First Annual

Pennsylvania Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition Conference

HESPC final 1

March 7 – 8, 2016
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA 19107

The first annual higher education suicide prevention conference was a huge success with over 200 attendees from 80 different campuses and 8 states. This conference was geared towards those on campus who aim to support and enhance the mental health of students. There were three separate tracks:

  • College Faculty & Staff
  • Student Mental Health Ambassadors
  • Student Journalism/Media

Plans are underway for next year’s conference. The plan is to move around the state to allow for more participation. If you are from a school/college outside of the Philadelphia area and would like to host the conference next year, please contact Rose Milani.


Conference Agenda

Click here for the printable version.


Conference Slides

Click on the links below to access the slides from each faculty/staff session. More will be added in the next few weeks, so be sure to check back.

Monday, March 7, 2016

  • Lay of the land, Where We are and What we Know about Suicide Prevention on College Campuses
    • Presenters:
  • Technology’s Role in Suicide Prevention
    • Presenters:
  • Mental Health Awareness Endeavors on Campus
    • Presenters:


 Tuesday, March 8

      • Stephen Bachovin
      • Tammy Barlet, USCG Veteran
      • Aaron M. Sterba, Ph.D.
      • Rebecca A. Schept, MA, MPhil



 About the Plenary Speakers

Roz B (website)

Rosalyn (Roz) Blogier, LCSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker with a wide range of experiences in child welfare, adoption, community mental health, substance abuse, out-patient psychotherapy and wellness programming. She became a Public Health Advisor with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2008 and currently serves as the coordinator for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant Program.



Kerri N (website)

Kerri Smith Nickerson, LCSW, MPH has been with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center since 2009. Currently she serves as the Manager of Grantee and State Initiatives, providing training and technical assistance to state agencies, community organizations, and college campuses, including SAMSHA Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Suicide Prevention grantees in developing, sustaining, and evaluating appropriate strategies for advancing suicide prevention. Mrs. Smith Nickerson is a licensed social worker and also has a background in public health. She received her M.S.W. and M.P.H from Boston University.



Scott Poland, Ed.D. is a Professor and the Co-Director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University. The presenter is an internationally recognized expert on youth suicide and school crisis and has authored or co-authored five books and numerous chapters on the subject and he has provided direct assistance to numerous schools that have experienced school shootings and suicides. He is a past Prevention Division Director of the American Association of Suicidology and Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Poland has testified about the mental health needs of children before the U.S. Congress on four occasions.


Vic S (website)

Victor Schwartz, M.D. is currently the Medical Director of The Jed Foundation. Victor has 25 years of experience as a psychiatrist working in college mental health. He was medical director of NYU’s Counseling Service, established a counseling center at Yeshiva University and was most recently University Dean of Students there. He was an original member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Presidential Task Force on College Mental Health and co-chair of the APA working group on legal issues in college mental health. Dr. Schwartz was a co-chair of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry Committee on the College Student and has served as an advisor to Active Minds on Campus and Gun Free Kids. He is co-editor with Dr. Jerald Kay, of Mental Health Care in the College Community (Wiley, 2010). His work has focused on crisis management, legal issues and the community/public health model in college mental health.



 About the Journalism & Media  Professionals

Stephen Fried (website)

Stephen Fried is an award-winning healthcare journalist and best-selling author who teaches advanced nonfiction writing at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Pennsylvania. Fried is the co-author, with Patrick Kennedy, of the 2015 New York Times bestseller A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction. He is also the author of five other nonfiction books, including two specifically on healthcare, mental illness and addiction: Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs (which triggered an FDA inquiry into CNS adverse reactions to antibiotics) and Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia (which inspired the Emmy-winning HBO film Gia starring Angelina Jolie). Fried has been a staff writer at Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour and Ladies’ Home Journal and at Philadelphia magazine, where he won two National Magazine Awards and also served as editor-in-chief. He is best-known for his longform mental health and medical science narratives, beginning in 1984 with an investigation of a series of teen suicides in a school district in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In 1995 Fried wrote the Washington Post Magazine story in which Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison first first “came out” about her own bipolar disorder, before the publication of her memoir An Unquiet Mind.


