International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Laurie Ross

Second Reader

Denise Hines


The purpose of this work is to design a wellness based prevention program that is tailored to fit the campus community within Clark University, Worcester, MA, called the Peer Athletes Advocating for Wellness (PAAW) initiative. This paper first presents the current research on wellness related issues within a college campus, specifically surrounding sexual violence. It then outlines the current sexual violence prevention programming that takes place yearly for incoming first year students at Clark University, as well as a one-time initiative during which student athletes participated in the sexual violence prevention programming. There is a review of the current most effective wellness programs used throughout the country. The steps that have already been taken to ready the campus culture for this additional wellness programming are outlined. The proposed wellness program design works to incorporate the most effective parts of the programs being utilized by other campuses in order to best help student athletes maintain mental and physical health throughout the school year. The PAAW initiative is leadership based and student centered. It allows space for student athletes to review a potentially harmful scenarios that they might experience or witness, and discuss how to best help the person in need, making them more likely to act when a situation actually arises. The PAAW program helps individuals think through ways to maintain their own physical and mental health, as well as potentially positively impacting their teammates and other members of their academic community by intervening in or preventing a harmful situation.



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