Bergen-Cico joins SU’s College of Human Services and Health Professions, assumes leadership role with Outside The Classroom
Bergen-Cico joins SU’s College of Human Services and Health Professions, assumes leadership role with Outside The ClassroomMay 04, 2006Wendy S. Loughlinwsloughl@syr.edu
Syracuse University today announced that Dessa Bergen-Cico, associate dean of students with the Division of Student Affairs, has been named director of curriculum research and development for Outside The Classroom and will join the College of Human Services and Health Professions (HSHP) as a faculty member in the Department of Health and Wellness.
“We are so pleased that Dessa will be joining us,” says HSHP Dean Diane Lyden Murphy. “She will be an incredible asset. Her expertise will greatly contribute to the college’s growing strength in substance abuse research and teaching, and her work with Outside The Classroom will provide a foundation for the development of a health informatics curriculum in the Department of Health and Wellness.”
“The construct of the courses I will teach in HSHP and the research I will conduct through our partnership with Outside The Classroom will enable our students, faculty and practitioner staff to bring theory to practice through scholarship in action,” says Bergen-Cico. “Through this unique partnership, Syracuse University and the 500 campuses using AlcoholEdu become the learning laboratories for the study of alcohol use, associated behaviors, prevention and education efficacy and policy impact.”
Outside The Classroom is the country’s leading online alcohol prevention organization, having delivered its course, AlcoholEdu, to more than 500 campuses and 500,000 students nationwide. Research by Andrew Wall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has found that college students who completed AlcoholEdu experienced about 50 percent fewer negative health, social and academic consequences than students who had not taken AlcoholEdu. Since 2003, under Bergen-Cico’s leadership, all first-year SU students are required to participate in the AlcoholEdu program before arriving on campus.
Through surveys built into the course, Outside The Classroom now holds the largest evaluative database on alcohol and college students, and maintains constant research, evaluation, innovation and focus on evidence-based prevention strategies. As director of curriculum research and development, Bergen-Cico will facilitate the effective collection, management and use of information in Outside The Classroom’s databases to develop predictive models of effective implementation of alcohol abuse prevention initiatives in higher education and high schools in the United States and Canada.
“We have worked closely with Dessa and Syracuse for several years now and have been impressed by the award-winning, nationally recognized prevention program they have built,” says Brandon Busteed, founder and CEO of Outside The Classroom. “Dessa’s joint role on the faculty and with Outside The Classroom — combining the best of university research and cutting-edge innovation in the field — has the potential to be one of the most important contributions to alcohol prevention yet.”
Bergen-Cico will also teach courses in HSHP, including the new course Alcohol, Other Drugs, Sex and Gambling: Dynamics of Addiction (HTW 300). The course will allow students to explore the biological, psychological and social factors of substance use and other addictions that exist across cultures and species — from college students to the animal kingdom. Students will contribute to course content and propose solutions and methods for effective addiction prevention using the SU campus as a lab.
“Syracuse University and the Division of Student Affairs are tremendously grateful for the contributions Dr. Bergen-Cico has made to higher education’s understanding of alcohol and other drug abuse issues, and for her personal commitment to our students,” says Anastasia L. Urtz, dean of students. “We are looking forward to working closely with Dessa as she assumes her new role.”
Bergen-Cico will step down as associate dean of students and join HSHP on July 1. The Division of Student Affairs will conduct a national search for her replacement.