Patrice Salmeri is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development, specializing in leadership and resilience. She is a passionate advocate for students in recovery and a compassionate servant leader who is dedicated to decreasing the stigma associated with substance use disorders and mental illness. Her own resilience underpins an understanding of the capacity for people to grow, change and fully live.
For 15 years, Salmeri served as the Director of the StepUP® Program at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the largest residential collegiate recovery program in the nation. During her tenure at StepUP, the program experienced a 300% increase in the number of young people in recovery pursuing a college education. Salmeri also implemented and supervised countless grant funded expansions of the program. Notably, one project resulted in the successful implementation of collegiate recovery programs in public and private colleges throughout the United States.
Salmeri has presented at a variety of national professional forums, speaking on various topics, including trauma, addictive disorders, family systems, adolescent development, resilience, collegiate recovery, and the continuum of care. In 2011, Salmeri was appointed as a Fellow for the United States Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. Salmeri is also a founding member of the Association for Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) and the Association of Recovery Schools (ARS). In 2013, the ARHE presented Salmeri with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Collegiate Recovery, an accomplishment reserved for the most deeply respected professionals in recovery education.
Most recently, Salmeri was appointed Executive Director for Recovery Advancement, a position Augsburg College created to advocate for people in recovery, broadening the scope of recovery support from students at Augsburg College out into the city, state, and national communities. In this role, Salmeri will advise other institutions of higher education about how to initiate or improve collegiate recovery programs. She will also use her experience as an addiction recovery professional to guide governmental entities in how to promote effective policy changes related to recovery support.