Gratitude, Growth and Change
Continuing to embrace a model of community partnership and collaboration.
“Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” —Og Mandino
I’d like to start the new year on a note of appreciation and take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to all of you involved in the work of collegiate recovery and recovery support across the nation. It is because of you that we are moving the collegiate recovery movement toward our vision of creating a collegiate culture that embraces recovery. Your belief in collegiate recovery has helped thousands of students find their path through higher education and sustainable recovery. I am inspired by your service and the opportunities you’ve provided.
As we surge ahead, there are changes happening with the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). As with any change, there is some excitement, as well as some loss. But we continue in our mission to empower collegiate recovery programs and professionals to support students in recovery.
In the past year, ARHE has experienced unprecedented growth. We now have 236 members, including more than 100 institutional members. The National Collegiate Recovery Conference in Washington, D.C., was the largest ever, with more than 800 attendees, and we can’t wait for the ninth National Collegiate Recovery Conference to be held in Houston in July 2018. We also launched the new ARHE internship and student ambassador programs and the first national Student Leadership Summit. There are already more than 100 students registered for the second annual Student Leadership Summit coming up in February. We are so grateful for the momentum that is building with the collegiate recovery movement across the country.
To keep up with this growth, we expanded our staffing model. Although the work was exemplary, we realized that we grew too quickly. Consequently, we made the decision to undergo some staffing changes. Although it saddens us to lose staff, we believe we made the right decision for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. We do want to take this opportunity to publically thank both Greg Snodgrass and Susie Mullens for their incredible dedication and commitment to the work as staff members and for their service previously as board members. Their employment as staff with ARHE has come to an end, but we would not be where we are today without their efforts.
Moving forward, we continue to embrace a model of community partnership and collaboration. Our volunteer board continues to serve in guiding ARHE in developing systems, structure and sustainability as a nonprofit organization. We will be engaging several key ARHE committees (membership, development, finance and conference), our partnership and technical assistance with Altarum, and the commitment of ARHE members as we move ahead with our mission and events.
If you are interested in getting more involved, we would love to have you working with us. To express interest or join a working committee, you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For sponsorship inquiries or questions about the national conference, contact Tim Rabolt, director of Strategic Development and Community Relations, at email@example.com. For questions about the Student Leadership Summit, contact Sam Randall, ARHE Mountain Region representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Growth and change can be difficult, but through them, we create possibility and culture shift. ARHE is excited to move forward together in the new year and grateful to all who are in this battle together. Through our combined efforts, we are all helping to bring recovery support in higher education to more students through more collegiate recovery programs across the nation. Thank you again for your commitment. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or ideas you may have along the way.
Take care of yourselves, and take care of one another. Together we look forward to advancing the collegiate recovery movement and creating a campus culture that embraces recovery.
Amy Boyd Austin is the president of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education and the director of the Catamount Recovery Program at the University of Vermont. She has her master’s in social service management from Bryn Mawr College and her bachelor’s in criminal justice from the University of Delaware. Boyd Austin has worked in the field of addiction and recovery for the past 25 years. She is passionate about supporting students in recovery from both a micro and macro level and believes this fits well within her social justice lens of seeking equity for underrepresented identities in pursuit of higher education and an overall level playing field.