National association honors Kennesaw State’s Teresa Johnston

Award recognizes director of Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery for her many…

Georgia (Jun 9, 2014)

Award recognizes director of Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery for her many contributions


KENNESAW, Ga. (June 7, 2014) – Teresa Johnston, director of Kennesaw State’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery, was honored with the Kitty Harris Award during the 5th National Collegiate Recovery Conference at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

The award is given annually for outstanding professional service and leadership in the field of addiction recovery in higher education and to the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. Johnston is the founding president of the association, which began in 2011.

In nominating Johnston for the award, one of her peers praised her many contributions to “the field of recovery in higher education. While other universities with large and vibrant collegiate recovery communities have been in existence for decades, Teresa has advocated for and supported students interested in attending college in the greater Atlanta and north Georgia area. At Kennesaw State, Teresa has built an army of allies. By telling stories and thinking of the students’ needs first, she has built upon what pioneers like Kitty Harris and Patrice Salmeri began.”

Harris and Salmeri are board members of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE) and have played important roles in collegiate recovery programs and communities in higher education.

Another person wrote, “I have known Teresa since 2008, as she was one of the first people I reached out to when starting a Collegiate Recovery Center in Georgia. … It is not easy to start a CRC, and it is much harder to sustain one; because of leaders like Teresa, it is definitely more doable now. We are better served because of her commitment, passion and joy for this work.”

Johnston thanked the assembly and said she was grateful for the award.

“The natural collaborative nature of recovery is often at odds with the competitive nature of higher education; thus, it is critical that each of us remember that we give away our experience, strength and hope,” she said.

Johnston added, “As we stand on the shoulders of those before us, we must remember that service and leadership are shared, and we must develop horizontal leadership in the national community.”

The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery’s mission is to support and encourage young adult recovery and wellness by providing programs and engaging in collaborative research and education. The CYAAR is committed to reaching not only members of the collegiate recovery community and students of Kennesaw State University but also the greater community on local and national levels.

-- By Robert S. Godlewski


"Creating Environments for Academic Success and Sustained Recovery"



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit