Collaborators at KSU

Teresa Wren Johnston serves as the Interim Assistant Vice President for the Division of Student Affairs at Kennesaw State University. She is responsible for the health and well-being functional areas within the Division including Health Promotion and Wellness, Counseling and Psychological Services, CARE Services, Student Disabilities, Sports and Recreation and the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery. Johnston is the founding executive director of the Center and under her leadership, the CYAAR has grown to include recovery support services, a thriving collegiate recovery program and community, alcohol and other drug education and research in addiction and recovery science. As a prior adjunct faculty member in the Masters of Social Work Program, she has extensive experience teaching coursework in: Substance Abuse Seminar and Addiction Theory and Policy. Johnston is a founding member of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education and a board member on the CRC Southeast Summit.

 Jessica M. McDaniel joined Kennesaw State University’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery staff in October 2018 as the Assistant for Research Initiatives. Jessica helps coordinate research projects at the Center with the graduate and undergraduate research assistants, as well as with other researchers from across the nation. Ms. McDaniel began as a student in Kennesaw State University’s Collegiate Recovery Community in August 2015. She was trained as a peer educator to present alcohol and other drug education programming to first-year students, and was MAPP certified in 2015. While pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology, Jessica became an undergraduate research assistant for the Center and joined the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug (ATOD) Coalition at Kennesaw State. She is also a founding member of the Recovery Science Research Collaborative

Erica Holliday is the Lead Principal Investigator at CYAAR and Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychological Science, Kennesaw State University. She grew up in Fredericksburg, VA before matriculating into George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she earned both her BS in Psychology and MA in Biopsychology. Her undergraduate and masters work investigated the influence of social interactions during adolescence on behavioral responses to nicotine in adulthood. During this time Dr. Holliday also interned at the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the grants management office where she gained experience in the administrative side of research. She continued her pursuit of unraveling the detrimental effects of adolescent nicotine on brain function, earning her doctorate in Psychology and Neuroscience from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in 2015. Dr. Holliday worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX where she studied the role of the serotonin system in models of drug relapse using RNA interference technology to delete serotonin receptors to establish their causative role in drug-related relapse. She is the recipient of the Civic Foundation’s Weinstein Summer Graduate Fellowship, a T32 training fellowship at UTMB, and the NIDA Director’s Travel Award. She received the Community Leader Service Award for developing and implementing educational outreach on the neurobiology of substance abuse for the youth community in Southeast, TX. In her spare time she is an avid gardener, casual gamer, and aspiring poet. Her previous research focuses on working memory and cognition will provide the foundation for new research projects along the continuum of care including prevention, intervention, and recovery. Disordered cognitive processes are known to be both a risk factor for initiating substance use and a consequence of substance use. Her doctoral work established that psychostimulant (i.e. nicotine and caffeine) use during adolescence caused learning deficits that manifested during adulthood. She was fortunate to collaborate with researchers at the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to further dive into the role of altered gene expression underlying some of these learning deficits and my future goals involve investigating genetic variations in recovery processes to begin incorporating working memory training during recovery