David O'Donnell, M.H.S.

  708-534-6365ext. 6365



"For more than 22 years, I have been a full-time Senior Lecturer in the Addictions Studies program in the College of Health and Human Services.  As a GSU graduate (Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts and Master's Degree in Health Science), I really enjoy teaching at GSU. Having come through the GSU culture as a student myself, I have developed a strong commitment to the students' professional and academic development. It gives me a tremendous sense of pride and accomplishment when I attend conferences and workshops and see so many of our graduates in leadership roles in the addiction field presenting evidence-based topics or sharing opinions in panel discussions regarding the direction of our field.

Moreover, I have had the pleasure of working in an environment that encourages creativity in the classroom arena, as well as flexibility with regard to teaching styles and evaluation. I have had the good fortune to have been with the program long enough to be a part of its dynamic growth — the addition of an advanced clinical track in 2012 and the program going fully online, as projected for Spring, 2015.

My background and experience comes in part from life experience dating back to the 70's, when I was a young adult actively participating in a cultural revolution made famous by Dr. Timothy Leary ("Turn On - Tune In - Drop Out") — better known as the "Hippie Generation." After surviving that period, I returned home from the West coast and came to GSU to complete my education. My personal experience helped in the development of counseling skills and awareness to become a therapist in the addiction/mental health field. My education in Addictions Studies helped me develop expertise to become the best therapist and lecturer I could. As an instructor, I will frequently draw from my clinical experience to present casework to our students to formulate and practice clinical interventions in the classroom. Students always enjoy having input on strategy with real clients.

My most valuable community experience is working with fellow department faculty members, the Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (D.A.S.A.) and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration (S.A.M.H.S.A.) as a training instructor in the Recovery Coaching Model. Recovery coaching is a community-based training model of paraprofessionals who are successful in overcoming problems with addiction and related issues and who want to help others with similar problems. The model was originally funded for three years by D.A.S.A., with GSU as the lead training provider. Results have been very positive and we are now beginning our fifth year of training Recovery Coaches to work in the field

Of personal interest, I am an avid gardener, specializing in roses, and have enjoyed spending winter holidays in Bucerias, Mexico for the past 15 years."

- David O'Donnell, M.H.S.