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UW Receives Grant for Alcohol Awareness Training

March 11, 2016

The University of Wyoming has received a $13,600 grant from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association to implement various alcohol wellness trainings for the UW community.

The main addition is “Step UP!,” a bystander intervention program developed by the University of Arizona and the NCAA. Training has begun, and the full program will be launched this fall at UW.

“This program teaches students strategies for helping effectively in potentially dangerous and tough situations,” says Monica Keele, coordinator of UW’s Alcohol Wellness Alternatives, Research and Education (AWARE) program.

Topics covered in the “Step UP!” program include prevention of sexual assault, alcohol overconsumption, suicide, bullying and hazing.

Funding from the grant also will be used to train program facilitators and students.

“Bystander intervention is considered one of the best practices in preventing adverse health outcomes for students in higher education,” Keele says.

This specific type of intervention targets the witnesses of dangerous situations by addressing the bystander effect and the apathy that can be associated with it.

Implementing “Step UP!” will aid the AWARE program by continuing alcohol education at a community and campus level, Keele says. She adds that the program uses a five-step model: notice the event; interpret the event as a problem or emergency; assume personal responsibility; know how to help; and implement the help.

Based in the University Counseling Center, AWARE promotes personal wellness through guidance, education, research and collaboration focused on healthy choices about the use of alcohol and other drugs.

“Our goal is for students to feel motivated and empowered to take ownership of their actions, as well as their health and well-being,” Keele says. “We hope to foster a culture of helping one another so that our student body is successful in their endeavors.”

For more information about the AWARE program, visit or call (307) 766-2187.

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