Elissa Kent

MSW Field Director

Elissa is a licensed social worker (LMSW) with both clinical and macro designations in the state of Michigan.  She received her MSW from the University of North Dakota in 2015, her BSW from Northern Michigan University in 2011 and is in the process of applying to PhD programs.  Elissa is a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC), a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS), and an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist and Registered Trainer (ADS-RT).  Her passions in teaching include: substance use disorders, trauma, social welfare policy and analysis, macro social work practice and leadership, and mentoring new professionals find their footing as BSWs.

Prior to working at NMU, Elissa spent her career in various clinical and administrative positions in direct practice with a focus on treating people experiencing substance use and mental health disorders.  She began her career providing counseling and therapy services to individuals struggling with substance use and mental health disorders in residential treatment, and prior to leaving direct practice was the Director of Operations for a local non-profit organization dedicated to this mission.  She has had the privilege of developing and implementing a social detoxification program, recovery housing programs, a new electronic medical record for a large non—profit agency as well as various clinical practices within residential programs such as acupuncture.

Elissa hopes to contribute to research and eventually legislation in social justice issues surrounding people experiencing substance use disorders; the connection between trauma and problematic substance use, the impact of criminal backgrounds on becoming employed and housed, social policies that contribute to disparities in functioning, policies that negatively impact the treatment workforce, and the criminal justice system and its’ treatment and effect on people experiencing substance use disorders.  Elissa would also like to contribute to research in social welfare policies and health disparities.

Aside from working at NMU, Elissa also does consulting work in the form of clinical supervision for Great Lakes Recovery Centers and Catholic Social Services’ substance use disorder treatment programs.  She serves as a board member for MCBAP (Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals) and a member of the Ethics Subcommittee.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, running, golf, camping, gardening, and fishing.

Elissa Kent