Rocky Top Recovery Ambassadors

Student Recovery Ambassador Program

The Student Recovery Ambassador is a pilot program funded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to increase awareness and decrease stigma related to substance use and mental health disorders on college campuses. The Rocky Top Recovery Ambassadors will host sober events, recruit students to attend educational sessions, and use social media marketing campaigns to change perceptions increase knowledge.
Rocky Top Recover Ambassadors logo

Be sure to follow the ambassadors on Instagram!

Rocky Top Recovery Ambassadors

Vanessa Betancourt
Vanessa Betancourt: I am psychiatric nurse and Rocky Top Recovery Ambassador who is an advocate for vulnerable populations, such as people with substance use disorder, minorities and the homeless population, with the intent of aiding in breaking the cycle of addiction. I graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in May 2022. I am currently in graduate school at the University of Tennessee Knoxville for my Doctor of Nursing Practice in the Psychiatric Mental Health concentration. My continued goal for UT Knoxville’s Rocky Top Recovery group is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and substance misuse and provide college students a community where they see recovery is possible.

Grace Hardin

Grace Hardin: My name is Grace Hardin, and I’m a Rocky Top Recovery Ambassador. I study human development and the impact it has on society. My role as an ambassador involves talking about mental health stigma, raising awareness about issues through fun events and talking to other students who are experiencing difficulty with adjusting to college life and trying to improve their mental health. As a person with mental illness, this role is very important to me. I believe talking to others and finding a supportive network is imperative to the recovery process. I am hopeful that our program brings light to the problems college students face and influences change statewide.

Quincey Pawlikowski

Quincey Pawlikowski: Hi, everyone! My name is Quincey Pawlikowski, and I am proud to say that I am a Rocky Top Recovery Ambassador. Growing up, I struggled with various mental health disorders and have closely encountered the consequences of stigmatizing the recovery process. Fortunately, this sparked my interest in majoring in psychology, hopefully with a minor in child and family studies. I hope to work with those who need help and add my own experiences to the table. I am thrilled to help evolve Rocky Top into a stigma-free campus! Go Vols!

Morgan Schmitz

Morgan Schmitz: I am a first-generation college student who identifies as old. I took four years off between high school and college and started community college when I was 22. Having dealt with substance use problems in the past, I began my journey in recovery to reconnect and create a sustainable life for myself. Becoming a recovery ambassador is the newest step on my road to recovery, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I joined Rocky Top Recovery because I believe programs like this are essential for student success. I’m here to give my best to my peers and my community, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Go Vols!

Isabel Eiler

Isabel Eiler: Hi! I am Isabel, a senior studying finance. I am excited to be an ambassador in hopes of helping others on campus who are struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Fun fact: I grew up in Puerto Rico!


Rocky Top Fest Student Audition
Auditions open February 21st- March 24th

We hope to have Rocky Top Fest played by only UTK students and young adults! The following acts are eligible for the audition:

  • Solo
  • Band
  • Duos
  • DJs

We look forward to hearing all the talent that UTK students offer! If you are interested, submit your audition to


Recovery Meetings: Spring 2023 Semester

  • Mental Health Mondays
    Every Monday at 6 p.m.
    UT Knoxville Student Union, Room 383 F

This group offers a safe and encouraging place to receive practical, constructive, and helpful information designed to improve/maintain your mental health while navigating college.

  • All Recovery Meetings
    Every Monday at 7 p.m.
    UT Knoxville Student Union, Room 192

An alternative to 12-step meetings, “all recovery” meetings welcome all who struggle with addiction, are affected by addiction, or support the recovery lifestyle.



Prior Events:

Books and Bagels: The Little Book of Collegiate Sobriety

  • Nov 3, 2022
  • 10:30 – 12:00 a.m.
  • UT Knoxville Student Union, Room 262B

Narcan Training: Learn to Save Lives

  • November 14, 2022
  • 5 – 6 p.m. EDT
  • UT, Knoxville Student Union, room 270