**Note: The 2019 agenda is still being planned. Below are session descriptions from the 2018 conference.

2018 Plenary Descriptions

“TN Prevention Facts & Anecdotes That You Wanted To Know...AND Were Bold Enough To Ask”

Stephanie McCladdie, M.P.A., SAMHSA Regional Administrator

Using the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) as a framework, this session will explore several changing public health issues affecting communities across our nation—from the widespread opioid epidemic, to marijuana use. Participants will explore how they can impact outcomes and affect change in dealing with some of the biggest challenges of our time for the prevention professional, with some helpful resources available from SAMHSA.

Tools for making it happen: Moving AOD misuse prevention and recovery programs forward on a college campus.

Jim Lange, Ph.D., Executive Director, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery

Many campuses have hired a person, or dedicated a department to support the important goal of AOD misuse prevention for their students. The question then may be asked: what should that person or department do? What tools will be at their disposal, and how will they reach their intended population? Using the emerging field of implementation science as a framework, this talk will demonstrate steps those tasked with action can take to move from an amorphous assignment to concrete action that advances the goal of reduced misuse by students. From identifying the needs, resources, and partnerships, to locating evidence-based programs, the campus practitioner can follow steps to develop a plan to manage the required tasks of AOD prevention. Attendees with only a partial role within their campus AOD prevention strategies can benefit from this as well. They can learn how to support those tasked with prevention and also learn from the implementation science the lessons that cut across specific programmatic topics, settings and populations to fit whatever programs they are charged with implementing.

2018 Workshop Descriptions

Taking on prescription medicine misuse on college campuses: The complicated process of addressing a broad class of drugs.

Jim Lange, Ph.D., Executive Director, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery

Prescription medicine misuse is a complicated subject, especially for college campuses. There are many types of medicines being misused, and the motivation for their misuses is as varied as their risks. The nation is currently focused on opiate misuse, but for college students, this may not be the most common form of medicine misused. Making the issue more complex is the inherent difficulty in limiting access, successful detection, and a lack of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies.

A few promising approaches are emerging for addressing medicine misuse. These include: (1) Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT), (2) campus/community coordination of prescription practices, (3) carefully crafted general awareness campaigns, and (4) increased DUID enforcement.

This session will briefly explore the complexities inherent in the problem of prescription medicine misuse, and then dive into how the various promising approaches may be applied on a campus.

Engaging Faith Communities in Sexual Assault Prevention

Kathy Hargis, MBA, Associate VP, Risk Management and Title IX Compliance, Lipscomb University

Andrea Mills, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP, Assistant Director, University Counseling Center, Lipscomb University

Sexual assault prevention in faith communities has historically been a challenging conversation. In today’s culture, these discussions are becoming more a part of our mainstream media. At the same time, this topic has become increasingly important for our college age students. This discussion will help those from faith-based communities learn how to implement prevention strategies without compromising core values.

Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act and Biennial Review

Diane Berty, Tennessee Independent Colleges & Universities Association:

As part of the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, every institution of Higher Education receiving Federal Funds (e.g. financial aid, Pell Grants, research grants) is required to annually notify students, staff, and faculty concerning alcohol and other drugs policy(ies), maintain an alcohol and drug prevention program, and complete a full review of their comprehensive substance abuse program on a biennial basis. It is common for schools to be out of compliance with these regulations and find that they are non-compliant when audited. This workshop is a follow-up to our professional development in November 2017 and will focus on the best practices for compiling the Biennial Review. We will share tools drafted by CHASCo for compiling the Biennial Review and give time for participants to brainstorm and ask questions about their campus processes.

How to Talk With Your Kids about Anything (Including Drugs and Alcohol)

Alex Windings, CPS I, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Community Training Liaison; KM Clark Consulting Group

How to Talk With Your Kids about Anything (Including Drugs and Alcohol) focuses on talking with our kids in a way that works and can help make your family life better and help your kids make healthier decisions. Most families will face some problem during their child’s teenage years. It could be substance abuse; it could be depression, bullying, or something else. No matter what the problem is, talking in a way that works can help you help your child and work through the problems they are facing.

