The Buzz: A game-changing alcohol education program

April 10, 2024
Students engage in "The Buzz," a dynamic alcohol education program developed at the University of Arizona.

Students engage in "The Buzz," a dynamic alcohol education program developed at the University of Arizona.

Spencer Gorin

As you walk past a large classroom you hear sounds of students laughing and giggling, you look in and see them throwing around a ball as well. Surely this can’t be a lecture … a professor must have let the students have a free day. Then you take a closer look and realize it’s nothing other than an alcohol education seminar. It’s The Buzz

Developed at the University of Arizona by Alcohol and Other Substance (AOD) Program Specialist Spencer Gorin, The Buzz offers an innovative and dynamic approach to alcohol education through its method and curriculum. The program has been noted as lively, fun, and positive by students.

In 2012, Gorin wanted to create something that “students would find relevant, fun, and enjoyable.” This is why The Buzz takes a different approach to alcohol awareness, leaving behind the typical “death by PowerPoint and lecture” method of communication. He says the program and curriculum were made to “actually result in a positive change in behaviors.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a survey and the results revealed that 49% of college students aged 18-22 consumed alcohol within the past month. It also concluded that each year an estimated 1,519 college students between the ages of 18 to 24 die from unintended alcohol-related injuries and 696,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

Nearly half of all college students consume alcohol regularly. With these behaviors causing so many dangerous situations, through The Buzz, Gorin is working to combat these high statistics. Students at institutions who have participated in the program have praised it for being engaging and keeping them actively involved. There are also plenty of data points that support how impactful The Buzz can be, based on survey results of Greek students it was found that:

  • 97% of participants reported that The Buzz is relevant to college students.
  • 92% stated that The Buzz is better or much better than other alcohol education programs.
  • 88% stated that The Buzz will cause them to think differently about their alcohol use. 

Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the office of the University of Arizona that works to maximize the societal impact of the university’s innovations, has helped to spread this program across the country, licensing it to organizations such as Alpha Phi International, California State University at San Bernardino, Tulane University, and 13 other communities. The effort to get the program into the public sphere has not gone unnoticed, and Gorin notes that he has enjoyed cultivating a working relationship with his TLA licensing manager, Lewis Humphreys. Through working together, the two have had the opportunity to discuss the goals of The Buzz and formulate strategies to get the program out to as many people as possible. Gorin also noted that he has a special appreciation for how TLA engages his audience. With students being the target market for The Buzz, student workers have met with him to discuss the program and to strategize market outreach. 

If you or your organization are interested in bringing The Buzz to your community, please contact TLA Senior Licensing Manager Lewis Humphreys at or call 520-626-1213. You can also get a sneak peek into what The Buzz looks like in action in this video.  

Paul Tumarkin, Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications