2023 LaHEC Annual Professional Development Summit

2023 LaHEC Annual Professional Development Summit

May 24-25, 2023 | Pennington Biomedical Research Center


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

8:00 AM - 9:00 AMNetworking Breakfast
9:00 AM - 9:15 AMWelcome and Conference Logistics
Dr. Allison Smith, Assistant Commissioner for Student Health and Wellness, Louisiana Board of Regents

Opening Remarks
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner of Higher Education, Louisiana Board of Regents

Remarks from the Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Behavioral Health
Quinetta Rowley Womack, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Behavioral Health
9:15 AM - 10:15 AMOverview of the 2023 Core Alcohol & Drug Survey Results: The Louisiana Consortium
Ody Ekwonwa, Health and Human Service Education, Purdue Extension
10:15 AM - 10:45 AMNetworking Neighborhood #1
10:45 AM - 11:00 AMBreak
11:00 AM - 12:00 PMHigher Education’s Mental Health Eco-system & Strategies for Creating Sustainable Change
Dr. Zainab Okolo, Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Government Relations, The Jed Foundation
12:00 PM - 1:00 PMLunch
1:00 PM - 3:45 PMOpioids and College Students – Creating Healthy Campus Communities
Dorothy Chaney, Founder, Impact Community Planning Group
3:45 PM - 4:00 PMClosing
Dr. Allison Smith, Assistant Commissioner for Student Health and Wellness, Louisiana Board of Regents

Thursday, May 25, 2023

7:45 AM - 8:30 AMNetworking Breakfast
8:30 AM - 10:00 AMWeb-based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): A Deep Dive into ScreenU
Logan Davis, Outreach and Engagement Manager at the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD) at The Ohio State University
10:00 AM - 10:15 AMBreak
10:15 AM - 11:30 AMShifting Campus Drinking Culture Through Screening
Aimee Hourigan, Director of Substance Abuse Prevention and Education (SAPE), University of South Carolina
11:30 AM - 12:30 PMNetworking Neighborhood #2 and Lunch
12:30 PM - 2:30 PMQPR (Question. Persuade. Refer) Gatekeeper Training
Brittney Williams, Region IV Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention Services
2:30 PM - 2:45 PMEvaluations and Closing
Dr. Allison Smith, Assistant Commissioner for Student Health and Wellness, Louisiana Board of Regents

Summit Speakers

  • Ody Ekwonwa

    Ody Ekwonwa (Session Description)

    Ody Ekwonwa was born in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, where she spent most of her life and another large part of the Middle East, where she grew up. As a Nigerian-born American, she takes a lot of pride in her Nigerian heritage. In addition to her love of her culture, she also loves her Catholic faith, which is another crucial part of who she is. Ody graduated with her Master’s in Public Health in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2021. As a graduate assistant at Core Institute, she worked with Dr. Laura Rowald analyzing, collecting data, synthesizing reports, compiling results, and data entry. Ody currently works as a Health and Human Science Educator for Purdue Extension in Indiana, where she teaches educational programming in family, food, health, and money.

  • Zainab Okolo

    Zainab Okolo (Session Description)

    Dr. Zainab Okolo is a higher education policy and mental health expert, advocate, and educator, focused on helping students overcome barriers to learning, earning, and leading fulfilling lives.

    Formerly a Strategist at Lumina Foundation, Dr. Okolo worked to significantly improve student success and increase credential attainment by incorporating holistic student services, including mental health. Her portfolio of work focused on the urgent needs of people of color, adult learners, student parents, and other marginalized student populations striving to succeed at learning beyond high school despite systemic barriers. Dr. Okolo was a policy/research associate on HCM Strategists’ postsecondary team in her previous roles. She worked on policy issues to make higher education more accessible, affordable, and relevant. She also held various student service posts and research at the University of Maryland, the American Council on Education, and the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

    As a clinically trained and licensed mental health professional, Dr. Okolo has supported individuals, families, and institutions in adopting strategies to overcome various mental health challenges. Her experience and expertise demonstrate that Dr. Okolo strongly advocates for increased and equitable access to high-quality mental health services and resources for all students.

    Dr. Okolo recently began a new role with The Jed Foundation as the new Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Relations.

  • Dorothy Chaney

    Dorothy Chaney (Session Description)

    Dorothy Chaney is the Founder of Impact Community Planning Group, an organization committed to supporting coalitions, agencies, and individuals to improve the health of their communities and the environments in which they live. Dorothy is committed to equity in community health and works with communities both nationally and internationally to address health disparities and support the development of local solutions to complex problems. For more than 20 years, Dorothy has worked with community-based coalitions to address the impact of substance use on youth and families. Chaney also works with health systems and public health departments to integrate and implement collective impact approaches to develop Community Health Needs Assessments and Community Health Improvement Plans.

  • Logan Davis

    Logan Davis (Session Description)

    Logan Davis is the Outreach and Engagement Manager at the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Recovery (HECAOD). In his role, he oversees all things membership for HECAOD, including ScreenU. Prior to this role, Logan worked in fraternity and sorority life and has experience working on a campus and with a national organization. In his current role, Logan has been able to learn more about recovery and has been able to blend the new knowledge with previous experience from working with fraternities and sororities. Through this, Logan has committed to making talking about Recovery a normal part of the fraternity and sorority experience. Through these experiences, he has begun to look at how this can translate to other traditionally at-risk groups on campus.

  • Aimee Hourigan

    Aimee Hourigan (Session Description)

    Aimee Hourigan directs substance abuse prevention and education initiatives designed to promote low-risk behaviors and build a healthy campus environment at the University of South Carolina. Aimee leads a team which provides a comprehensive range of evidence-based prevention, environmental strategies, early intervention and recovery support services. Aimee joined USC in July 2016 after coordinating campus substance abuse prevention efforts, a peer education program, and the collegiate recovery community at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She earned a B.A. from Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina, an M.Ed. from James Madison University, and a Graduate Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts from the University of North Carolina.

  • Brittney Williams

    Brittney Williams (Session Description)

    Brittney Williams is a native of Ethel, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2010. Brittney has a diverse case management background, allowing her to interact with parents, children, teachers, counselors, social service networks, and numerous other entities striving to improve child welfare and family relations. She is a certified Darkness to Light “Stewards of Children” Facilitator and a certified QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Instructor.

    What makes her unique is the ability to tailor her approach and communication skills to meet the needs of every client she interacts with. What motivates her to achieve greater is knowing that completing a simple task or providing a resource to the community can open the door to a firmer family foundation and a healthier start. Brittney enjoys being a “home-body,” spending time with her fiancée’, friends, and family, and reading a good book when she has the time.

    She is pursuing a Masters’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Capella University.