UKPA Class of 2023 Students Win Red Ribbon Week PSA Video Contest

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

“Know the signs.”

It’s the message that UK’s Physician Assistant Studies students used in their award-winning Red Ribbon Week PSA Video entry — a contest sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Colleges and universities produced a 30- to 60-second antidrug video PSA focusing on the dangers of alcohol and other drug misuse among college students.  

The slogan refers to the characteristics a college student displays when they are abusing alcohol or drugs, something 37 percent of students have admitted to doing, according to the video.  

They include:

  • Avoidance
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Abandoning responsibilities
  • Loss of Interest

Each is featured in the student-made video. The group of 23 students, led by director Jasmine D. Collins, won the top prize in the Red Ribbon Week Video PSA Contest, which included a plaque and $5,000 to support efforts to prevent alcohol and other drug misuse among students. 

Towson University, in Towson, Maryland, was awarded second place and $3,000.

“I decided to enter because I felt inspired by the topic of preventing alcohol and substance abuse among college students,” said Collins, a second-year PA student. “I also thought it would be a great way to be creative, along with highlighting how such an important topic impacts diverse groups of college students.”

According to the video, 1,825 students die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.

“I am very impressed with the motivation, drive, and cohesiveness of our students!” said Cheryl Vanderford, MPAS, PA-C, assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. “They took this project on voluntarily and created such an outstanding PSA. They are truly meeting our mission to be transformative leaders in their communities.”

“I consider myself fortunate and extend my heartfelt gratitude for the award,” Collins said. “I feel privileged and overwhelmed with joy to receive this award. I would like to say thanks a million for everyone who had a hand in helping this PSA video to take first place.” 

See the video here.


The department would like to thank all those involved in the making of the video:

• Jasmine Collins, Creator and Director

• Rehan Tariq

• Megan Alexander

• Scott Wilkes

• LaToya Walker

• Jaley Caudill  

• Zach Vo

• Josh Brown

• Ryan Duke

• Chantz Gould

• Madi Gonsalves

• Asna Patel

• Maggie Casteel

• Krupali Champaneria

• Amna Tariq

• Keren Akakpo

• DJ Summerville

• Julia Watson

• Dakota Halbert

• Wes Clevinger

• Ghadah Karasneh

• Courtney Marshall

• Diony Tovar


February is Black History Month

Since 1976 the United States and Canada have designated the month of February to recognize the contributions of people of the African diaspora. The College of Health Sciences will be recognizing and honoring some of our own Black alumni and students throughout the month – celebrating success while we also acknowledge both historical and current inequity and the work that each of us must do to dismantle systemic racism. We also hope members of our community will join with the MLK Center for events throughout the month.