Freshman Brittnee Wojciechowski of the University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team and junior third baseman Jessica Yocum, along with Assistant Athletic Director Jamie Krueger, head volleyball coach Angie Riggle and Valerie Gebhardt the UIS Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Coordinator attended the 20th annual APPLE Conference January 28–30 in Austin, Texas.
The APPLE (Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education) model was developed in 1991 through a partnership between the University of Virginia's Center for Alcohol and Substance Education (CASE) and the Department of Athletics. Since 1992, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Virginia have partnered to disseminate the APPLE model at minimal cost to NCAA-member institutions.
“Attending the APPLE Conference allowed us to gain a better understanding of how critical student-athlete involvement will be in addressing issues of alcohol and drug use among the student-athlete population at UIS,” said Krueger. “Our APPLE team is looking forward to implementing educational and student-athlete mentoring programs to ensure that student-athlete well-being continues to be one of the top priorities of our department.”
This was the first year that UIS attended the APPLE Conference.
“I am excited about the opportunity for myself, as the AOD Prevention Coordinator to be able to work with the athletic department to address alcohol and drug usage in a non-threatening, supportive environment,” Gebhardt said. “It will be a great opportunity for the counseling center and the athletic department to work as a 'community' on the UIS campus.”
The featured speakers the UIS athletes and staff saw were Erica Upshaw, who aims to prevent senseless deaths by education on how to party smart and Doug Everhart, who created and advises a nationally acclaimed peer education program.