Alcohol Abuse Prevention
Chemistry Professor David Craig is an expert on the prevention of alcohol abuse in students. As the co-director of the Alcohol Education Project at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Craig has helped dramatically expand Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Social Norms program into a model for the nation.
Many students believe that excessive alcohol use is rampant, which results in students drinking more to conform to their perceived standards. Craig’s programs are geared toward educating students through various means on the realities of drinking and drug use on campus. With this knowledge, students can modify their habits to make healthier decisions about drinking and drug use.
Most recently Craig’s research group has completed a project monitoring late night blood alcohol concentrations of students returning home to their residence halls showing that the majority of students are consuming moderately or not at all.
Craig is a regular speaker at various colleges and universities, and he co-authored an alcohol abuse case study for the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention in
2002. His work with social norms creator and HWS Professor of Sociology Wesley Perkins has won awards from the U.S. Department of Education for having an effective alcohol prevention program.
The U.S. Department of Education also awarded Craig and Perkins with a grant to study alcohol abuse prevention in student-athletes. Simultaneously, the National Collegiate Athletic Association created a national program, STARR (Student-Athletes Taking Active Responsible) to replicate the HWS student-athlete program already in place at HWS called Most Valuable Players. The program uses social norms theories to encourage student-athletes to make responsible decisions. Craig’s work with student-athletes has been published in "The Peer Educator" and NCAA News.
Craig’s work with social norms has also extended into high schools. He has recently put on instructional programs in high schools in Washington, Maine, Maryland, Indiana, and New York states. Craig also developed an educational video for high school students using the social norms theory with Discover Film Video and developed a Web-based alcohol and other drug survey instrument that has been taken by more than 20,000 middle and high school students in the past three years. His work with social norms has been featured in Shape magazine, on ABC’s "20/20," in the New York Times, Men’s Health magazine and many other publications.
Craig has also done much work educating other educators. He has presented workshops on using social norms to prevent alcohol abuse at various colleges, including Syracuse University, Cornell University, Goucher College, University of Kentucky, University of California at San Diego, and Rockford College to name a few. Craig also developed Campus Factoids software that reinforces social norms. He has implemented this software and trained the faculty in its use at many colleges and school districts, including George Mason University, Syracuse University, Lafayette College, and the school districts in Wyoming County.
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
David W. Craig, the Philip J. Moorad ’32 and Margaret N. Moorad Professor of Science, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside in 1977 and his B.A. from California State University at Chico. In 1979, Craig became a professor of chemistry at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Craig is the Project Director for Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Alcohol Education Project, a collection of education and research initiatives, and directs a research group monitoring late night blood alcohol concentrations in a college population. His work has informed students and faculty about social norms and abuse problems related to alcohol and other drugs.