Muskies Bring Awareness to Addiction


The New Concord Area Addiction Coalition (NCAAC) is once again hosting an Addiction Symposium on the campus of Muskingum University, only this time, on a larger scale.

This new symposium is a direct follow-up to the first symposium held on Nov. 19, 2016.

The original session featured one keynote speaker and was held in the Roberta A. Smith Library, but according to University Minister, Will Mullins, this year’s event will be much bigger than its predecessor.

Mullins said that at this symposium, which is being held Saturday, March 18, three keynote speakers along with five individual breakout sessions meant to dive further into different addiction-related topics are being added to the agenda.

“We’re giving more opportunities for people to come and get actual resources the day of the program,” said Mullins.

The three keynote speakers include two Muskingum University faculty members along with one guest to the University. Assistant Professor of Health Science, Shelley Amstutz-Szalay, is returning to speak at the symposium, but she will be joined by Associate Professor of Psychology, Ana Kehrberg, and Assistant Professor from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Brad Price.

Mullins said that the program would begin in Boyd Science Center, either in Room 343 or Room 336, depending on how many participants attend. The program is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. that day, and will feature the three keynote speakers in fast succession to kick off the event. The day would then shift into the breakout sessions, which will be held at various points on campus.

Mullins said his goal is to bring in more than 100 participants to the program, but it would still be considered a success no matter the amount of people that attend.

“If we get 10 people and two people’s lives are changed, we’re going to consider that a success,” said Mullins.

Mullins went on to say that he is specifically looking forward to this opportunity because of his own life experiences with the issue. Mullins’ sister struggled with addiction, and he said that is a big driving force behind his investment into the program.

“I know first-hand that Muskies struggle with addiction,” said Mullins. “I want them to be able to reach out for help, to change their lives, and get past this addiction. If we can save one life, it makes it all worth-while.”

The symposium will also have a break for lunch during the day. Lunch is free to Muskingum University and John Glenn High School students and $10 for the general public.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. on March 18, but interested persons can also register online at