Photovoice Group at the Barn

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.

Get Involved/Stay Involved

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

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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.

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
  • Evelyn Morales Vazquez - Postdoctoral scholar
  • Danielle Cravalho – Graduate student leader
  • Fiona Ryan-Shirey- Undergraduate student leader

What's Happening Now?

We are engaging faculty, staff, and students across the UC and California education systems, as well as local providers through a series of talks and webinar and podcast series.

CUC Recovery Conference save the date

California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference

Presented by the Voicing Collegiate Recovery Team.

Join us October 23-25, 2020 for the online exclusive California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference.

Webinar and Podcast Series

Let’s Talk about Drugs

This webinar explains why people use drugs and the effect of drugs on the brain. Participants learn more about tolerance, dependence, and the addicted brained and associated beliefs. Panelists discuss the meaning of drugs in people’s lives, treatment, and how to better understand the experiences of students in recovery from drugs.

The podcast, "Don’t Call Me an Addict" tells the story of students’ experiences in long-term recovery o on college campuses and discusses what institutions can do to support them.

CANNABIS: Current and Future Considerations for College Students

This webinar talks about shifting US laws around cannabis and its current use among college-age populations. Participants learn about current cannabis use and trends among college students, myths, and the growth of the cannabis plant. Panelists discuss the impact of cannabis on student health and suggest ideas for future research on cannabis use in college students. Download the Substance Use Decision Matrix.

The podcast, R’Cannabis Recovery raises awareness of cannabis addiction and recovery, discusses the impact of cannabis use on mental health, and shares resources in the UC system for students in recovery.

Integrating Collegiate Recovery Services with Other Campus Resources

This webinar discusses stand alone collegiate recovery programs or their integration into existing services within campus and broader community settings. Participants learn about the developmental stages of collegiate recovery communities, their values, and the role of student leadership. Panelists discuss the impact of substances such as Juul, CBD, and medication assisted therapy on student recovery and collegiate recovery programs.

The podcast, Sober Living: An Integration of Recovery and Collegiate Community, discusses sober living for students on and off campus, student experiences of sober living, and advocates for campus support for sober living spaces. 

Interventions for College Students in Recovery

This webinar discusses the interventions and services provided to college students in recovery. Participants learn about the collegiate recovery movement, relevant research, local resources, and the role of family, friends, and peers in collegiate recovery. Speakers provide an overview of what is known, what is not known, and what could be further researched to support students in recovery. Download the recommended reference list.

The podcast Navigating Peer-run Recovery and Starting Recovery Groups discusses student involvement with collegiate recovery programs, collegiate recovery program needs, and the barriers to and facilitators of accessing programs within the UC context.


Research Isn’t Scary! Let’s partner

This talk discusses collaborative research and its importance to student health. Participants learn about a type of community-based research that engages academic and community partners and students as equal partners.

Comparing Empirical Ways to Improve Student Health

This talk discusses the meaning of evidence based interventions and the importance of comparative effectiveness research. Participants learn about how to turn an idea or thought related to student substance use and recovery and turn it into a research question that can be tested in a comparative design.

Ethics, Stigma, and Research with Vulnerable Student Groups

This talk discusses ethics, stigma, and research with vulnerable student groups. This talk discusses the importance of research guidelines, including the Institutional Review Board (IRB), consent forms, and research protocols. Participants learn about breached ethical guidelines in well-known research studies, including Facebook’s 2014 emotion study, the need for research protocols and consent forms when conducting research with people, and considerations for research projects involving vulnerable student groups.