Marginalized to Empowered:

Supporting Students with Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders


Tuesday, August 6, 2019


at Saint Joseph's University


Marginalized to Empowered:

Supporting Students with Substance Use and Co-Occurring Disorders

 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.

Conference Goals

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

Keynote Speaker: Jarmichael Harris, MS, LCAS

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Jarmichael Harris, MS, LCAS has become a voice of impact in the digital media realm.  As Co-host and Producer of Professional Culture the Podcast, Mr. Harris doesn’t mind tackling tough yet relevant conversations around race, personal growth, and intersectionality. Carving his own lane as a subject matter expert in recovery supports, organizational development, and social media marketing, Harris has been featured on national podcasts. As a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, Harris brings a unique perspective to addressing chemical dependency and a failed War on Drugs, while empowering the students he works with. Teaching a man to fish, is not just a philosophy but a way of life as Mr. Harris has helped to address food insecurity on campus through the development of a food pantry that is operated by students. Mr. Harris currently serves as the East Carolina University (ECU) Collegiate Recovery Community Coordinator and Alcohol and Other Drug Staff Counselor for the Center for Counseling and Student Development. As an advocate for the expansion of recovery support resources for underrepresented populations, Mr. Harris is an active member of the North Carolina Recovery Alliance Initiative and is a Board Member for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. He finds his youthfulness and love for the university as an asset in building rapport with the students he encounters. Mr. Harris was raised in Salisbury, NC and enjoys adventure sports such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and obstacle course racing.


Keynote Panel

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Check back for more details on the presenters and their area of expertise.


Ammon Foundation Scholarship

The Ammon Foundation is proud to offer the Ammon Recovery Scholars Program to individuals in recovery pursuing education.  We are glad that you are taking the initiative to pursue your educational goals.  We hope to join you in your journey! Before you get started make sure that you have all of the documents needed.

Eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must be in addiction recovery for a minimum of six months and be enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college
  • The applicant must complete the online application and mention Marginalized to Empowered Conference when asked where you learned about the program
  • Additional items must be included as part of the application:
    • Two signed recommendation letters (One academic or professional; One personal reference, someone familiar with your recovery)
    • Identification: copy of driver’s license or government identification
    • Verification of finances (last paycheck, W2, or letter from employer verifying salary)
  • If chosen, the recipient will need to attend the conference (Conference Registration is free and there are travel scholarships also available)

Applications are due by June 1st at 12pm via this link. Applicants will be notified of the decision by the beginning of July. For questions about the application process or for more information, please contact

ProA Conference Travel Scholarship

Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (ProA) is proud to offer the M2E Conference Travel Scholarship for the 2nd year in a row.  Acknowledging the importance of this education for any students in recovery or students going into a field supporting those in recovery, we hope to offer this scholarship as a way to ensure attendance is possible for all. We recognize barriers to attendance can be financial and we hope to break down this barrier through offering a travel scholarship - the conference itself is free for all students.

Eligibility criteria:

  • The applicant must be a student - high school, non-matriculated college, undergraduate or graduate/ professional school
  • The applicant must complete the application including two short essay questions and a detailed itemized estimated total of all travel expenses - including gas, tolls, hotel, etc.
  • If the scholarship is approved, the student must register for the conference within one week to confirm attendance. Registration is free.

Applications are due by July 1st at 12pm. Applicants will be notified via email by July 3rd regarding the status of their application. For questions about the application process or for more information, please contact Bill Stauffer at

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We would not be able to host this event without your support!

Additional BIG THANKS to the members of the Planning Committee hailing from all over the region:

  • Katie Bean, Saint Joseph's University
  • Marci Berney, Saint Joseph's University
  • Frank Bernt, Saint Joseph's University
  • Jennifer Carrano, University of Delaware
  • Kristine DeJesus, Montclair State University
  • MaryAnn DiChristopher, State University of New York
  • Mary Alice DiFilippo, Arcadia University
  • Patty Esnouf, Saint Joseph's University
  • Jessica Estok, University of Delaware
  • Lisa Hansinger, Saint Joseph's University
  • Eric Johnsen, Saint Joseph's University
  • Stacey McLean, Saint Joseph's University
  • Bill Stauffer, Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance
  • Sharon White, Saint Joseph's University

Pictures from 2018 Marginalized to Empowered Conference

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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