Gustavus Adolphus College Director of Alcohol and Drug Education Judy Douglas has been honored again by the peer education network BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students).
Douglas was named the 2011 Outstanding Alumni of the Year at the network’s annual General Assembly in Reston, Virginia, on Nov. 6. Douglas has also received the network’s Advisor of the Year award a handful of times.
“Judy has a genuine passion for improving the lives of students and those who work with them,” said Eric S. Davidson, Douglas’ colleague at Eastern Illinois University. “Her energy and enthusiasm for peer education is second to none, and her knowledge and wisdom concerning peer education, student leadership, and college-related health issues would fill volumes of books.”
For 31 years, Douglas has led alcohol and drug education efforts at Gustavus and is credited with pioneering the Peer Assistants program on campus. The Peer Assistants, or P.A.’s as they are known on campus, were also honored at the BACCHUS General Assembly as one of seven Outstanding Affiliates.
The mission of the P.A.’s is to create change concerning lifestyle and chemical health issues by acting as friends, educators, activists, role models, and team members.
Through Douglas’ leadership, the group sponsors numerous educational programs, events, and workshops throughout the academic year, including the “Can I Kiss You?” speaker Mike Domitrz, the Angel Tree program, Midnight Express, Girls Night Out Workshop, and Health and Safety Week.
This year’s group of P.A.’s includes seniors Bree Ceranske, Patrick Clark, Mary Dierkes, Peter Michaletz, Colleen Peterson, and Lucas Youngvorst; juniors David Buckley, Blake Gust, Sarah Hund, Josh Owens, and Katelyn Warburton; and sophomores Allie Ceranske, Dillon Hall, Jennifer Hanson, Julia Lutz-Lawlor, Bethany Murray, and Greg Wiessner. The group’s respect and admiration for their leader is resounding.
“Although many students don’t know who she is, Judy is one of the most inspiring people I know,” Peterson said. “She is genuinely interested in all student’s well-being and does an incredible amount of work to benefit the campus that most students and staff don’t see.”
“Judy really embodies the core values that we hold so dearly at Gustavus,” Michaletz said. “She establishes a real sense of community both on campus and in St. Peter; she strives for excellence in everything she does; she recognizes the redeeming value of justice and how it can help students rather than punish them; most of her work revolves around service to the Gustavus community; and she places faith in all the students she sees and advises.”