DeSales University PACE Program Receives National Honors
The DeSales University PACE (Peer Advising, Counseling and Educating) Academy program was honored at the 2007 National General Assembly of The Bacchus Peer Education Network, the national convention of peer educators and advisors, held in Atlanta November 8 to 10. This marks the second time DeSales PACE has received national recognition since it was established in 2004.
At the convention, the DeSales PACE team was selected to present the program, "Character U: From 0 to 50 in 2 - A Year in Review." Character U, first introduced last academic year, is a unique integrated first-year experience program developed by DeSales University Student Life. It encourages first-year students, who are mentored by upperclassmen, to participate in character development activities throughout the year. The students earn points for their involvement and upon meeting point criteria, are eligible to win monthly prizes.
Also, the DeSales PACE program received two awards during the conference. They were:
The Outstanding Student award, given to Christian Barber '08, in recognition of his overall contribution to peer education, length of service, depth of leadership involvement, academic success and other campus positions.
The Outstanding Network Affiliate award given to DeSales PACE, in recognition of its peer education efforts, campus prevention efforts, programs and events, and evaluation of the success of the group.
"It is an incredible feeling to be chosen from hundreds of hardworking peer educators across the country and have my work recognized by the Bacchus Network on a national level," said Barber, a forensic psychology and criminal justice major from Minersville, Pa. "I believe it is a reflection on the fantastic DeSales staff and advisors who are my greatest inspiration."
The BACCHUS Network is a university and community based network focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. Its mission is to actively promote student and young adult based, campus and community-wide leadership on healthy and safe lifestyle decisions on issues such as alcohol abuse, tobacco use, illegal drug use, unhealthy sexual practices and other high-risk behaviors. As part of the BACCHUS Network, more than 32,000 student leaders and advisors impact over eight million peers on more than 1,000 campuses worldwide.
"Winning Outstanding Affiliate is the most meaningful honor for the PACE team because it recognizes all our time, efforts and hard work and it is an award that comes from an organization with so many productive and influential peer education groups," said Sarah Ball '09. "Even more significant, it reflects the dedication of the PACErs and advisors to educating and improving wellness in the DeSales community."
Established in May 2004, the DeSales PACE team consists of eight Bacchus certified students who assist in peer counseling on campus and talk with other students on issues such as alcohol, sexual assault, relationships, time management and health / social education. They also work with high school, middle school and elementary school students to address a variety of topics. The interactions with local secondary and elementary school students led the PACE team to develop the PACE Academy program, which was honored at the national convention last year.
"Being such a young organization and recognized on a national level is a tremendous honor," said Wendy S. Krisak, assistant director of counseling and coordinator of Character U, the First Year Experience at DeSales. "I am proud to serve as an advisor to PACE. The PACE students are amazingly dedicated young men and women. Judging from the difference they already have made on campus, I know only good things are in store for our future.
Attending the national convention were the following DeSales faculty and staff members:
Dr. Gregg Amore, director of the counseling center who serves as a PACE advisor; Father Joseph DiMauro, OSFS, associate dean of students; Wendy Krisak, assistant director of counseling and coordinator of the first-year experience program; and Chad Serfass '07, graduate assistant for Character U.
Also attending were the following members of the DeSales PACE team: Sarah Ball '09, communications major from Nazareth, Pa.; Christian Barber '08, forensic psychology and criminal justice major from Minersville, Pa.; Nicholas Lumi '08, physician assistant major from Phoenixville, Pa.; Thomas Neville '09, political science major from Philadelphia; Angela Pagano '09, law and society major from Fairless Hills, Pa.; Elizabeth Pongia '08, counseling psychology major from Chester Springs, Pa.; and Eleanor Santo '09, nursing major from Montgomery, N.Y.
To become a member of the DeSales PACE team, students are nominated by members of the university community because of their strong leadership ability, and interpersonal and communication skills. Also, students have a desire to contribute to the social and personal development of others, good time management skills, and the ability to establish rapport with other students. Before officially becoming part of PACE, students complete an application process and an interview.
Press Release: DeSales University PACE Program Receives National Honors | Posted on: 11/30/2007
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu