Public Engagement

Spring 2015

Public Engagement, Cornell ILR School's publication for outreach activities.

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11 Thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, the Smithers Institute is undertaking the first longitudinal study of how the transition from college to the workplace affects people's misuse of alcohol. The five-year study will track graduating seniors from Cornell, the University of Washington, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan as they enter the workplace. "We'll be looking at the interface between college and work as it relates to drinking," says Sam Bacharach, McK- elvey-Grant Professor, director of the Smithers Institute and principal investigator for the project. "On average, peak alcohol consumption now occurs at ages 23 and 24 — two years post-college," says Peter Bamberger '82, M.S. '84, Ph.D. '90. He is director of research at the Smithers Institute and asso- ciate dean for research at Tel Aviv Universi- ty's Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration. "We want to understand the roles played by the workplace, the labor market and in- dividual differences such as marital status," he says. "That understanding will aid in the devel- opment of prevention practices on college campuses and modes of intervention for people with problem drinking once they graduate." The grant for "The College-to-Work Transition & Alcohol Misuse" was awarded in the spring of 2014. It follows in the tradition of four previous Smithers' studies relating to alcohol misuse funded by the National Institutes of Health, of which National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism is a part. Results from one of the studies form the basis of "Re- tirement and the Hidden Epidemic" by Bamberger and Bacharach. Published in 2014 by Oxford University Press, the book examines the complex link between aging, work dis- engagement and substance misuse — and what to do about it. The book is in memory of R. Brinkley Smithers and in cel- ebration of Adele Smithers, "whose tradition of leading the battle against the disease of alcoholism has inspired the institute's work for the last 20 years," Bacharach says. Part of that work involves the support — with Professor William Sonnenstuhl — of two campus organizations: Cayuga's Watchers, a student-run campaign to curb alco- hol-related incidents and to promote student safety; and SOBER (Students Off Booze Enjoying Recovery), a home for members of the Cornell community abstaining from alcohol and drugs. SMITHERS INSTITUTE FOR ALCOHOL-RELATED WORKPLACE STUDIES Tracking Early-Career Substance Misuse Engagement Highlights: • Provides links and easy access to a variety of resources for practitioners and the academic community on alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace. • Publishes books and articles regularly on subjects relating to alcohol and abuse at work, including some with a focus on employee assistance programs. • Advances the spread of knowledge about research findings on substance abuse in the workplace. Professors Samuel Bacharach and Peter Bamberger

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