Acting assistant secretary for SAMHSA to deliver keynote at ‘Reducing Risk in Higher Education’ symposium

Tom Coderre, Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the Department of Health and Human Services, will deliver the keynote address during the first Reducing Risk in Higher Education Symposium.

The symposium will take place virtually on Wednesday, March 17, from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., and is free and open to anyone with an interest in preventing substance misuse and supporting recovery in higher education. The event will highlight the many free resources that are available to higher education institutions in West Virginia for the support of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.

The one-day virtual conference will be hosted by the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia (Alliance), West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network (WVCRN), West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, West Virginia Community and Technical College System, and other members of the West Virginia Higher Education Substance Use Disorder Continuum of Care Collaborative.

Susie Mullens is the program coordinator for WVCRN. She says that the conference planning partners have built an impressive agenda with an outstanding keynote speaker.

“We are honored to welcome Mr. Coderre as our keynote speaker, virtually, and appreciate his long-standing support of recovery in higher education,” Mullens said. “He will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to this inaugural event.”

Other speakers during the event include:

  • Lindsay Montgomery, Kennesaw State University
  • Jessica Napier Eagle, West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute
  • Stephanie Lake, University of California at Davis
  • Amy Saunders, Marshall University’s Center of Excellence for Recovery

To register, visit

The WVCRN project is funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Bureau for Behavioral Health from the State Opioid Response Grant (SOR). Federal SOR grant funding comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The WVCRN is a project of the alliance, located in the Marshall University Research Corporation and online at For more information on the WVCRN visit