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Protecting Student Well-Being and Success - eSeminar with Sarah Ferraro Cunningham & Richard Von Feldt

Date: Wednesday - February 12, 2020
Time: 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: eSeminar

Protecting Student Well-Being and Success

Understanding the Impact of Marijuana Use and Vaping

Sarah Ferraro Cunningham & Richard Von Feldt

Wednesday, February 12 (4:00 - 5:00 pm)


With the legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, teens and young adults have used marijuana more frequently than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined, because they think it’s safer. Research shows that, when students use marijuana regularly, they are much more likely to struggle academically, experience mental health problems and thoughts of suicide, become addicted to marijuana or other drugs such as opiates, and drop out of athletic or leadership roles.

This e-seminar will address the current culture of marijuana use and vaping among young people and share research and insights regarding the impact of marijuana use and vaping on the developing body and brain. Participants will engage cutting-edge research and material to develop the tools necessary to protect their student body from the risks of frequent vaping and marijuana use - so that all of our students can reach their fullest leadership potential.


Register here


Sarah Ferraro Cunningham, PsyD is a licensed psychologist specializing in substance use in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Cunningham pursued her master's degree at Northeastern University in 2000, where she completed her training with Cambridge Health Alliance, an affiliate of Harvard University Medical School. She earned her doctoral degree in clinical psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. Throughout her career, Dr. Cunningham has demonstrated a deep commitment to research, innovation and early intervention. She has served as a clinical leader in The Permanente Medical Group, the award-winning national leader in preventive care. At Kaiser Permanente, she has championed evidence-based practices that address behavioral health integration and contributed to best practices groups focusing on adolescent health. Dr. Cunningham has also devoted her expertise to nationally recognized research projects on early intervention for teens and young adults struggling with substance use.

Dr. Cunningham's expertise and passion for education led her to co-found Panaptic, an organization dedicated to protecting our nation’s youth from the impact of marijuana use. Through her dedication to marijuana prevention, Dr. Cunningham was selected to represent Panaptic by joining the inaugural year of a landmark program, Innovation to Impact at Yale University. Innovation to Impact, founded through a collaboration between Yale University and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), brings together leaders in substance use prevention and research across the country with the goal of impacting the national substance use crisis. Dr. Cunningham resides in Sonoma County with her husband and daughter and brings her personal experience as a mother to helping young adults and their families prevent the many problems associated with frequent marijuana use.

Richard Von Feldt, PsyD is a licensed psychologist specializing in addiction in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past decade, Dr. Von Feldt has worked with The Permanente Medical Group providing family, individual and group therapy as well as early intervention services to those impacted by substance use. He has served as a regional leader in Kaiser's Performance Excellence Groups and currently serves as a Training Director for the Postdoctoral Psychology Residency Program.

Previously, Richard lived in New York City and pursued successful careers in international auctions and branding and marketing. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Dr. Von Feldt dedicated his life to helping others. He attended post-baccalaureate studies at New York University and Hunter College, before moving to Berkeley, California, to complete a master's and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology, San Francisco. His professional psychology career has evolved from working primarily with families to honing his expertise in university mental health. 

Dr. Von Feldt is regarded as an innovative educator of marijuana abuse for teens, young adults and families. Through his leadership with Panaptic, he has provided training and consultation to physicians, residents and therapists, community agencies, and health care providers across the Bay Area. With over 27 years of recovery himself, Dr. Von Feldt offers a deep personal understanding of the pain and liberation from addiction and a commitment to providing young people with effective prevention education.

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17 Elk Street (First Floor)     Albany, NY 12207     Tel: 518-694-5500     Fax: 518-694-5501

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