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High-Risk Drinking to Be UW-Eau Claire
Alumni Luncheon Topic

RELEASED: Nov. 17, 2005

Melodee Hoffner Jodi Thesing-Ritter
Melodee Hoffner
Jodi Thesing-Ritter

EAU CLAIRE — High-risk drinking among university students and what can be done to address this problem will be the topic of a Nov. 30 luncheon presentation hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association.

Melodee Hoffner, M.S., project coordinator for UW-Eau Claire's Center for Alcohol Studies and Education, and Jodi Thesing-Ritter, M.A., principal author of the U.S. Department of Education grant received by UW-Eau Claire to reduce high-risk drinking among first-year students, will give a presentation from noon to 1 p.m. at Sweetwater's restaurant. Their talk, titled "Reducing High-Risk Drinking: We All Have a Role to Play," is part of the Alumni Association's "Let's Do Lunch" series.

Hoffner will share progress updates and ideas for working with the Chippewa Valley to create cultural change while considering the many environmental factors affecting this issue. The discussion will center on ways individuals in the community, particularly alumni, faculty, staff and students can work together to reduce high-risk drinking.

"This has been identified as one of the most pressing public health concerns for this age group," Hoffner, said. "The lifelong ramifications of this behavior make it a serious public health concern."

High-risk drinking is a particularly difficult problem in Wisconsin, Hoffner said, citing a Harvard study that shows Wisconsin leads the nation in adult binge drinking.

"Adults in our state need to realize how marketing, media and social pressures create an atmosphere encouraging high-risk drinking among students." Hoffner said. "Understanding these things will make it possible for us to change the environment and ultimately the behavior."

Upcoming "Let's Do Lunch" speakers, dates and topics include: Crispin Pierce, assistant professor of public health professions, Dec. 28: "Balancing Act: Planning for a Sustainable Wisconsin"; and Arlyn Anderson, M.A. assistant professor of communication and journalism, Jan. 25: "The Role of the American Media in International Crisis."

The speaker series is open to the public. The cost is $10 per session and includes the presentation, buffet, beverage, tax and tip. To reserve tickets, send e-mail to alumni@uwec.edu or call (715) 836-3266 for more information.

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KH

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