Marginalized to Empowered:

Creating Recovery Ready Academic Communities


Tuesday, August 7, 2018


at Saint Joseph's Univeristy

Marginalized to Empowered:

Creating Recovery Ready Academic Communities

 This thought-provoking conference will address how we can best identify and support marginalized students on our campuses and work to empower them to succeed and thrive.  We will discover the multiple programmatic approaches available while exploring innovative ways to offer support along the continuum of care.

Join the discussion about how we can help change the trajectory of those with behavioral health concerns empowering them to be successful in college, in our community & around the world.

Keynote Speaker

Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll:

The Impact of Perceptions of College

Frank Greenagel, MPAP, MSW, LCSW, LCADC, ICADC, ACDW, CJC, CCS specializes in the areas of substance use disorder, recovery and education.

Frank Greenagel is a clinical social worker and adjunct professor at Rutgers University in the Center of Alcohol Studies and School of Social Work. Rutgers is considered by many to have the strongest recovery college program in the world where he worked as a Recovery Counselor at both New Brunswick and Newark for five years.  Frank is also the Director of the Family Program at Soba College Recovery, LLC.  He has served on the NJ Governer's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse since 2011 and served as the Chairman of the NJ Task Force on Heroin and other Opiate Use.  He conducts trainings nationwide and has keynoted at conferences around the globe sharing his expertise.  Frank is also a member of the army national guard. You can find more information about our keynote speaker on his website where he blogs: 

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Keynote Panel

How to Engage Government Officials

in the Collegiate Recovery Movement

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Gary Tennis

President and CEO of National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL)
Gary Tennis serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) and specializes in drafting and developing treatment, intervention and prevention model laws, policies, guidelines and strategies.  He serves as a liaison with Congress, federal agencies and national organizations. Tennis has spent over 35 years as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA's office and was appointed to be Pennsylvania's first Secretary of the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs from 2012-2017.
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Rep. Margo Davidson

164th District PA House of Representatives
Rep. Margo Davidson started her career as a broadcast journalist while starting two non-profit organizations - to help small businesses grow and to make children and families safer. Davidson was first elected in 2010 to serve in the House of Representatives and is the first Democrat, the first African American and the first woman to represent the 164th Legislative District. Throughout her years in public service, she has served on many committees and authored and co-sponsored legislation that supports small business and public safety and recently announced mental health system reforms.
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Rep. Gene DiGirolamo

18th District PA House of Representatives and Chairman, House Human Services Committee
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo is serving his 12th term in the state House. During the past 22 years in Harrisburg, DiGirolamo has been a vocal advocate for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and funding. For the 2017-18 session, he is serving a fourth term as chairman of the House Human Services Committee, a position where he can effectively continue his advocacy of issues relating to drug and alcohol treatment and prevention and the devastating opioid and heroin abuse crisis and individuals with mental illness.

Conference Registration

The first 150 people to register will receive a complimentary conference notebook upon arrival.

**Tickets are $80 if purchases at the door**

Register Today!

1 Professional

$50 registration
  • Day of Speakers and Break Out Sessions
  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Block of Rooms at Conference Hotel and Complimentary Shuttle to Event
  • Night Before Networking Event Access
  • 4 PCB credit hours (Pennsylvania Certification Board)

1 Student

FREE registration
  • Day of Speakers and Break Out Sessions
  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Apply for one of 7 Student Scholarships for Travel Expenses
  • Night Before Networking Event Access
  • 4 PCB credit hours (Pennsylvania Certification Board)

10 Professionals

$400 registration
  • Day of Speakers and Break Out Sessions
  • Breakfast & Lunch Included
  • Block of Room at Conference Hotel and Complimentary Shuttle to Event
  • Night Before Networking Event Access
  • 4 PCB credit hours (Pennsylvania Certification Board)

Attention Students!

After registering for the conference, apply for a Travel Scholarship! Seven lucky students can have their expenses covered by Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance - Pro-A.  All applications will be reviewed only after conference registration is complete. Winners will be selected by July 13, 2018.

Conference Hotel Information

Click here for more information and to book a room directly through the Conference Hotel: The Hilton Philadelphia at 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19131.  This hotel is one mile down City Ave from Saint Joseph's University (SJU).  There is a block of rooms booked for the conference for a discounted price of $139 a night.  Use the link above to book by July 23rd to get the discount.

SJU will offer free shuttle service to and from the conference on Tuesday, August 7th.  Upon registration for the conference, please check yes when prompted if a shuttle is needed so we can provide enough seats for all.

Another local hotel option is the Courtyard Marriot at 4100 Presidential Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19131.  This hotel option starts at $136 a night. The complimentary shuttle will NOT run to this hotel.

Night Before Networking Event: Screening of the Anonymous People

All registered attendees are invited to attend the night before networking event which will take place from 7:00pm-9:00pm on Monday, August 6, 2018 in the Mandeville Teletorium at Saint Joseph's University.  We'll begin with inspirational words and welcome from Tony Luke, Jr and begin the showing of The Anonymous People at 7:30pm.  This networking opportunity is the opening social event of the conference.  All are invited!

THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the 23.5 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades.  This passionate new public recovery movement is fueling a changing conversation that aims to transform public opinion, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting recovery solutions.

Thank you for Montclair State University Red Hawk Recovery Program for providing the movie!



Conference Agenda

The learning goals of this conference were incorporated into each of the presentations and sessions.  By attending this conference, attendees will:

  1. Gain an increased awareness of the specific needs of students, faculty and staff in or seeking recovery from mental health and substance use disorders on college campuses
  2. Understand the systems and best practices currently in place to support students, faculty and staff in or seeking recovery while exploring innovative and promising practices
  3. Discover ways to build valuable connections with all constituents including faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, non-profit and advocacy agencies and other partners to create a network of allies to support and grow collegiate recovery efforts on their own campus
  4. Identify the developmental stages and critical components of an effective Collegiate Recovery Community and identify various sources of funding to sustain them

Images from the 2017 Marginalized to Empowered Conference

The event was full of energizing conversations and inspiring dialogue around how to best support college students who are marginalized on campus.  With 165 attendees, networking was easy to share best practices in the field.

We hope to see you soon on Hawk Hill!

Reach out to our Conference Committee if you have any questions at all.

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