Hazing Prevention

Novak Institute

novak-institute-logo-olThe Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention tackles the challenging public health problem of hazing in a totally unique way. This four-day, interactive experience teaches diverse groups of interdisciplinary participants how to address hazing from a strategic approach that focuses on prevention rather than just response.

Nationally recognized faculty teach a prevention framework based on proven principles that are grounded in research. The Institute is geared toward individual professionals, teams of professionals and students who want to take what they’ve learned back to their communities to create and implement an interdisciplinary hazing prevention program designed for their community.

The Novak Institute utilizes multiple learning strategies that allow participants to think critically about concepts while providing opportunities to apply the tools in the Institute’s learning community. Since the Institute curriculum design allows for individuals and teams to learn together, we encourage participation by interdisciplinary teams. Teams can comprise professionals who work in a variety of capacities that may find the Institute beneficial as a means to begin or refresh hazing prevention initiatives.

Who Should Attend

The Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention is designed for professionals, volunteers and undergraduate and graduate students as individuals or interdisciplinary teams.

If you are involved in any of the following campus areas, this Institute is for you:

  • Chief/senior student affairs officers
  • Athletic administration and coaches
  • Campus Greek life
  • Band/music/theatre and spirit organizations
  • Student conduct and compliance
  • Risk management
  • Residential life
  • Student activities
  • Campus law enforcement & safety
  • Campus sport clubs and intramurals
  • Campus legal counsel
  • Campus ROTC/military organizations

If you are part of an inter/national fraternity/sorority or paraprofessional organization, the Institute is also designed for you. Organizational teams might include those working in risk management, education, alumni affairs, volunteers and other areas.

Should individuals who are not part of a team attend the Institute? Absolutely. Individual participants are welcome and, in fact, have comprised a significant percentage of attendees at the Institute, representing campuses or inter/national organizations. The Institute curriculum includes time for individuals to work through both taking information back to their campus or organization, as well as using Institute lessons to advance hazing prevention efforts on their campus or in their organization; however, we discourage individual students from attending on their own. We have found that students need professional support on site to achieve an optimal learning experience.

The Curriculum

The Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention is a signature program offered by HazingPrevention.Org (HPO). Consistent with the HPO mission and vision, the Institute is designed to emphasize prevention strategies that are intended to decrease risk and harm associated with hazing by identifying the causal factors that contribute to the real problem. Participants are actively engaged in the application of a Problem Analysis that will inform hazing prevention strategies, as well as tactics and activities specific to their community or organization. The Novak Institute utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to engage participants in identifying the complexity of the issue of hazing. HPO’s commitment is to offer an Institute that is interdisciplinary, limited in size to provide a high-quality learning environment, and facilitated by the national experts who serve as our faculty. The interdisciplinary nature of this experience makes it worthwhile. Imagine; inter/national fraternal executives, campus as well as community police officials, fraternity and sorority professionals, student conduct administrators, researchers, advisors, consultants, lawyers, senior student affairs professionals and STUDENTS coming together to advance the prevention of hazing!

Since 2008, we have brought together dynamic groups of students and professionals and provided them the opportunity to cultivate the skills to develop and implement a comprehensive hazing prevention initiative. Additionally, we aim to instill hope that we have the capacity to prevent hazing. To this end, the Institute focuses on prevention of hazing as opposed to response. The curriculum is based on a violence prevention framework designed by experts in public health, which includes (1) a set of proven principles and (2) a systematic and strategic planning process. The process includes starting with a clear definition of the problem and its contributing factors (risk and protective factors), articulating what needs to change, looking at research about what works to make that change, creating effective programs and policies that carry out those change goals.

The Novak Institute is a highly focused learning experience for people concerned about preventing hazing. The curriculum of the Novak Institute has been intentionally designed to facilitate individual learning for the purpose of community change.

The Institute utilizes multiple learning strategies:
• Interactive presentations;
• Application and skill-building sessions;
• Small-group discussion;
• Team dialogues that allow participants to prepare to take home the lessons learned, and;
• Small-group coaching sessions to encourage delving deeper into topical issues related to hazing.

Institute Schedule

The Institute curriculum is designed to build upon each concept taught. As such, participants should expect a full day in the learning community that typically begins at 8 a.m., and ends at 9 p.m. Participants should arrive on site no later than 1:30 p.m., June 4, to check in and get settled into their rooms before the Institute’s formal opening at 3 p.m.

Since full participation is expected in all Institute sessions, participants should note the following schedule with meal breaks built in:

Day 1: Wednesday, June 4
Check-in begins at 10 a.m., and closes at 2 p.m. The Institute opens PROMPTLY at 3 p.m.

Day 2: Thursday, June 5
Begin at 8 a.m., and work until no later than 9 p.m.

Day 3: Friday, June 6
Begin at 8 a.m., and work until no later than 9 p.m.

Day 4: Saturday, June 7
Begin at 8:30 a.m., and concludes by noon.

Institute Faculty and Staff

The Institute is designed to address hazing as an environmental and cultural problem in communities, and that requires a top-notch faculty featuring the best minds in the field.

