College of Education and Human Services launches Distinguished Alumni Residency

DebbieandSteveMoak Debbie ('85) and Steve Moak

University Marketing + Communications 

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – After studying elementary education at Northern Kentucky University during the 1980’s, Debbie Moak went on to become one of the nation’s leading advocates for the importance of preventing substance abuse among teenagers. 

“As Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Youth, Faith, and Family Services, as well as the co-founder of, Debbie Moak has had a powerful and lasting impact upon the lives of countless teenagers and families,” said Dr. Cynthia Reed, dean of NKU’s College of Education and Human Services. “We are proud to honor her with our inaugural Distinguished Alumni Residency.”

As part of her three-day residency at NKU, Moak (’85) will speak with high school and NKU students, area educators, and community leaders. She will be honored at the college’s Distinguished Alumni Celebration on Thursday, Sept. 22. Moak received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at NKU in 1985.

As Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office for Youth, Faith, and Family Services, she oversees statewide councils and commissions dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, juvenile justice, faith-based initiatives, service and volunteerism. Moak advises Gov. Douglas Ducey on those issues and also oversees the Governor’s Youth Commission.

Moak and her husband, Steve, also created, a national initiative to reduce the rates of substance abuse and other at-risk behaviors among teenagers by providing parents and caregivers with the tools and resources to develop positive relationships with their children at an early age.

On Thursday, the Moaks will deliver a keynote address about their experiences, and will provide participants with information and tools to help prevent and fight adolescent substance abuse.

The COEHS Distinguished Alumni Celebration and keynote address begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at NKU’s Eva G. Farris Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

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