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Sixth Summit Encourages 'Being A Bearkat Life Saver'

Sept. 8, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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2011 Alcohol Summit logoSam Houston State University’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative will encourage students to “Be a Bearkat Life Saver” during the sixth annual Alcohol and Drug Summit on Sept. 16.

The one-day event is designed to raise awareness of the multi-faceted problems associated with substance use and abuse while strengthening healthy attitudes and ultimately achieving positive behaviors, according to Rosanne Keathley, ADAI coordinator.

"The Alcohol and Drug Summit gives students a variety of alcohol and drug awareness sessions that help prepare them to make critical and sometimes life-saving decisions that can positively impact their lives,” Keathley said. “Each year students call me with stories of how the information they learned from the summit actually helped them take a path of action that did save their life or the life of another Bearkat.”

The summit will include 18 panel sessions on a wide range of topics and a keynote lecture by Nicole Martingano, a nationally recognized alcohol education advocate and accident victim.

“Nicole will lead a compelling discussion on how her life dramatically changed one day when she was hit by a drunk driver and how the journey through physical rehabilitation motivated her to study law to help fellow victims,” Keathley said.

Her lecture, “How to Save a Life,” has been shared with more than 10,000 university and college students, with a special focus on freshmen, criminology majors, and the Greek community.

ADAI 2011 summit keynote speaker Nicole Martingano. — Photo by Kristen Bartlett Grace - UF Photography

“‘How To Save A Life’ is not your typical drunk driving lecture,” said Kate Fox, assistant professor of criminal justice. “In fact it is not a lecture at all.

“Nicole shares with her peers the deep physical and emotional pain she has endured as a victim in a near fatal drunk driving accident, where Nicole’s car was hit head-on by another university student (at the University of Florida) that was driving while severely intoxicated,” Fox said. “Although the impact was so severe and emergency personnel and homicide detectives feared she had died on impact, Nicole survived.”

In her presentation, Martingano, who is now a second-year student at Stetson University’s College of Law, tells her chilling story of survival, rehabilitation, and determination, while using high-energy, wit, and compassion to make sure everybody “gets it.”

The summit will also include breakout sessions at various times throughout the day, led by experts in the field of alcohol and drug awareness. Panels will target drunkorexia, medical amnesty, alcohol and brain functioning, sexual health issues, laws and penalties, prevention strategies, campus and community resources, personal safety techniques, campus policies and sanctions, and the use of new recreational drugs and tobacco products.

Summit registration will begin at 8 a.m., with panel sessions beginning at 9 a.m. Participants can register throughout the day, and attend as many panels as they wish. All sessions will be held in the Lowman Student Center.

Registration is free and includes breakfast, beginning at 8 a.m., and lunch, beginning at noon.

Students attending four or more sessions will receive a Summit T-shirt, and all participants will be eligible to win door prizes valued at $500, including a 19-inch flat screen television, donated by Best Buy in Conroe.

The event is open to members of both the Bearkat and Huntsville communities.

For more information, contact Keathley at hpe_rsk@shsu.edu or 936.294.1171, or visit the ADAI website at http://www.shsu.edu/~org_aai/.



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