Kristina Canfield is the Executive Director for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). Kristina attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where she earned both her bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in College Student Personnel. During her time at Ohio University, Kristina helped to establish the Collegiate Recovery Community in order to assist students in or seeking recovery from substance use disorders on that campus. After graduation, she worked in an inpatient treatment facility where she continued to gain valuable experience in the continuum of care for substance use disorders. Previously, she was employed as the program coordinator for the Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and as the Substance Abuse Prevention & Recovery Coordinator for The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Kristina is very passionate about the field of collegiate recovery and prior to her current role, she worked closely with ARHE as Conference Manager for the ARHE/ARS/AAPG National Conference, Secretary of the Advisory Council, and Project Lead for two grant projects focused on advancing the field of collegiate recovery. Her vision is that one day, every institution of higher education offers support for students in or seeking recovery so that they feel supported no matter their chosen path of recovery.
Louise Irizarry serves as Business Manager and Membership Administrator for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. She joined the association in 2012 and has worked with various aspects of the organization including website development, database management, fiscal management, and administration. Louise’s background includes working in the corporate world in roles supporting executive leaders with companies such as Amazon.com and Yamaha Motor Corporation, as well as serving as Assistant Controller in the service industry. In addition to working part-time with ARHE, she also has worked in Academia supporting divisional Directors and Associate Vice-Presidents. Louise has served in volunteer capacities in leadership roles with Habitat for Humanity fund raising and coordinating the building of seven habitat homes and has served on the board of her HOA in various positions, most recently as President. She served as Troop Leader for 10+ years for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and has taught religious instructions at St. Catherine of Siena in Kennesaw, GA where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Mack Park is the Membership and Outreach Manager for the Association of Recovery in Higher Education and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Windsor. They have completed a B.A.[H] in Psychology with Thesis, with minors in Sociology and Applied Information Technology. They also hold a certificate in Business Administration and an Advanced diploma in Web Development. Mack serves as the Program Coordinator for the student recovery program at the University of Windsor and has been a fellow with ARHE since 2020. As a person in long-term recovery from substance use, mental health, addictive behaviours, and a traumatic brain injury, Mack is extremely grateful to the recovery supports that have been made available to them and are passionate about giving back to the community, being of service, and supporting others in their recovery journeys. In their spare time, Mack enjoys hiking, board games, drawing, and learning new things.
Fellows & Interns
Ayesha Al-Akhdar is currently pursuing her M.A. in Women’s Studies at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include racialized and gendered implications of contemporary drug policy, related policy reforms, and spirituality as a liberatory practice. She is currently an instructor of Intro to Women’s Studies. A certified recovery support specialist through the Alabama Department of Mental Health, Ayesha teaches life skills and leads therapeutic groups at a local state-funded treatment center which serves low SES populations. A person in long-term recovery, Ayesha has been involved in UA’s CRC for six years. Ayesha believes that the intersection of recovery and education holds the potential to create the large-scale change needed to address racism, sexism, and colonialism. Outside of her academic and professional endeavors, Ayesha is working to reclaim Arab cultural practices and grow closer to her Islamic faith, as these things were neglected for safety in a post-9/11 world. As a result, Ayesha is often in the kitchen working to master a family recipe. Ayesha is also an avid crafter and loves all things fiber related.
Mandi Vanhoy (she/her) is a graduate instructor currently attending Texas Tech University to earn her MA in Technical Communications and Rhetoric. Her passion for stories brought her first to Chicago, where she attended Columbia College Chicago where she earned her BA in Creative Writing in English. Throughout her studies and travels, Vanhoy found that she wanted to bring her storytelling, communications, rhetorical knowledge, and creativity together and pour it into something meaningful for not only herself but others as well. This is where she found her current internship at ARHE (Association of Recovery in Higher Education). As a person who has received support and kindness from so many, as well as having family members who are in long-term recovery, Vanhoy felt that this was a great opportunity to use her skillsets to highlight all the voices within recovery and help bring awareness to addiction within higher education.
Yahya Alnashri, an MD and MPH graduate from Johns Hopkins University, is currently deepening his expertise as a DrPH student in Health Policy and Organization at the UAB School of Public Health, focusing on Outcomes Research. Originating as a physician in Saudi Arabia, Yahya seamlessly merges clinical care with health policy in his influential research on urgent health issues such as HIV, HCV, and opioid overdose. His international collaborations underscore his far-reaching vision.
As an executive member of the Hajj Health Volunteering Program, Yahya has played a pivotal role in enhancing the health outcomes for pilgrims, reflecting his deep commitment and leadership in public and global health. His contributions were further spotlighted when he was honored with the First Place award in the Fakeeh Hospital Quality Improvement Project, underscoring his commitment to patient accessibility and safety.
Outside his intense professional life, Yahya immerses himself in simple pleasures—sipping coffee, adoring cats, and sharing in meme humor. His creativity echoes in his love for Arabic karaoke and masterful graphic design works. His altruistic heart shines through as he extends his hands in support of local animal shelters, ensuring they envision a brighter tomorrow.