‘Intervene’ video and workshop receive best practices award

A video and workshop developed at Cornell that helps bystanders address problematic situations such as sexual assault has won another in a series of national awards.

Intervene,” a 20-minute video, often paired with a 60-minute in-person workshop, models effective student bystander interventions in incidents of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, hazing, emotional distress, bias and alcohol emergencies.

Since its creation in 2016, “Intervene” has received several awards for its innovative and evidence-based approach to addressing college health concerns. The latest is the 2018 Best Practices: Health Promotion and Education Award given by the American College Health Association (ACHA).

Developed by the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health, the “Intervene” video is based on real experiences of Cornell students and illustrates a variety of strategies that bystanders can employ to address problematic situations. The video and workshop are grounded in public health research and social behavior theories, and have been rigorously evaluated to assess their effectiveness in increasing peer bystander intervention. Nearly 50 “Intervene” workshops have been held on the Cornell campus so far, reaching more than 5,000 students.

“Intervene” is designed to build upon existing new-student orientation programming, reaching the entire student body – including older undergraduate and graduate students – and representing the diverse identities of college student populations.

“The staff of the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives engaged in a campuswide collaborative process to receive input from students, faculty and student affairs colleagues as they developed scenarios for this video,” said Kent W. Bullis, executive director for Cornell Health. “The creative approach to using film as a mode for engaging students allows student affairs professionals to expand their reach to students online and in-person and delivers the content in a format that is familiar.”

Bullis noted that the Skorton Center also intended the video to be a useful tool for campuses across the country. To date, 20 other colleges and universities have used “Intervene” on their campuses.

Laura Santacrose, assistant director for the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives, will receive the award on Cornell’s behalf May 31 at the 2018 ACHA annual meeting. “Bystander intervention is an effective and versatile strategy that recognizes the important role community members play in helping to interrupt and prevent harm, addressing a variety of campus health-related issues,” Santacrose said.

“Intervene” also received the bronze 2018 Excellence Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in the student health and wellness counseling category. The video was screened at the American Public Health Association’s Global Public Health Film Festival in November 2017, and received the Silver Telly Award in 2017 for non-broadcast productions.

Media Contact

John Carberry