Gabrielle Richard


Implementation Manager, Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System
Chandler, AZ
Addiction Studies, 2012

"Explore your community, and utilize your professors not just for their teaching, but also for their wisdom and contacts. I got my start in the state government prevention field by talking to my professors and telling them about my aspirations. They truly paved the way for me."

Q&A with Gabrielle:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

In addition to my undergraduate degree from USD, I obtained a Master of Prevention Science from the University of Oklahoma. My educational pursuits closely follow my professional pursuits as I currently work as a substance abuse prevention professional for a state health agency. I work with substance abuse prevention and treatment providers throughout the state to implement substance abuse services to vulnerable populations, including working to address the current opioid crisis that is gripping the nation. I am also a certified prevention specialist through the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

USD gave me invaluable knowledge to address the causes and consequences of addiction and made me feel like I could truly make a difference in the world. My professors were – and still are – my role models in the field and are awesome people! The community feeling at USD is also something that made me want to excel. As a student there, I had so much support from my peers, professors and community at large to succeed and share my knowledge with the world.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

My proudest achievements would be my degrees, as well as serving as the National Prevention Network Representative for Arizona State on the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD).

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

I moved to Vermillion, South Dakota when I was 14, so by the time I got to USD as a freshman, I felt integrated into the community. My time on campus was amazing. I served on the Coalition of Addiction Students and Professionals Pursuing Advocacy (CASPPA) and was a coalition officer my senior year. Part of my work with CASPPA included fundraising for local organizations such as Nikki’s Fund, which is a local suicide prevention organization aimed to help USD students and community members struggling with mental health issues. One of the fundraising events was a Variety Show that showcased talent from the USD and Vermillion community, as well as local resources available for the community such as the Domestic Violence Safe Options Services.

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