A Fresh Look at Prevention

Rebecca Juarez, Wellness Coordinator, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

A Fresh Look at Prevention is a program that will discuss how two new and innovative approaches to prevention were developed. The presenter will discuss the process by which the Center for Health Education and Wellness (Center) developed the ideas for the campaign and program. We Got Your BAC is an interactive program that engages participants in actively thinking about and assessing Blood Alcohol Content/Concentration (BAC). It focuses on empowering students to make informed decisions regarding alcohol. #VolTruth is a social norms campaign that is done through video interviews with current students at the University of Tennessee. #VolTruth presents data collected from the Center’s Annual Health and Wellness survey and aims to correct perceived norms related to alcohol and other drug use on campus by students. A Fresh Look at Prevention seeks to engage participants in a discussion look at prevention from a new perspective by discussing these two approaches and how to develop such programs at their own institutions. The goal is for conference attendees to be able to apply the skills learned during this program to implement these types of approaches at their institutions that are suitable for their needs.

Count it! Lock it! Drop it!

Kristina Clark, CPS II, KM Clark Consulting Group

Alex Windings, CPS I, KM Clark Consulting Group

Count it! Lock it! Drop it! is being implemented in 63 counties across the state of Tennessee and in 8 other states. With its multifaceted approach to preventing prescription drug abuse it can seem overwhelming for a community to take on. In this training we will go in depth on how implementing CLD can be unique and specific to the capacity of your community, how other communities have had success with the program, and how CLD will help your community reach a larger audience with the message of prevention. With a mix of technical assistant, round table discussion and unique guidance, this training will help guide you in the best practices of using CLD in your community.

Upstream Suicide Prevention Programming

Andrea Mills, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP, Assistant Director, University Counseling Center, Lipscomb University

Suicide prevention is being recognized as a growing need on college campuses. In 2015 Lipscomb University was awarded the GLS Campus Suicide Prevention grant by SAMHSA. Since that time the university has worked to build a strong foundation of community partners and upstream programming. Many different departments have joined together to make this effort possible. Over the past two years we have had the privilege to learn what works and what does not for our university. In this class we will share the model that we have used to make suicide prevention a campus wide effort, with support and buy in from students, faculty, administration, and outside organizations. Gatekeeper trainings, counselor education, and a wellness orientation will all be discussed.

Help for the Helper: Fostering Resiliency, and Battling Burnout

Cameron Clark, Sexual Assault Training Specialist and Statewide Project Coordinator, Sexual Assault Center

It’s true what they say, that you can’t help a friend with a flat tire if your car is out of gas! Research indicates an astounding number of people in the helping professions are being affected as a result of consistent exposure to the suffering and traumatic experiences of those we are trying to help. In this workshop we will discuss tools and techniques for fostering resiliency within ourselves and our communities, and how this commitment to wellness results in a greater capacity to serve.

The Opioid Epidemic…Do We Have Enough Data, Information, and the Fortitude/Focus to Tackle Opioid Prevention and Show Success?

Stephanie McCladdie, M.P.A., SAMHSA Regional Administrator


  • The participants will explore the benefits to recognize and identify the fundamentals of appropriate “Prevention Strategies” to decrease the overall prevalence of the Opioid epidemic within collegial and community environments.
  • The participants will engage in a didactic discussion on the benefits of a “Strategic Focus” when adapting educational approaches to Prevent Opioid Abuse.

The session will explore how participants use the practical application of data and information to focus on specific problem areas in communities/campuses to decrease the overall use of substances. The participants will discuss how “Strategic Focus” will strengthen their plans and strategies to benefit community wellness.

