Baylor Students Accepted into the SAFE Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy to Help Addiction Recovery

October 15, 2019

Media Contact: Tonya B. Hudson, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-4656
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by Cacey Vigil, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (Oct. 15, 2019) - Baylor University students Joshua Robinson and Katie Cameron have been accepted into the Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (SAFE) Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy, a year-long fellowship for any college student who is passionate about the intersection of collegiate recovery, leadership and service to others.

The SAFE Project is a national nonprofit that works through a collaborative and non-partisan approach to end the nation’s addiction epidemic. The SAFE Project was founded in November 2017 by Admiral James and Mary Winnefeld, following the loss of their 19-year old son Jonathan to an accidental opioid overdose. The Collegiate Recovery Leadership Academy was created in 2018 through the SAFE Campuses initiative.

The goal of the Leadership Academy is to develop future leaders from college campuses across the nation. Students who have been accepted into the academy will create an impact project to be used on their campus.

Robinson, a senior biochemistry major from Memphis, Tennessee, a McNair Scholar and a former Wellness Peer Leader, will focus his project on the correlation between physical exercise and addiction recovery.

“Physical exercise has positive physical, mental and emotional effects on the body. I will be focusing on these effects in regard to addiction recovery,” Robinson said.

Robinson will conduct a literature review on this topic to gain more insight and create a plan to incorporate physical exercise into addiction recovery in an efficient and effective manner. Through his project, Robinson hopes others can develop a better understanding of addiction recovery and the experience of those who are recovering from a more physical standpoint.

“I hope that people see the positive effects that physical exercise can have in addition to the known aspects like a healthier heart,” he said.

Cameron, a sophomore health, kinesiology and leisure studies major from San Diego, California, is awaiting approval for her project but is excited for the impact her project can have on college campuses.

“I want to make sure my project can be a tool for recovery allies or people currently in recovery to use as means of getting connected within their communities,” Cameron said. “I specifically chose to focus on the generalization of mental health because I want this project to be inclusive of individuals struggling with a variety of illnesses.”

Cameron is a strong advocate for mental health who hopes to break the assumption that recovery means pure abstinence and wants to reverse the negative connotations that surround both addiction and recovery.

“I am a firm believer that there are many different and unique paths to recovery. In our society, there is an expectation that recovery means pure abstinence,” Cameron said.

She also emphasized that there is no such thing as a perfect recovery. Everyone’s journey is completely their own and goes at their own pace, she said.

Both students hope their projects will have a positive impact on the Baylor campus and spread the importance of addiction recovery.

“I hope that administrators and faculty will have a better understanding of addiction recovery, and how many people are affected,” Robinson said.

“My hope is that the Baylor family will become more aware of what it looks like to be a student in recovery,” Cameron said.

Addiction recovery resources at Baylor

In fall 2017, Baylor opened the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center (BARC) and immediately began providing both support services for students who are in the initial stages of identifying substance and behavioral addictions and continued support for students who have completed rehabilitation programs.

As part of a national community called the Association for Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE), the BARC is designed to support students in recovery through all-encompassing levels of support academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Through well-rounded programs and support and by encouraging academic excellence, the BARC and its staff strive to increase positive recovery outcomes for each student.

The BARC – which is located in the East Village Residential Community on the Baylor campus – was made possible by a $2.5 million gift in January 2017 from Bob and Laura Beauchamp of Houston. In 2018, ARHE honored the Beauchamps as Recovery Philanthropists of the Year for their outstanding work and service in the recovery field.

For more information about BARC, visit Staff also can be reached at 254-710-7092 or by email at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.