outstanding efforts in developing and implementing creative prevention or education programs that inform people about the dangers of impaired driving.

"Lena's work with AWARE and the A-Team fit the spirit of this award," says David Cozzens, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs. "It was obviously clear to the selection committee that Lena does an outstanding job accomplishing UW's mission to provide prevention and education regarding the complicated issues surrounding alcohol use and abuse."

AWARE promotes personal wellness through guidance, education, research and collaboration focused on healthy choices about the use of alcohol and other drugs. Edmunds chairs the A-Team, a campus-community coalition that works to develop, recommend and assess best practices in policy, prevention and intervention and enforcement to reduce underage drinking and excessive alcohol use.

"Daily, Lena makes enormous strides to increase the understanding and awareness related to alcohol at UW and around the state. Her efforts have made such an impact on campus," says Sara Axelson, vice president for student affairs. "It is great that the rest of the state will be reminded of Lena's leadership regarding these issues in Wyoming."

Edmunds, a 1994 Riverton High School graduate, received both her B.S. (1999) degrees in health promotion and international studies and master's in public health (2005) from Oregon State University. She has been at UW since 2005.

This year`s Governor`s Conference on Impaired Driving will focus on advancing the fight against impaired driving and will include workshop sessions for those on the front line -- law enforcement, prosecutors, community prevention advocates, youth and state legislators.


Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009

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