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Welcome to the Addiction Studies Leader, your source for news about the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School. If you have an update to share in a future issue, contact:

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Meet our Newest Faculty Members

Sarah Silveus, PREFERRED

Assistant Professor

A Q&A with Dr. Sarah Silveus

How did you become involved in the counseling field?
Like many people in our field, I think it was always important to me to help people—but I had no idea how to translate that desire into an actual career. Then, when I was working on my bachelor's degree, I had an incredible counselor who I felt saw me in a way that no other therapist had before. The authenticity and sincerity with which he conducted himself was so fascinating to me and, after much reflection, I began to understand counseling as a way to foster that same authenticity and sincerity in others. That idea of growth through mutual connection and understanding really resonates with me as person, so pursuing a career in counseling just seemed like a natural fit.

What are your research interests?
Oh, I have too many research interests, so my answer depends on which week you ask me. I'm currently working on a study about counseling students who have ADHD and/or autism and the degree to which higher education is effectively meeting their unique needs. More broadly, much of my previous scholarship is related to the intersection of racial discrimination, psychological distress and substance use.

What drew you to the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School?
I was fortunate enough to meet several faculty members at a conference a few years ago, and I was really excited to hear about the Graduate School's focus on training its students to work with underserved populations. I also really loved the hands-on approach that the faculty and clinical staff use with students. As a first-generation college student, ensuring that students feel adequately supported and connected is really important to me.

What are you most excited about in your new position?
The shift toward integrating mental health treatment with substance use treatment is so very necessary, and getting to be a part of that movement by teaching future counselors is very exciting.

Any advice for our readers who might in a similar boat, either beginning a new role or searching for a new position?
If you have the privilege and flexibility to be picky, be picky. New graduates often undervalue themselves and take jobs that don't align with their goals or ideals. The work we do as counselors is exhausting enough without also having to juggle an unsupportive work environment. Finding a position that fits the authentic version of you is likely to be so much more meaningful than trying to contort yourself into something that does not align with you. Good colleagues and a good work environment can make all the difference.

Edith Gonzalez

Assistant Professor

A Q&A with Dr. Edith Gonzalez

What are your research interests? 
My research interest includes multicultural issues among underrepresented populations and family issues, particularly among Latinx/e immigrant families. 

What drew you to the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies? 
I was excited for the opportunity to be in a leading program that focuses on addiction studies. The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies has a great reputation for its comprehensive approach in training and providing services.    

How did you become involved in this field? 
My motivation to become a counselor was to help multigenerational/multicultural low-income families. I was motivated through my personal experiences to help families who struggled with challenges like mine. I decided to pursue a doctorate degree in counseling to help train counselors to work with diverse families, including Spanish/English bilingual counseling. 

What are you most excited about in your new position?  
I am excited to engage with students and help train counselors to work through a systemic lens. 

Any advice for our readers who might be in a similar boat, either beginning a new role or searching for a new position?
I am a firm believer in spending your energy wisely. When I was looking for a position, I wanted to make sure I would work in an environment that allowed me to use my skills in a profound way. Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies has so far exceeded expectations in allowing me to do just that. 

Alumni Lead the Way in Advancing DEI Efforts

Four alumni and the Graduate School as a whole were recently recognized for helping to create and lead transformative DEI initiatives across the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. 

The first annual Hazelden Betty Ford DEI Recognition Awards, presented on February 21, celebrate individuals and groups who have been particularly involved in creating diverse and inclusive environments. Four alumni were nominated by their peers for this special recognition: Rannon Arch, Lydia Burr, Manuel Garcia and Sarita McGowan. Burr, who serves as director of clinical services at Hazelden Betty Ford in St. Paul, and McGowan, a day treatment substance use disorder counselor at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, were each presented with a 2023 DEI Recognition Award.

The Graduate School was also nominated for its initiatives to increase student diversity, including groundbreaking work to create a non-degree admissions pathway.

Level-Up Your Skills with a Supervision Certificate

Are you looking to develop your leadership skills and take on greater challenges within your organization or beyond? Check out our Integrated Clinical Supervision Certificate.

This online program will give you the credentials and leadership skills you need to land that big promotion and, as a Graduate School alum, you will receive 50% off your tuition. 

Help Us Connect Alumni and Prospective Students

The Graduate School is looking for alumni partners across the U.S.  We would love to gather small groups of alumni together to catch up, reminisce, network and visit with prospective students. You choose the time and place, and we will get the word out to alumni and prospective students in your area. If interested, please contact LeAnn Brown.

Get Your Alumni Decal
Amplify the reach and impact of the Graduate School (and show your school pride). Alumni window decals are now available. To get yours, send an email to with your address and number of decals you’d like.

Celebrate Our Graduates by Giving

Many of the students who conferred their degree in our recent commencement ceremony benefitted from scholarship or grant funding. Help us celebrate them and all of our graduates, past and future, by considering making a donation

Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask about Licensure

Alumni, students and prospective students are encouraged to visit the Graduate School’s licensure webpage to learn more about professional licensure and certification requirements across the United States. Our site features the latest state-by-state licensing information and helpful links for further guidance.  

The Graduate School's programs are currently approved for licensure/certification in the following states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona (SUD counselor licensure), California (through CAADE), Michigan (certification for SUD professional), North Carolina (certification as Clinical Addiction Specialist), and West Virginia (certification as Advanced A&D Counselor). We have many more inquiries out across the U.S. and are always available to help you with licensure/certification forms or questions. 

Additionally, you can find more information about requirements for specific states here.

We will update this licensure section of our newsletter regularly, so check back in for the latest information. For additional or specific questions, please contact associate professor Dr. Michael Schmit at

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