CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s bystander intervention program, “Beavers Give a Dam,” has received a national award for excellence for its sexual violence education and prevention services.

The NASPA Excellence Award Gold Winner for the Violence Education and Prevention, Crisis Management, Campus Security and Related Excellence was announced in late January. The program is now competing for the organization’s overall Grand Award. NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education – is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

Beavers Give a Dam is an interactive bystander program to prevent sexual violence. This skill-building workshop offered by Prevention & Wellness (PAW) at Student Health Services is customizable for different communities and aims to increase participants' motivation and confidence to intervene. Beavers Give a Dam reached nearly 5,000 students in its first two years with the help of approximately 80 trained peer facilitators who deliver the program alongside PAW staff.

The OSU program is yielding promising results after its first two years, said Michelle Bangen, associate director of Prevention & Wellness at Oregon State.

"Preliminary findings show significant increases in participant knowledge and decreases in a few key rape myth acceptance items. And perhaps more importantly, 91 percent of participants think they can personally help prevent sexual violence and 94 percent feel confident in performing bystander intervention." 

Now in its third year, Beavers Give A Dam is the subject of a research project in partnership with assistant professor Jessica Gorman and Ph.D. candidate, Coral Cotto-Negrón in OSU's College of Public Health and Human Sciences. 

Each year, NASPA recognizes the outstanding contributions of members who are transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services, and effective administration. NASPA's Excellence Awards cover eleven categories crucial to the success of students and the continued growth of the student affairs profession. 

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 34,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Theresa Hogue, 541-737-0786


Michelle Bangen, 541-737-7880; [email protected]

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