Kimberly Novak, Faculty

Kimberly Novak, Chief Executive Officer of NovakTalks, is an independent consultant for Campus Safety, Student Risk Management and Student Organization Development. Additionally, she serves Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity as the Director of Risk Education and Prevention. Kim is recognized as a national expert in student-focused risk management, hazing prevention and involving students in campus safety efforts. She has been invited to speak at national conference and on college campuses around the country, and served as faculty for several nationally sponsored professional institutes including HPO’s National Hazing Intervention Institute which was renamed in 2010 The Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention in her honor. Kim served as a Fellow for the U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Center and on several national advisory boards. She serves as the FEA Dean for the Interfraternity Institute (IFI) and on the Advisory Board for the University Vermont Higher Ed Law Conference. Prior to embarking on her consulting career full time, Kim served as the Director for Student Life at Arizona State University and also worked at Texas A&M for eight successful years. In 2012, Kim received the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors and in 2013, was honored with the Silver Medal by the North-American Interfraternity Conference for her leadership in advancing the fraternal movement and for her hazing prevention work. She is an honored member of Delta Gamma Fraternity. Kim approaches her work with college students with the heart of an advocate and is committed to the advancement of communities of care of campuses across the country.

Dr. Linda Langford, Faculty

Independent Consultant Dr. Linda Langford specializes in campus-based prevention, strategic planning, health communications and program evaluation, with special interests in violence prevention, environmental approaches to prevention, practitioner-researcher collaboration and translating research into practice. From 1998-2012, she served as an Associate Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Violence Prevention. During her time at the Center, Linda developed a framework for violence prevention in higher education based on a public health approach that promotes campus and community collaboration and systematic data-driven planning based on the best available prevention science. She authored a widely used working paper on campus hazing prevention and has consulted on the Institute curriculum, the Zeta Tau Alpha Grant criteria, and the National Agenda for Hazing Prevention. She currently works part time as an evaluation scientist at the SAMHSA-funded Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), based at Educational Development Center, Inc. In addition to running her own consulting practice, Langford & Associates, Linda holds a doctorate in behavioral sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health and from 1998-2006, taught a core course in the health communications program at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Keith Ellis, Faculty

Independent consultant and Director of Residence Life at the University of South Carolina Keith Ellis has been recognized nationally for his efforts in hazing prevention, risk management education and leading change in fraternity and sorority communities across the southeastern United States. Keith brings passion to the topic of prevention education and community change and has led workshops for students and professionals at numerous regional and national conferences. In 2011, Keith joined the faculty of the Novak Institute for Hazing Prevention where he engages participants in conversations of partnership, policy, research and applying prevention science to the topic of hazing. Keith is committed to the creation of environments where students, faculty and staff can come together in partnership and shared responsibility. Keith is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in educational policy evaluation from the University of Kentucky, focusing on issues relative to Greek letter organizations, hazing and the law.

Dan Wrona , Faculty

RISE Partnerships Chief Executive Officer and Project Leader Dan Wrona runs a company that challenges fraternity and sorority members to step up, take action and use their values to change the world. In the 14 years since he co-founded RISE, Dan has trained student leaders on more than 150 campuses in the skills and strategies to create positive change in their organizations. He is the creator of From Hazing to Health, an educational initiative that transforms hazing from a complicated, confusing discussion about legal issues into a simple formula for building stronger, healthier organizations. His program was recognized by the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors with the 2009 Excellence in Educational Programming Award. This year, Dan is also serving as the interim associate director for the University of Iowa's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership which allows him to put his expertise to work in a new and challenging way. Dan chairs the HazingPrevention.Org Program Committee and the Risk Management Standing Committee for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

Fred Dobry, Faculty

Fred Dobry received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Indiana State University in December 2007. Upon graduation, Fred began working for Sigma Nu Fraternity Headquarters. He served as a Leadership Consultant from January 2008 – May 2009. Beginning in June 2009, Fred began serving in his current role as Director of Risk Reduction. In that role, Fred oversaw the implementation of a new evidence-based sanctioning program to address chapter misconduct. Additionally, Fred co-created the annual #40Answers campaign that runs during the 40 days prior to National Hazing Prevention Week. #40Answers is a social media campaign held each year to gather responses to the 40 most commonly heard hazing rationalizations. When not enjoying time at work and with his family, Fred serves as a volunteer for the local Jaycees and Chamber of Commerce. Also, Fred is a member of the Programming Committee for HazingPrevention.Org. As a Novak Institute faculty member, Fred is committed to helping others incorporate an evidence-based solution to the challenges they face.

Anna Marie Carlson, Staff

Institute intern Anna Marie Carlson is a graduate assistant in the Center for Fraternity and Sorority life at Washington State University while she pursues a Ph.D in Educational Psychology. Originally from Fruitland, Idaho, she attended the University of Idaho where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. As an undergraduate, Anna Marie found a passion for higher education and student leadership development through her involvement. A member of Gamma Phi Beta, Anna Marie took her leadership skills to the greater community as a Rho Gamma and later as the Panhellenic Vice President for Membership Recruitment. She was the President of the Student Alumni Relations Board, interned for both Idaho’s Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s office and the White House in the office of the Public Liaison where she helped plan Presidential Events. Anna Marie recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology with research in student leadership development and experiential learning among fraternity and sorority students. Her interests include student leadership development, fraternity and sorority life, assessment and evaluation, as well as the holistic development of college students.