BACCHUS Spring Regional Conferences Wrap-Up


BACCHUS Initiatives Staff

April 26, 2017

Each spring, BACCHUS peer education groups gather at the regional level to learn, network, and have fun. Thank you to all the fantastic volunteers, organizers, and participants! Here are the highlights.

Region I – Suffolk University, April 2

Region I had 135 peer educators and advisors representing 16 colleges/universities from across New England. The day’s keynote speaker, James Rubilotta, delivered a witty and heartfelt message about leading imperfectly. This year, the region presented three awards.

  • Outstanding Peer Education Group Award: The UConn Sexperts
  • Outstanding Program: The REACH Peer Educators from Endicott College were awarded for their "I See, I Speak, I Pledge" initiative
  • Outstanding Peer Educator: Kelly Donovan from Sacred Heart University

Region II – Montclair State University, April 1

The BACCHUS Region II conference welcomed 115 students and advisors to Montclair State University. It featured Jane Bogart from Columbia University Medical Center as the lunchtime keynote speaker and 16 breakout sessions on a variety of topic areas including sexual health, mental health, disabilities, sexual assault and violence prevention, nutrition and fitness, alcohol and other drugs, leadership development, and stress management.

Award Winners:

  • Outstanding Student: Kimberly Roc from University of Albany, SUNY
  • Outstanding Advisor: Donald Swogger from Frostburg State University
  • Outstanding Program: Your First Villanova Birthday from Villanova University
  • Outstanding Peer Education Group: WVSU CHOICES Peer Educators from West Virginia State University

Region III – Texas Woman’s University, March 24 - 25

The BACCHUS Region III was held at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas, March 24th-25th.  The conference theme was "Be a Change Agent" where participants were inspired to take action from opening session speaker Loretta Pequeno-Griffin, Director of the Follett Student Leadership Center at UT Arlington and keynote speaker Amber Briggle, transgender equality advocate. Breakout sessions covered multiple dimensions of wellness and included a final session dedicated to self-care with chair yoga and mindfulness. A special thanks to TWU's PATH (Peer Advocates Teaching Health) and PATH co-advisor Amy Allison for their support to make this conference successful!

Total Attendees: 38

Award Winners:

  • Outstanding Student: Nicholas Domovich, SWAT, Stephen F. Austin State University 
  • Outstanding Student: Nathan Bates, PIER21, University of Miami
  • Region III Spring Conference Spirit of Engagement Award: Healthy Cats, Texas State University 

Region IV-West – Meeting of the Minds in Kansas City, Missouri, April 6 - 8

Meeting of the Minds is a regional prevention and health education conference for college and university peer educators, their advisors, administrators, and campus and community law enforcement.

The Region IV-W conference included over 65 breakout sessions on topics such as alcohol and drug prevention, mental health, sexual health, interpersonal violence, and equity and diversity. Special sessions were held for law enforcement and students and staff in recovery, including two open 12-step meetings. Six pre-conference sessions were held on Thursday, including a special pre-conference for peer educators with David Arnold from NASPA. Keynotes included Kevin Hines, Darrel Scott from Rachel’s Challenge, Dr. Bart Andrews, and Bobby Gordon from CAMPUSPEAK.  Students from Region IV-W celebrated the opening night of the conference with games, dancing, and food at the student social.   We were joined by students and staff from Region IV-E as well and had representation from Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. 

Our Storify social media story from the event can be found here.

Total Attendees: 382

Award Winners: 

  • Outstanding Student: Caitlin Martin, Pittsburg State University 
  • Outstanding Student: Maria Dunn, University of Arkansas
  • Outstanding Program: Sex in the Ballroom, Pittsburg State University
  • Outstanding Advisor: Dr. Mary A. Wyandt-Hiebert, University of Arkansas
  • Outstanding Senior: Kate Suazo, Fort Lewis College
  • Outstanding Alumni: Tina Zuñiga, Fort Lewis College
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: J.T. Knoll, Pittsburg State University - For tireless commitment, comfort, leadership, and lots of laughter! JT is retiring in June 2017 and he has been a tremendous member of our Region IV-W, formerly Area 5, family. 

Region V – Rocky Mountain College, March 31 – April 1

The Region V conference drew 57 attendees to Billings, Montana. Two great keynote speakers started things off by getting the students engaged. Rocky Mountain College was a great host with fun activities and food for students and the advisors. The conference included 10 breakout session presentations that covered various health topics. Thank you to Shaydean Saye and Sam Kohl from Rocky Mountain College for hosting.

Award Winners:

  • Outstanding Student: Callie Kanthack from the University of Montana Western
  • Outstanding Student: Marty Meineke from the University of Montana

Host a 2018 Conference on Your Campus

Interested in hosting a spring regional BACCHUS conference on your campus? Applications are now being accepted for 2018!

Hosting a conference is a great way to showcase your institution and introduce people to your campus. Some of our peer educators may want to attend graduate school or find other ways to be involved with your campus.

Priority deadline for applying is September 15.

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