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Voicing Collegiate Recovery

Young adults in recovery from alcohol and other drug problems face challenges in maintaining sobriety, especially those in the abstinence-hostile environments of college campus. The University of California, Riverside Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) and the Riverside Collegiate Recovery Advisory Board partnered to conduct a Photovoice project on students’ collegiate recovery experiences that informed an engagement award funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to engage the UC in addressing the needs of students in recovery. This award builds on the CHC-advisory board partnership and establishes new collaborations with UCR’s psychological services, UCR’s Healthy Campus Substance Use and Addiction Subcommittee, and Solid Ground Wellness in Recovery, a women-owned and minority-run outpatient substance abuse facility for teens and transition age youth in Riverside.

This project also builds on existing UC networks, including the Healthy Campus Network and the Collegiate Recovery Network, to build stakeholder capacity across the 10 UC campuses to engage in future research on students’ recovery needs.


Photovoice exhibit at UCLA

Project Aims

This project aims to increase the capacity of faculty, staff, students, and university administrators to collaborate in research so that we can effectively addresses students’ recovery needs and improve health outcomes among higher education students in recovery. We propose three aims to meet this objective:

  1. Establish a collaborative governance structure (i.e., Steering Council) comprised of researchers, student health staff, students, community providers, and university administration.
  2. Build faculty, staff, student, and university administrator capacity to engage in partnered research by providing co-learning activities (trainings, webinars or web-based seminars, podcasts, symposium) on collegiate recovery.
  3. Conduct community forums to identify solutions to address students’ recovery needs and convene a research workgroup to prepare for future comparative effectiveness research.

Photovoice exhibit

Project Leaders

  • Ann Cheney – Academic lead
  • Frances Fernandes – Community lead
  • Tanya Nieri- Research leader
  • Sarah Pemberton – Campus provider leader
  • Lisa Molina – Off-campus provider leader
  • Danielle Cravalho – Graduate student leader
  • Fiona Ryan-Shirey- Undergraduate student leader
  • Katheryn Rodriguez- Project coordinator

What's Happening Now?

We are actively engaging faculty, staff, and students across the UC and California education systems, as well as local providers in developing a webinar and podcast series that will educate campuses on collegiate recovery. This fall we will hold three trainings, Research 101, Ethics in Research, and Comparative Effective Research, to build stakeholder capacity to partner in future research.

You can find more on our Facebook page @student.recovery and Instagram @ ucr.voicing.recovery

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