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A Recovery Perspective: Hope in Higher Education

Written by:

Greg Snodgrass Director, Collegiate Recovery Community at the University of Alabama.

An Overview: My 10 Year Journey in the CRC World

In July of 2004, I was introduced to the collegiate recovery world for the first time. At that time there were approximately three Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRC) in the country (Rutgers, Texas Tech, and Augsburg College). In November 2004, I was accepted to the CRC at Texas Tech as a student. I was filled with gratitude when I received my acceptance letter. Dr. Kitty Harris, director of TTU CRC at that time, and the rest of the staff dedicated their time and energy into building a strong community of college students in recovery. Dr. Harris was then and continues to be now a charismatic selfless leader dedicated to helping students achieve academic success in recovery. I saw the same inspiring leadership with Lisa Laitman at Rutgers and Patrice Salmeri at Augsburg.

Kitty, Lisa, and Patrice have mentored countless students that have helped ignite a powerful movement of young educated leaders empowered to start CRC’s at universities around the country. In addition, it is essential to mention a woman by the name of Stacie Mathewson when discussing the current growth of CRC’s nationally.  Stacie has single handedly helped CRC start-ups at over 100 universities by providing funding for qualified applicants. Today there are over 130 collegiate recovery communities in some form of start-up across the country.

On May 15, 2012, I was asked to replicate the Texas Tech CRC at the University of Alabama. We started with two students in 2012 and now have 35 students in 2015.  Over twenty-five students have graduated from the Alabama CRC and each alumnus is an absolute miracle. We have two full time staff members, two part-time student workers, and one intern. I see the CRC movement as an investment for a better tomorrow. Students in CRC’s are some of the most creative and intelligent people when given a chance in a safe environment with other recovering students. I would invest in a CRC student working a solid program over any other student hands down. I partner with other strong CRC directors and coordinators that are passionate about academics and recovery on campus to keep up to date on social media, academic resources, current trends, and advocacy on a national level.

The student fellowship is by far the most important step in building a CRC. It is vital to network with departments within your university structure (i.e. Student affairs, disability services, career resource center, academic advising, student health center, etc…). The following organizations are a few national resources that are helpful when building a network with your CRC: Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE), Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR), and the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD). I can honestly say I am proud to be a part of the CRC movement over the past ten years.  I am excited to see what is in store for the future and will continue to be of service. When you are immersed in the CRC movement there is something magical that happens in the transformation into long term recovery.

 

*Want more information about how you can start and sustain your recovery on campus? Visit http://hecaod.osu.edu/students/recovery/ for more information.

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