Towards Solving the Problem of Substance Misuse and Addiction among Youth and Emerging Adults

Youth recovery painting

By: Hank Edwards (

The Youth Substance Misuse and Addiction Pop-Up Institute will launch a diverse network of UT and renowned scholars, agencies/organizations who focus on youth substance misuse, research, intervention, and recovery initiatives. As such, the group is positioned to make substantial contributions to research and practice in multiple settings, to examine the impact of addiction as it undermines the health of young people on and off campus, their families, the community, the state, and the nation. The group will also focus its energy on making sure that the work creates the best possible impact on UT students, both as participants and recipients of the innovations that grow from the Institute. Undergraduate Studies (UGS) will participate to integrate drug/alcohol wellness components to UT programming.



Pop-Up Leader

Lori Holleran Steiker, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, School of Social Work
Director of Instruction, Engagement and Wellness, Undergraduate Studies

Principal Team

Brent Iverson, Ph.D.
School of Undergraduate Studies

Stephen M. Strakowski, M.D.
Founding Chair
Department of Psychiatry, Dell Medical School

Michael Mackert, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Health Communication
Associate Professor, Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, Moody College of Communication
Associate Professor, Department of Population Health, Dell Medical School

Mary Marden Velasquez, Ph.D.
Centennial Professor in Leadership for Community, Professional and Corporate Excellence
Director, Health Behavior Research and Training Institute
School of Social Work

Jessica Hughes Wagner, MPH, MCHES
Assistant Director
Center for Health Communication, Moody College of Communication

Katelyn Webster
President, UT Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisors (DAPA)
UT Senior

Carlton K. Erickson, Ph.D.
Pfizer Centennial Professor of Pharmacy
Director, Addiction Science Research & Education Center
College of Pharmacy

David W. Springer, Ph.D., LCSW
Director of RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service
University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Fellow, Sid Richardson Chair of Public Affairs
Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs

Diana M. Dinitto, Ph.D.
Cullen Trust Centennial Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education
Distinguished Teaching Professor, School of Social Work
Fellow, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare

Heather Larkin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Director, National Center for Excellence in Homeless Services
Director, National Homelessness Social Work Initiative

Lauren E. Gulbas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Social Work

Michela Marinelli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicolgy, College of Pharmacy
Associate Professor, College of Natural Sciences

Julie McElrath, LMSW, LCDC-1
Executive Director
University High School Coordinator, Youth Recovery Network

Lucas G. Hill, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy
Clinical Pharmacist, CommUnityCare Federally Qualified Health Centers
Director, Operation Naloxone

Amber Dunbar, Ph.D.
First Class Medical School Student, Dell Medical School,

Cathy Stacy, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Department of Psychiatry, Dell Medical School

Jayne Nussbaum, MPAff
Executive Director
Department of Population Health, Dell Medical School

Mary Cook, MSSW
Research Associate
Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC), School of Social Work

Jeremy T. Goldbach. Ph.D. LMSW
Assistant Professor
SuLanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, University of Southern California

Andrew Finch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of the Practice
Department of Human & Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University

John F. Kelly, Ph.D., ABPP
Director, Recovery Research Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital
Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Chris Brownson, Ph.D.
Director, Counseling and Mental Health Center
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

Luis Zayas, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Social Work
Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy

Phil Orrick
Director, South-Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC)
School of Social Work Addiction Research Initiative

Sierra Castedo
Director, UT Austin Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)
Southwest Representative, Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE)

Lynn Sherman, JD
Attorney, Civic Volunteer
Nonprofit Organizational Development Advisor

Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
Ed and Molly Smith Fellow in Nursing
Director, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Graduate Program
School of Nursing

Karen Johnson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Ed and Molly Smith Fellow in Nursing
School of Nursing

Aprile Benner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Human Development & Family Science, College of Natural Sciences
Office of Strategy and Policy

Ruben Parra-Cardona, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Social Work