Oriana has shown passionate dedication to those who struggle with addiction issues through her extensive studies and over 14 years of experience in the fields of addiction and mental health treatment. Oriana earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California and completed a Masters of Arts in Psychology with a specialization in Addiction and Certification as a CADCII Counselor. She has experience working in all aspects of the field, both residential and outpatient settings, and is well known and respected throughout the Southern California recovery community. Over the past couple years Oriana has shifted her focus from direct client care to programmatic oversight. As Associate Executive Director, she supervises the counseling, clinical, academic, and operations departments, oversees communication and coordination of care with families, and is responsible for ensuring quality services in Sober College’s Five Core Competency Model.
One of Oriana’s passions is professional development, and she is thrilled to be a professor at Sober College School of Addiction Studies. Being able to assist budding counselors on their way to pursuing their own dreams is a huge motivator and her excitement is reflected in the courses she teaches.
MA, CADCII, LCSW
M.A. Sociology, San Diego State University; B.A. Sociology, minors in Applied Psychology and Education, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Rachel developed the Drugs and Alcohol in Popular Culture course specifically for the Sober College student. It is Rachel’s goal to help students develop a sociological perspective on drug and alcohol use and addiction through the study of American popular culture. In this course the student is the expert; they are hugely familiar with both the culture they live in as well as with their personal experiences surrounding drug and alcohol use. We use this expertise to critique and analyze the beliefs surrounding drugs and drug use in our society. Students will discover how beliefs are transmitted to the general population and how in turn those beliefs continually influence our understanding of drugs, alcohol and those that use.
Rachel enjoys introducing new material in innovative ways and showing students how sociology is a part of their everyday lives. The aspect that she loves most about teaching is the interaction with the students. Rachel adds, “Developing a rapport with students is very important to me. Receiving positive feedback from students about my ability to maintain a safe and fun classroom environment is very rewarding and one of the reasons why I love what I do. As a teacher within a therapeutic community, it is perhaps most rewarding to see the positive effects in my students’ lives as a result of the study of sociology. It is amazing to watch students process the academic information presented in class and, in turn, transmute it to tangible and identifiable action and positive change in their search for recovery.”
Dr. John Smith holds a Ph.D. in Addiction Studies from International University for Graduate Studies; a Master’s degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University. In addition to being the Dean of Instruction for the Sober College School of Addiction Studies, he is also a Professor of Addiction Studies at Mt. San Antonio College, an accomplished author, and a Certified Practitioner in Rapid Trauma Resolution™ therapy, a method that quickly and effortlessly clears the emotional effects from past traumatic experiences. Dr. Smith has over thirty years of experience in the field and he has taught and trained hundreds of Addiction Counselors. He is the author of “Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders: A Practitioner’s Guide”, which is used by many colleges and universities. He has also published several articles in professional magazines. He is the Best Selling author of “The Authentic Man: A Guide to Happiness and Purpose” released in 2015.
Dr. Smith’s extensive experience with the treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders—as well as his education in the field—makes him the ideal person to ensure that the Sober College School of Addiction Studies curriculum remains the most up-to-date and relevant.
Lena Sheffield is a licensed psychotherapist and addiction counselor in Miami, FL. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Counseling Psychology from the University of Miami. Lena received her Florida Certified Addiction Professional and ICRC certification in 1988. Since that time, Lena has earned certification as Master Addiction Counselor through NAADAC, and has been recently become recognized as a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist through IAEDP.
With over 30 years of experience in mental health and addiction, Lena has held various positions in the following areas: child and adolescent psychiatry, residential treatment for eating disorders, substance use disorder, process addictions, and community-based counseling. In addition to teaching for SCSAS, Lena operates her own private practice and she actively volunteers for multiple advocacy organizations.
Mentoring and training have been an important part of Lena’s career. She has lead numerous workshops and taught classes for professionals, academic institutions, and community groups.
As an experienced professional in the field of addiction, counseling and mental health treatment, Lena brings both expertise and experience to her position as an instructor for Sober College School of Addiction Studies.
LMHC, CEDS, CAP, MAC
Alyssa, a native Angeleno, started her journey with Sober College in 2013. She received her Associate’s Degree as well as her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from California State University Northridge and has plans to continue her education at the Masters level. Her prior experience with customer service, marketing, and management allows for a seamless integration when working with a variety of individuals. In her current role she oversees the growth of Sober College School of Addiction Studies where students from all walks of life are able to gain the education necessary to become certified drug and alcohol counselors. “I have always been passionate about helping people. Working at Sober College allows me to see people achieve their educational goals. It is extremely rewarding knowing that I can make even a small difference in someone else’s life.”
Jason Allison, has the highest credential and is a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor LAADC-CA (non-governmental license) through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). #LCi0151214
In 2014 at the Inaugural CCAPP conference Jason was the award recipient of the Very Important Professional (VIP) award. This was given for his ability to be a role model for others and influenced both clients and peers. Jason was recognized as a leader in the field of alcohol and drug counseling, and to the growth of the Association. The VIP Award is presented for distinguished service, achievements, and contributions to the prestige and growth of CCAPP.
SAP, CADC-II, ICADC, LAADC CA
As an Admissions Representative for Sober College School of Addiction Studies (SCSAS) Daniel Woolever is responsible for speaking with potential students and helping them learn what SCSAS is all about. Prior to working with us, Dan worked in corporate sales for over 10 years. In coming to work at Sober College Dan was excited to combine his two passions, sales and helping others.
Dan explains, “I have always excelled at sales but I was looking for a way to use my skills and help others as well.” Dan was introduced to Sober College by a friend and was immediately attracted to the company and what he heard. “When I learned about what Sober College did for young adults and addiction professionals and how much my friend enjoyed working there I knew I wanted to be a part of the team.”
Through Dan’s own life experience with addiction and recovery he is able to bring a level of compassion and understanding to students who are looking to enter the field of addiction treatment.
Jess Seraiva is the Student Services Assistant for Sober College School of Addiction Studies. (SCSAS) Jess focuses on giving the best customer service to our enrolled students. Answering questions, supporting students and helping out with forms are only a portion of what she does. Jess thrives in helping others in their journey in becoming certified as a drug and alcohol addiction counselors.
Jess Seraiva was born and raised in New Hampshire, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from New Hampshire Institute of Art.
After driving across country to start a new life in California in 2015, Jess looked for a new career where she could make a difference. Her brother Jason struggled with his own addiction to drugs for years before his passing is 2012, and Sober College seemed to be just what she was looking for. Jess says, “Sober College treats everyone like family, it is hard not to want to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”