Notoro Morgan (website)

Arlene Notoro Morgan is assistant to the dean for external affairs at Temple University’s School for Media and Communication, where she was graduated in 1967. Morgan worked as a reporter and editor for 31 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she developed a reputation as an advocate for diversity issues in hiring and content. She retired from the paper in 2000 to join the staff of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism where she served as Associate Dean for Prizes and Programs until the fall of 2013.  In her role at Columbia, Morgan oversaw the administration of the school’s many prestigious prizes and professional development workshops. As an innovator in continuing education for news professionals, Morgan directed the annual “Let’s Do It Better!” Workshop on Journalism, Race and Ethnicity, a project that resulted in The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity, a compilation textbook, DVD, and website from award-winning stories from her program. In addition to her work on diversity, Morgan has been an advocate for those with mental illness, having served as a board member of Friends Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia and then a founding member of the Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation. For the past decade she has served as an advisory board member of the Rosalyn Carter Journalism Fellowship on Mental Health. In that capacity she works with Carter fellows on projects to improve the coverage of those with behavioral health issues.


Dan R (website)

Dan Reidenberg, Psy.D., FAPA, FACFEI, CRS, BCPC, CMT is the Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), the Managing Director of the National Council for Suicide Prevention and the US representative to the International Association of Suicide Prevention. He serves on the Steering Committees for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, as Chair of the American Psychotherapy Association, Chair of the Certified Relationship Specialists Board and is on the APA Editorial Board, the Editorial Board of Esperanza magazine and Advisory Board to and Your Life Counts Clinical Advisory Board in Canada.


Maiken Scott (website)

Maiken Scott hosts WHYY’s weekly, hour-long radio show “The Pulse” featuring stories at the heart of health, science and innovation. Since its launch in December 2013, The Pulse has crafted a unique, “ground-level” approach to telling compelling stories and breaking down complicated issues. Maiken also serves as WHYY’s Scattergood Foundation behavioral health reporter, examining a variety of issues ranging from suicide prevention to new treatments for depression to conditions in boarding homes for mentally ill people.  Maiken’s approach to reporting on behavioral health has been to cast a wide net – to not just look for stories on mental illness, but to look for mental health angles in current news stories and topics. Maiken started at WHYY as a radio producer for several weekly programs, and joined the news room as a reporter in 2008.


Snyder, Susan (website)

Susan Snyder is the higher education reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has covered education issues at the paper since 1998 and was part of a five-reporter team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2012 for a series on violence in Philadelphia’s public schools. She previously worked for The Morning Call in Allentown – her hometown – and is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.



Conference Presenters

Matthew Wintersteen, PhD,  Director of Higher Education Suicide Prevention Coalition, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Thomas Jefferson University

Stephen Bachovin, Coordinator, Veterans/Military Programming, Community College of Philadelphia

Tammy Barlet, USCG Veteran, Temple Veteran Association Vice-President

Wendy Cramer, M.Ed., Senior Professional Relations Representative, The Renfrew Center

Guy Diamond, PhD, Director, Couple & Family Therapy PhD Program, Drexel University, Lead Developer of the Behavioral Health Screening (BHS) tool

Allison Herman, M. Ed., MPH, Mental Well-Being Program Coordinator, Temple University

Timothy Knoster, Ed.D. Professor in College of Education, McDowell Institute for Teacher Excellence in Positive Behavior Support, Bloomsburg University

Karen Levinson, PhD, Associate Director, Counseling, University of the Sciences

Lindsay Martin, PhD, Supervisor of Crisis Counselors, Crisis Text Line

Shondrika Merrit, MS, Assistant Director of Residential Life, Temple University

Charles Morse, MA, LMHC, Assistant Dean for Student Development, Director of Counseling, Worchester Polytechnic Institute Student Development & Counseling Center

Jillian Niesely, Program Director, The Jed Foundation

Christopher Persaud, Student, Temple University

Candice Porter, MSW, LICSW, Executive Director, Screening for Mental Health

Autumn Riley, MSW, MPH, Residence Life Coordinator, Penn State Berks

Sondra Rosenberg, ATR-BC, Creative Arts Therapy Supervisor, The Renfrew Center

Gauri Saxena, PhD, Staff Psychologist, University of the Sciences

Jenna Scott, PhD, Clinical Manager, The Jed Foundation

Laura Small, Director of Community Development, 7 Cups of Tea

Jennifer Spiegler, SVP, Strategic Partnerships, Kognito

Alexa White, MPH, Senior Program Manager, The Jed Foundation

George Wohlreich, MD, FCPP, President & CEO The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, The Thomas W. Langfitt Chair