Contact Us

Addiction Counseling & Prevention
Center for Health Education
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Addiction Counseling and Prevention

Our communities need compassionate leaders who are able to address current and future addiction counseling, prevention education and co-occurring challenges in society. Our program in addiction counseling and prevention helps meet these needs.

At USD, we provide students with the educational foundation and hands-on experiences they need to thrive as addiction counselors and prevention specialists. Our faculty model the kind of community engagement and leadership that is essential to this career path; students can witness their mentors actively serving their communities. Faculty also emphasize personalized attention for students, helping them identify career paths and access the opportunities they need to succeed. Our graduates have gone on to make a difference in treatment centers, community mental health centers, rehabilitation facilities, criminal justice agencies, employee assistance programs and hospitals, among other facilities. Together, we live our commitment to supporting individuals, families and communities experiencing substance use disorders.

Join our community of addiction counselors, prevention specialists and change-makers in the USD Department of Addiction Counseling & Prevention.


Meet the Department

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Addiction Counseling and Prevention. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in evidence-based practice in the treatment of substance use disorders, medication assisted treatment, addiction counseling, trauma and addiction psychopathology, addictive family systems and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Kelly Bass

Kelly Bass

Chair SocWork/Chair Add Coun&Prev/Assoc Prof
Faculty Default

Christy Berger

Program Assistant I
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Korkow

John Korkow

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Mary Merrigan

Mary Merrigan

Emeritus Faculty
Bio Image for Faculty Member Erin Nielsen

Erin Nielsen

Bio Image for Faculty Member Amy Orr

Amy Orr

Bio Image for Faculty Member Diane Sevening

Diane Sevening

Emeritus Faculty

Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Department Opportunities

Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to addiction counseling & prevention students.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers housed in the Department of Addiction Counseling & Prevention.
Professor Lecturing to a Class

Addiction Counseling & Prevention

A national leader in addiction counseling and prevention education for nearly 50 years, we emphasize state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches through community partnerships and hands-on experiences.

Two social work students talking.

Prioritizing Community

The Department of Addiction Counseling & Prevention centers community – our community of learners here and the communities we go on to serve. The faculty, staff and students in our department work together in learning environments that promote critical thinking and facilitate respect and care. In our service to others, we recognize the importance of putting people first and leading with compassion. 
A person working with a USD student physical therapist.

The Region's Leader in Health Care Education

USD is home to the only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school in the state. This advantage offers our students the unique opportunity to learn and train alongside peers in a variety of disciplines, equipping them with the collaborative experiences they need to be effective members of their future patients' care teams.


We are also proud to have strong relationships with the region's leading health care providers. These partnerships offer our students invaluable opportunities for developing professional connections, getting hands-on experiences and serving their communities early in their education.

Bob Bogue of the Keystone Treatment Center.

The USD Difference is Apparent

Since 1973, USD has been a national leader in addiction counseling, co-occurring and prevention education. The programs at USD boast national credentialing pass rates of nearly 100% and an employment placement rate of 95%. USD's high-quality education and extensive curriculum is held in high regard by experts in the field. Graduates of USD are actively pursued by employers in schools, in-patient and outpatient facilities, hospitals, private practices and correctional facilities.

hear from a usd alum

Success story Kelsey Barrett smiling.
Professors don’t just teach from textbooks, but from their past field experiences. Learning from realistic situations taught me what to expect from a source who’s actually been there. It’s easy to tell they care about addiction’s evolution in the country. The way they adapt course content to match today’s issues will make me a more successful addiction professional.

Kelsey Barrett M.A., CRADC

M.A. Addiction Counseling & Prevention '17
B.S. Addiction Studies '16
Young Adult Group Therapist, Compass Health Center
Normal, Illinois