Awards & Recognition
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Champion Award
Dr. Gregory Thatcher
Dr. Gregory Thatcher is a professor in the Department of Public Health at Fresno State. He has championed the fight against alcohol and other drug abuse for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Greg has written and implemented numerous prevention and education programs that incorporate theory and practice while appealing to the students with current and relatable real-world cases.
Some recent examples of Greg's work include the following:
- Playing the Game – An innovative sexual assault/date rape program utilizing live theatre to debunk myths around alcohol-involved date rape. This program is intended to educate students on the importance of communication and how to better protect themselves in an effort to reduce the prevalence of the event. Over 1,100 students participated in research for this program including students who received the live theatre version, the video version, and others in a control group. The results were very positive.
- FREAKS (Finding Responsible and Entertaining Activities on KampuS) – A gaming club established to provide an alcohol-free alternative activity for students and community members. This group has become an official student club with independent funding. In only a few semesters, this group has grown tremendously with several hundred people having participated. It is not uncommon to see 50-100 people playing board games on any given Friday night. Players develop critical thinking skills and social skills while engaged in healthy alternative programming.
- Mock DUI – An event that staged a DUI trial with a local judge presiding over the proceedings. Students were exposed to the various phases of the criminal justice system in order for them to learn of the potential consequences for choosing to drive while under the influence. Community organizations such as MADD participated in discussions with the students to emphasize the importance of not driving under the influence. This event was put on twice at Fresno State with over 600 students participating.
- Thrills without Pills – A prescription drug awareness event held in a public space. This event provides education on the misuse of prescription drugs utilizing a panel of speakers, discussion, and information tables staffed by local organizations. This project is a collaboration with the local Lock It Up program.
- Reality Tours – Planned for Spring 2013, Reality Tours will host 200 high school students and their parents as they view the life of a child who abuses drugs and alcohol. The participants will experience the different stages of a young person from the initial peer pressure to drink and use drugs to living with the abuse and the effects it has on one's life to an accident and death of the person.
- ATODSC Faculty/Staff Sub-Committee Chair - Instituted a Faculty Pledge.
- ATOD website development.
Five hundred words are not nearly enough to detail the many alcohol, drug, and violence prevention and reduction programs that Greg has been a part of or the number of lives he has no doubt impacted. Fresno State is proud to have him on our team and to nominate him for the Alcohol and Other Drug Champion Award.