Frostburg State, Towson University Receive Award for Alcohol Training Program

Adelphi, Md. (July 22, 2014) -- Health Communications, Inc. (HCI), provider of the TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) Program, has honored two University System of Maryland (USM) institutions, Frostburg State and Towson University, with its 2014 TIPS Award of Excellence.

Recipients of this award are chosen by an internal committee led by HCI's President & CEO, Adam Chafetz. Selection is based on the number of students certified and feedback from TIPS trainers, student participants, and community leaders. Other universities honored include Central Florida University and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Frostburg State University first began using the TIPS for the University program in 2005 as an additional tool to train resident assistants to recognize behavioral cues and respond to intoxicated students and underage drinking. TIPS was later incorporated into training for the students involved in SafeRide, a student-operated transportation program. Now student organizations, including members of the Greek community, are requesting TIPS training.

In 2012, Frostburg State received a Maryland Strategic Prevention Framework grant to establish the Frostburg Community Coalition, a partnership of various university and community stakeholders. As a prevention strategy, local establishments that signed the coalition's Cooperation Alcohol Agreement were provided TIPS for On Premise training. In exchange for pledging to have TIPS-trained staff on hand on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, Frostburg State agreed to offer free TIPS training and marketing materials that promote both the businesses and low-risk drinking behaviors.

With 18 establishments participating in 2013-14, TIPS training has significantly enhanced the university's relationship with these businesses and increased the number of TIPS-trained servers in the community. During five rounds of checks in the spring semester to verify that the outlets were not serving underage guests, all of the participating establishments were in compliance.

"The ability to provide TIPS training has been an important tool in Frostburg State University's success in addressing high-risk drinking, a behavior that often starts long before young people reach college," said Frostburg State University President Jonathan Gibralter. "It has been extremely useful in improving collaboration on campus and in building bridges with our surrounding community."

At Towson University, the campus Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug (ATOD) Prevention Center noted in an announcement from TIPS that proactive partnerships on campus are making a meaningful impact. "Partnerships and collaboration are critical to the Towson University Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug (ATOD) Prevention Center as it works to meet educational and prevention goals on a campus as large as ours," said Donna Cox, Towson's Director of the ATOD Prevention Center.

"The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life's programmatic response to address high-risk drinking on our campus is clearly an outstanding program that exemplifies the best of an ongoing, evidence-based approach that fosters student engagement, helps students understand their decisions around alcohol use, and provides the knowledge and interpersonal skills to recognize when to intervene appropriately in alcohol-related situations."

A link to the TIPS announcement regarding Towson University can be seen here, and the link to the TIPS announcement regarding Frostburg State can be seen here.  

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719