Alcohol Content in Student Run College Newspapers

Student research analyzes alcohol-related content in student-run college newspapers due to the significant problem that high risk drinking leads to assaults and academic issues on college campuses.

A story of success is rarely perfect. Sometimes you need to fall to remember how to stand. Cody Conley joined SUNY Brockport as a nursing intent. Unfortunately, as it is a highly competitive program, he wasn’t accepted. But, Conley refused to give up on his goals and his advisor helped him create a plan to still reach them

“When I first came to Brockport, I only wanted to get my degree and become a nurse. But since I switched my major to Public Health, I plan to do so much more,” Conley said. “I want to work as a health educator along with a health care provider, something I never thought about before coming to Brockport.”

After switching majors, Conley wasted no time getting to know the faculty and department. He joined the Public Health Club to increase his awareness and leadership skills alongside his other extracurricular activities such as Club Lacrosse, The Gender Equity Movement, and more. Cody also had the opportunity to conduct research under Dr. Joshua Fegley, who has played an integral role in his college career.

“Every chance Dr. Fegley had he gave me some new task, project, or assignment to ensure that I continued to challenge myself,” Conley said. “Without him, I would not be the student leader that I am today. He always pushes me to do better because he knows that I can, even when I don’t.”

Conley’s research under Dr. Fegley focused on analyzing alcohol related content in student-run college newspapers over a 10 year period. This research was sparked by the significant problem that high risk drinking poses to college campuses including assaults and academic issues. His findings concluded that while there was a plethora of alcohol related messages and content, there were also many missed opportunities for the inclusion of prevention messages. Cody’s research allowed him to receive an experience that simply could not be replicated inside the classroom.

“My research allowed me the opportunity to apply my knowledge outside of the classroom,” Conley said. “There is a sense of accomplishment that you get from research as opposed to getting a good grade on a test.”

Research wasn’t Conley’s only integral learning experience. He also had an internship with the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester. He received firsthand experience in a community health center. After working in this environment, Conley realized that he wished to pursue a career in a community health center. In this setting he can apply both his knowledge of public health and nursing to prevent and treat diseases for those in need

“Brockport is a somewhat large school, but gives its student’s the attention of a smaller school. The professors truly care about you here,” Cody said. “A Brockport education prepares you for what the real world is going to throw at you and how you are going to bounce back from it.”

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