Student Organizations

The Graduate School hosts multiple opportunities for student involvement, allowing you to expand your education through leadership, service, and socializing with a diverse group of peers.
students in a room

The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies is committed to helping our students develop into leaders by supporting activities outside the classroom which enhance and contribute to student learning. This involvement takes many forms, from serving as a member of a student organization, to conducting research with a faculty member, to volunteering at a social service agency.

The Graduate School hosts multiple opportunities for student involvement, allowing you to expand your education through leadership, service, and socializing with a diverse group of peers. Student organizations register each year with the Graduate School and are student-led. Student organizations may apply for funding to support annual costs and are advised by a faculty member. Student Services staff provide ongoing support to encourage the success of these organizations, their members, and their leaders.

Explore our different student groups below.

Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is an co-curricular student group that aims to provide a supportive environment and resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and ally (LGBTQQIA) students; improve LGBTQQIA counseling competencies; advocate for the fair and equal treatment of LGBTQQIA individuals within the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation community and the community at large; and celebrate diversity of sexual identity and gender expression.

people laying on ground

GSA Activities

Funds raised by GSA members are used to purchase LGBT-specific recovery literature for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation patients. The GSA has held multiple fundraisers including a silent auction, a tribute concert, and sales of stickers and buttons depicting the GSA logo. Most recently we held a Halloween bake sale in conjunction with the Foundation’s annual flu shot clinic.

GSA Raises Funds for LGBTQ-inspired Books
The Cork Atrium on the Center City campus was the site of two separate events that worked well together-an influenza clinic for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation employees and a bake sale. As employees arrived to receive their annual flu shot, they were also treated to a bake sale organized by the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies' Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). The purpose of the bake sale was to raise money to place LGBTQ-themed books on residential treatment units at the Foundation's Center City, St. Paul and Plymouth locations.

Thanks to strong support and generous contributions by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation staff, the effort raised more than $900. More than 100 books for patients were purchased, including copies of:

  • Glad Day: Daily Affirmations for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender People
  • Gay Men and Substance Abuse: A Basic Guide for Addicts and Those Who Care for Them

"This is an occasional event with our last bake sale being held a couple of years ago," said Jorja Jamison, assistant professor and GSA faculty advisor. "And the variety of treats was amazing, including gluten-free items, cookies, cakes, truffles, brownies and breads. In the spirit of the season, we also had a selection of Halloween-themed novelty pens and bracelets which were a big hit!"

Minneapolis Pride Festival and Parade

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation participates in Twin Cities Pride Festival held on the last weekend of June each year. About 25 volunteers work at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation booth on both days to greet many of the 300,000 people who attend the event.

One year, Foundation representatives were lucky enough to walk in the annual pride parade. That Sunday afternoon, 40 Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies students, alumni, faculty—along with 14 beloved dogs—marched in the Pride Parade. Dr. Annie Peters, assistant professor at the graduate school, designed a special t-shirt for each dog, bearing one letter of the word "HAZELDEN." Lining up the dogs in the proper order, however, proved to be a huge challenge.

The crowd cheered enthusiastically as the group marched by, and some individuals in attendance expressed their gratitude toward the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. This annual event has become an exciting and memorable tradition for all who participate.

Professional Development Group (PDG)

The Professional Development Group (PDG) at the Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies is a co-curricular student group that promotes awareness of professional issues in alcohol and drug counseling, provides education on opportunities in this field, and facilitates events and activities aimed at connecting our Graduate School students with employers.

students in a class

The PDG’s agenda is set annually by students who participate in the group. As such, while the mission of the group remains consistent, the ways in which the group supports this mission vary based on decisions made by active group members.

Past activities include a number of seminars, forums and job fairs. These events were designed to help students with professional practice problems, discuss emerging theories and practices relevant to addiction and co-occurring disorders counseling, and provide helpful information about job and internship opportunities. Additionally, the PDG publishes a newsletter to advertise upcoming events and share insights related to objectives of this group. 

PDG membership is open to all Graduate School students. The group typically has a lengthy "to do" list, so new members have ample opportunity to jump into a project and make a contribution. In 2017, the PDG will begin offering student-filled leadership positions within the organization, including president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and editor for the newsletter. The group will also team up with Student Services staff to support the popular Secrets to Career Success Workshops and Job Fair. 

To get involved in PDG, please email us.