UNK graduate student selected for national addictions counselor fellowship program

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney graduate student Elizabeth Haarberg was recently selected for a national fellowship program that provides financial support and training for master’s-level counseling students who are committed to serving minority populations.

Haarberg, who is pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, will participate in the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors.

Elizabeth Haarberg
Elizabeth Haarberg

Supported by federally funded grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the fellowship program aims to increase the number of culturally competent addictions counselors available to vulnerable and underserved populations, with a specific focus on youths ages 16-25. Each fellow receives $15,000, and the program covers travel expenses to participate in related trainings, including the NBCC Foundation’s Bridging the Gap Symposium and the NAADAC Annual Conference.

“I’m thrilled to receive this fellowship from NBCC to assist in serving those in our community who are unseen and underserved,” Haarberg said. “I hope to bring additional attention to people who truly need assistance from the counseling community. There are opportunities to help those in need, and the high-level training and financial incentives NBCC provides make this pursuit a viable option.”

Haarberg’s adviser Doug Tillman, an associate professor of counselor education, called her an emerging leader in the field.

“Elizabeth displays the hallmarks of an exceptional student. She consistently performs and participates above expectations and energizes the learning environment for her fellow students,” he wrote in his letter of recommendation.

A native of Rosie, Arkansas, Haarberg earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications from Oklahoma State University. She currently lives in Kearney and works as a graduate assistant in UNK’s Department of Teacher Education. Haarberg is also the co-head track coach at Kearney Catholic High School.

The NBCC Minority Fellowship Program helps ensure the behavioral health needs of all Americans are met, regardless of language or culture, thereby reducing health disparities and improving overall community health and well-being. Fellows must commit to providing substance use disorder services for one or more of the following populations: underserved minority communities, child/adolescent and geriatric groups and military veterans or people from military families.