Today’s news:

St. John’s ‘Sober 24/7’ wins awards

State Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) and a representative from the office of City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) presented the award to Kathryn Hutchinson, director of the Department of Student Wellness, during a small informal ceremony.Using the slogan "Sober 24/7," students from the departments of Fine Arts, Mass Communications, Journalism, TV and Film collaborated to produce a public service announcement, print ads, radio commercials, T-shirts and a Web site, all designed to target youths in the quest to curb underage drinking in the local community. Professors Frank Brady, Judith Cramer, Thom McCarthy, Alla Baeva, John DiMarco, Elizabeth DeLuna and Aaris Sherin worked with Hutchinson and 57 St. John's students to develop the materials for submission into a statewide contest sponsored by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services."We were trying to find innovative ways to get through to the kids, so we put the logo on anything we could think of," Hutchinson said.The contest included 13 colleges and universities throughout New York state, each of which received $25,000 from the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. SUNY Albany was announced the winner in December. In addition to the literature and audio materials developed for the contest, St. John's expanded its campaign into the surrounding neighborhoods using items such as posters, mouse pads and lip balm.Lancman praised the efforts of the students and faculty involved in the project. "Few people take the initiative to do something. I'm here to recognize Dr. Hutchinson and St. John's for making an effort to solve this problem," he said.Gennaro said the effort to spread the word had paid off. "With a creative staff of students, [St. John's] campaign has thrived on campus and the Internet. I now see [the campaign] posters all over the district," which includes Hillcrest, Jamaica Hill, Pomonok, Kew Gardens Hills and Jamaica Estates.For more information on the Sober 24/7 campaign, visit reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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