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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
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Peer education group POWER presented National Program of the Year award

ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio University student group POWER, which stands for Promoting Ohio University Wellness Education and Responsibility, was given the "National Program of the Year" Award and a $100 first-place gift at the 2004 Bacchus Gamma national conference, Nov. 14-16.

The award was given to POWER for its innovative Off-Campus Party Patrol program that was implemented last spring. A few of the services the program provides are giving students tips on how to host low-risk off-campus social gatherings, making students aware of city and state laws and ordinances that govern house parties and advising students on how to be good neighbors in their community.

As part of the Off-Campus Party Patrol program, POWER often travels door-to-door in student neighborhoods handing out information, pizza coupons and free soda to students planning off-campus parties.

"What a great honor for Ohio University and POWER," said Ohio University Director of Health Education and Wellness Char Kopchick. "Thousands of universities were eligible to win this award, so to win first place is a great accomplishment. These students do great things everyday and it is flattering to know that we trained them."

POWER has 19 members who serve as peer educators on a variety of issues, such as sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol and drug abuse, nutrition and exercise, stress management, spirituality and general wellness.

"This award lets us know that all of our hard work has paid off," said Alyssa Jakmas, a junior from Athens who was one of three POWER members who attended the conference. "Aside from receiving the award, the conference allowed us to collect programming ideas from students who are working in peer education at their school."

In March, Ohio University and POWER will host the Bacchus and Gamma Region 7 Conference, with juniors Michael Burns and Kristen Jensen serving as student co-chairs for the event. Region 7 includes all schools in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Indiana.

For more information, contact the Health Education and Wellness Office at (740) 593-4742 or visit www.ohiou.edu/healthwell/.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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