Building a Campus Peer Education Program

Jamie Cathcart, Title IX Compliance and Investigator, Trevecca Nazarene University

In this workshop, the presenter will outline the role peer educators and peer education groups can play in prevention education on college campuses. Participants will review the theory behind peer education, discuss various models of peer education groups, and consider important factors in starting a peer education program. Participants will be able to identify models of peer education, benefits of peer education in prevention work, and leave with a few example programs and campaigns.

Alcohol Misuse as a Developmental Challenge

Tom Bissonette, MSW, LMSW, Founder, Young and Wiser Inc.; Faculty, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

This presentation will provide prevention educators and counselors with tools to help youth understand their coming-of-age challenges. Teens and twenty-somethings identify with this non-threatening approach and are less likely to be resistant since it frames their behavior in a normalized developmental context. It also shows respect for their abilities.

It’s based on the idea that late teens and early adults are at their peak in terms of cognitive abilities. Once they understand a problem and see change as being in their own interest, they are very good problem-solvers. Participants will learn about new tools to assess specific and individual developmental pressures and create strategies for reducing their negative effects.

Sexual Assault Module: Development

Fletcher Haverkamp, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator, Center for Health Education and Wellness, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Participants will learn about the sexual assault module developed by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville through this interactive presentation. The module educates incoming students on five topic areas: consent, policy, alcohol, healthy relationships, and active bystander. The module meets all compliance requirements under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Participants will learn how the module was developed, how they can implement the module at their own college, and how they can modify the module to fit their institutional needs including linking to their individual campus policies.

Utilizing Social Media Effectively

Arriale Tabson, Public Information Officer, Tennessee Highway Safety Office

Social media has proven to be an effective tool for improving education, awareness, and customer service. Agencies will benefit from learning tips to become more efficient in planning and implementing social media campaigns. The Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s Public Information Officer, Arriale Tabson, will host an engaging presentation to cover the basics of social media, provide helpful tips, and explain how to set reasonable goals for success.

“Army Drunk” Alcohol Use/Abuse Among Veterans

Ray A. White, Ed.S., LPC/MHSP/AS, NCC, ACS, Walters State Community College

This workshop will explore patterns of alcohol use/abuse among Veterans in general, with a specific application to working with Veterans on a college/university campus. At the conclusion of the workshop participants will be able to: 1) identify patterns of substance use typically seen among the Veteran population, 2) identify themes common to the military mindset/culture, and 3) identify protective factors for assisting Veterans and providing them with emotional support.

Coach ‘Em Up: Expanding Prevention Efforts through Health Coaching

Lisa Schrader, Director of Health Promotion, Middle Tennessee State University

Vinny Black, Health Educator, Middle Tennessee State University

Since 2016, MTSU Health Promotion has offered a free health coaching service to current students. The service was designed to meet the needs of students who may need more education and accountability than a 15 minute appointment with a medical provider offers, but who do not necessarily meet the criteria for counseling or therapy. This session will cover the background on the decision to invest in health coaching at MTSU, the topics frequently addressed by our health coach, and the logistics of a coaching program should other schools be interested in implementing on their campuses. By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

    • Describe the gap that exists between mental health needs and current resources
    • Identify the scope of services that health coaching could address
    • Describe the basic structure of a health coaching session

I Like Me Workshop

Valerie Tucker, Building Skills Director, Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition

Nora Bromberg, Hamblen County Substance Abuse Coalition

Building Skills is a Tennessee state funded program for teens that have been shown to be statistically at high risk for substance abuse and other correlating social problems. The original program was an evidence-based program titled Building Skills Grade 5, and is a “12-lesson, classroom-based social development curriculum created for use with high-risk students in the 5th grade” (WNY United, 2011). Building Skills has been modified for use with high risk teens and approved by the director of WNY United, Tim Smykoswki. The Building Skills for sue with high risk teens curriculum consists of 11 life skills classes with learning objectives from setting goals to decision making. The three of these learning objectives that will be presented in this workshop will be Anger, Self-esteem, and Feelings. They will be presented through art, drama, play, laughter, and music/dance, instead of lecture, to promote the therapeutic relationship between facilitator and participant.