About OPEN

OPEN; the Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern, is the office that provides expanded programming around alcohol and drug education as a part of Student Affairs.

Northeastern University fosters a community that reinforces healthy choices and encourages responsible decision-making regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs. Northeastern strives to maintain a working, living, and learning environment that is free from the negative effects that alcohol and other drug use can create. Additionally, the University is committed to enforcing policies and laws surrounding alcohol and other drug use. The University fulfills this philosophy by providing educational programs, resources for treatment, and referrals for students, faculty and staff who may experience problems related to substance use.

Formerly the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Education, OPEN is the office within Student Affairs that provides education, programming, assessment and referral services for Northeastern students surrounding substance use. OPEN provides supportive, confidential, and non-judgmental services; we encourage students to make informed decisions about alcohol and other drug use and strive to reduce harm that can be associated with substance abuse such as poor academic performance, violence, health implications, high-risk sexual behavior, and addiction.

OPEN is responsible for continued programming, prevention and campus-wide initiatives around alcohol and other drugs, and the coordination and sponsorship of activities such as Alcohol Week.

Students are encouraged to stop by anytime for information or to schedule an appointment to speak with a staff person.

Director
Amaura Kemmerer, LICSW
Amaura is a clinical social worker and has been working at Northeastern as the Assistant Project Director of the OnTap Research Study since 2005. OnTap was funded by a federal grant to test innovative approaches to college alcohol abuse. At OnTap, Amaura worked individually with many NU students to encourage healthy decision-making around alcohol and drugs. Prior to working at NU, Amaura worked at an employee assistance program, providing corporate counseling and account management. Amaura has experience in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, community centers, and outpatient clinics.

Program Administrator
Elizabeth Fell, LICSW
Elizabeth is a clinical social worker who has been with the OPEN office since the Fall of 2009. Liz first joined Northeastern as an MSW intern, and then extended her work with OPEN into the following year. While at OPEN, she has been working with NU students individually, in group settings, as well as facilitating educational presentations throughout the campus community. Liz’s efforts have furthered OPEN’s mission to provide confidential and nonjudgmental support to students in hopes they will make informed decisions regarding their alcohol and other drug usage. Liz earned her MSW from Wheelock Graduate School of Social Work in May of 2011.

Program Administrator
Mara Silkoff, LICSW
Mara is a clinical social worker who recently joined OPEN in the Fall 2013. She earned her MSW from Boston College School of Social Work in May 2011. She has prior experience working in addiction recovery and education in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics and hospitals. This experience has been both with individuals and groups, utilizing evidence-based practice. Mara is committed to OPEN’s non-judgmental and supportive approach to working with students. She is excited and eager to be working at Northeastern University.

Program Administrator
Kellianne Carfi, MSW
Kelli is a clinical social worker who recently joined the OPEN team as a full-time staff. She graduated from Boston College with her MSW in May 2014, after completing her internship with OPEN. During her intership at OPEN, she provided brief intervention services to Northeastern students. Kelli has prior experience working with adolescents in schools and after-school programs. She also has experience working with victims of domestic violence. Kelli looks forward to providing supportive services to reduce harm associated with substance use. She is also thrilled to become part of the Northeastern Community.   

2014-2015 MSW Interns
Abby Huhtala

Sydney Palinkas

Graduate Assistant
Rebecca McLaughlin

 Student Feedback:

"I found your handouts and the activities we did to be extremely informational and I'm absolutely going to hold onto them for reference in the future. I truly intend on changing my drinking habits and I definitely feel comfortable coming to your office in the future for my guidance."

-Student who attended an OPEN group

"OPEN has been an eye-opening experience for me. To be able to talk about an issue related to alcohol without risk of getting in trouble is a great resource and I recommend all to take advantage of this."

-Student who completed a check-in

"My experience at OPEN was nothing like how I expected it to be. When I was first referred to the meetings by OSCCR, I figured it was just another one of those robotic lectures about drinking and its consequences that students go to but don't actually listen...but as [staff] began talking about the purpose of OPEN and how it was completely confidential, I felt more relaxed...The meeting was partly about teaching students about binge drinking, but it gave me the chance start thinking about my own behaviors while drinking...[and I learned] that the point of OPEN is to help one realize his/her limit when drinking, while still having fun."

-Student who completed a 'check-in'