Buddy Gerber, Ph.D., aims to use his experience in recovery to create opportunities for academic and personal success for students
William (Buddy) Gerber, Ph.D., was recently named director of the Texas Tech Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities (CCRC). Gerber is a graduate of the Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies doctoral program, housed in the Community, Family, & Addiction Sciences (CFAS) department. The director's role is a dynamic position that encompasses administration, teaching, and research.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Buddy Gerber as the new director of the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities,” said College of Human Sciences dean, Tim Dodd. “His previous experiences with the center and in recovery communities gives him the unique ability to relate to students and staff in an impactful and important way. Dr. Gerber's vision for the future of the CCRC is inspiring, and we are looking forward to working together to create new opportunities for our students in recovery.”
As director, Gerber will collaborate with university and community stakeholders to develop support for the CCRC. Gerber also mentioned that he will be helping establish a new research lab that will provide exciting opportunities for students and staff to engage in research projects. These resources will maintain and grow the department's role as global leaders in collegiate recovery research. Gerber said he will also serve as a mentor and recovery guide for both students and staff at the center.
"My lived experience as an undergraduate and graduate student of the center has shown me the impact the CCRC has on students in recovery," Gerber said. "The role of CCRC director creates the opportunity to support students achieve personal and academic success while simultaneously supporting their recovery process; this is what inspires and excites me most. I want to give back what was given to me and show students,' from here it's possible'."
As a former student of the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities, Gerber said he understands the students' situations, and this gives him a unique awareness of their experiences. He aims to prioritize the empowerment of students to have a college experience without drugs, alcohol, gambling, and all the other activities that can be hostile to recovery. Gerber hopes to build trust and instill hope in the CCRC students by modeling the same behavior and demonstrating that he has traveled a similar path.
"Our job is to provide students in recovery with a suite of skills that allows them to live healthy, meaningful, and successful lives," Gerber said. "We accomplish this by respecting the principles and values of accountability, challenge, and opportunity, which facilitate personal and professional growth."
Gerber will use his experience in recovery centers and business administration to prepare students for successful career trajectories beyond their time at Texas Tech. He said the recovery process has provided opportunities because of the people who challenged him, held him accountable, and supported him through his journey. Gerber said he aspires to create and provide an environment enabling the staff and students to truly flourish in recovery.
"It is a great honor to be entrusted the opportunity and responsibility to protect and enhance the world-class legacy Texas Tech CCRC that our founder Dr. Carl Anderson initiated in 1986, which was further strengthened by Dr. Kitty Harris, my predecessor Dr. Tom Kimball and Vince Sanchez who has been a mainstay of the center having worked alongside all three previous directors," Gerber said. "I look forward to inspiring people to believe in the promise and possibilities of life in recovery and higher education that Texas Tech provides."