North Dakota State College of Science and University of Miami Take Top Prize

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration named North Dakota State College of Science, and the University of Miami winners of the 5th Annual Red Ribbon Week Campus Video PSA Contest. The contest, co-sponsored by DEA and SAMHSA, was part of the 2020 Red Ribbon Week activities. Participants produced a 30- to 60-second video public service announcement focusing on the dangers of alcohol and drug misuse among college students.

“As in the past, this year’s contest participants’ devotion to preventing drug misuse at their colleges and universities is a fitting way to honor the sacrifice of Special Agent Kiki Camarena,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea. “We sincerely appreciate the time and effort each college and university invested to promote this important message, and we congratulate the winners on their outstanding PSAs.” The winning PSA from North Dakota State College of Science, “Challenge the Perceptions We See,” was submitted by Bethany Mauch, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention Specialist. It was the result of a collaboration of student leaders and performing arts students.

“One of the greatest challenges as a prevention professional in higher education is developing communication and education that will resonate with students,” said Mauch. “Communication channels change rapidly, and creating messages that will be relevant to our students can be difficult. Entering this contest adds a competitive component to our education that is both challenging and fun. In addition, if we can create an educational video for our students that can also be used on a national level, that’s a win-win for everyone.”

The University of Miami’s winning PSA, Little Monsters, was submitted by Whitney O’Regan, Assistant Dean of Students & Director of the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education.

“The Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education is always looking for new and innovative ways to reach our community through a variety of multimedia options,” said O’Regan. “Especially given the need to diversify our online presence in the midst of the pandemic, we thought this would be an exciting opportunity to expand our messaging in a different form of media, work collaboratively with students outside of the peer education team, and challenge our students to think outside of the box to promote messaging around drug misuse.”

Judges evaluated and scored each PSA for appropriateness of message, creativity and originality, and production value. The winning PSAs were unveiled at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ 2021 Strategies Conference, held virtually January 12-15. This conference provides student affairs practitioners with knowledge and skills to effectively prevent alcohol and drug misuse among college students.

Both winning schools received a plaque to commemorate their achievement, complementary registration to attend the Strategies Conference, and $3,000 to support their drug misuse prevention efforts. Watch the winning PSAs here: https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/psacontest.  

Red Ribbon Week, which was created in 1985 following the murder of DEA Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena by drug traffickers in Mexico, has become an annual event demonstrating intolerance for drugs in our nation’s schools, workplaces, and communities. Each year from October 23–31, people in cities and towns across the United States show their commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle by wearing or displaying the Red Ribbon.

For more information on DEA’s Red Ribbon campaign and events, go to www.dea.gov/redribbon

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