Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456
Office Phone: (315) 781-3437
Office Fax: (315) 781-3718
Home Office Phone/Fax: (585) 360-2241


Biographical Summary

H. WESLEY PERKINS received the B.A. in Sociology from Purdue University, an M.Div. degree from Yale University Divinity School, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. He is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. In 1993 he was honored with Hobart and William Smith's faculty prize for outstanding scholarship and in 1997 he received the faculty prize for outstanding service to the college community honoring his work to reduce alcohol abuse among students. He is Project Director of the Alcohol Education Project at Hobart and William Smith, an initiative providing research, educational resources, and strategies to reduce alcohol and other drug abuse throughout the U.S. and internationally. In 1999 and again in 2005 the Project received a national award from the U.S. Department of Education as a Model Prevention Program in Higher Education.

Dr. Perkins has published extensive research on alcohol and other drug problems among college students, adolescents, and young-to-middle aged adults in professional journals and is editor of a book on The Social Norms Approach to Preventing School and College Age Substance Abuse. He was a pioneer in work uncovering peer misperceptions of alcohol and other drug norms and developed the theory underlying the social norms approach to prevention. Perkins also was project director for a project designing, implementing, and demonstrating the significant positive impact of a social norms marketing campaign to reduce alcohol abuse among Airmen age 18-24 at selected U.S. Air Force bases located in the U.S and international settings. He also conducts research on problems of collegiate children of alcoholics, gender-related aspects of drug use, stress and drinking, religious-ethnic differences in drinking and other drug use, and evaluation studies of secondary school and university environments. He has delivered over 500 guest lectures, keynote addresses, workshops and research presentations for colleges, universities, secondary schools and professional conferences in the United States and internationally. Dr. Perkins has also served as a consultant to schools throughout the United States and to state and national drug abuse agencies and has testified at a Senate hearing on problems of alcohol abuse on campus. In 1999 he received the Outstanding Service Award by the Network of Colleges and Universities Committed to the Elimination of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse for his significant career contribution to prevention work in higher education at both the local and national level. In 2016 he received the Community Collaboration Award given by Success for Geneva’s Children, a New York organization dedicated to mobilizing the community to improve the lives of Geneva, NY children. The award recognized Dr. Perkins' work over a ten year period preparing multiple data books to enhance the community understanding of local youth health and well-being. Dr Perkins' work has been frequently cited in the press and television news coverage including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, National Public Radio, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Time Magazine. His work has also been cited in The Times Educational Supplement in England and the Scotsman and the Herald in Scotland and his research was discussed by members of the Scottish Parliament in a formal Parliament session.

Dr. Perkins' other research interests and publications include studies of family roles and well-being among young adults and comparative studies of social values and religion in Great Britain and the United States. He is also conducting an extensive research project on forgiveness and health in the life course of young and middle-aged adults and research on social norms and bullying among adolescents in the U.S and the U.K.


Teaching Experience
Research Presentations at Conferences
Research Grant Funded Projects
Special Awards
Areas of Specialization
Full Vita (PDF File)


Alcohol Education Project
HWS Post-Collegiate Life Project
Youth Health & Safety Project


Invited Guest Speaker and Keynote Addresses
Seminars and Workshop Presentations
Consulting Specialist Activities
Upcoming/Previous Events
In the News Media
Downloadable Audio/Video Interviews