Michael Nerney, presenter
» Symposium Brochure [pdf]
Symposium to examine 'The Adolescent Brain & High-Risk Behaviors'
Minot State University's Student Social Work Organization, in coordination with the North Dakota chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, will sponsor "The Adolescent Brain & High-Risk Behaviors" Feb. 15 in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Michael Nerney, the presenter for this spring symposium, is a consultant in substance-abuse prevention and education, with over 32 years of experience in the field.
"This year, SSWO will donate proceeds from the registration to two community organizations, the Minot Area Homeless Coalition and Companions for Children," said Katie Davis, SSWO president and a senior social work major from Williston. "This is SSWO's way of giving back to the Minot community during flood recovery."
Nerney is the former director of the Training Institute of Narcotic and Drug Research, Inc. During that time, he received a federal grant under the Youth-At-Risk Act to design training programs for residential facilities within the New York State Division for Youth. Nerney's areas of expertise include psycho-pharmacology, adolescent chemical dependency, relapse prevention, gender differences in communication and managing violent incidents. He wrote both participant and trainer manuals for the programs. His understanding of adolescent issues is drawn from 12 years as a teacher and coach at the junior high and high school levels, in¬cluding three years with a residential school for boys. He added four years' experience in the chemical-dependency field as a substance-abuse counselor and director of the Drug Abuse Prevention Council in Hamilton County, N.Y., before joining NDRI in 1984. He is a certified instructor in violence prevention and manage¬ment with the Crisis Prevention Institute. An internationally known lecturer, Nerney has also served as consultant to a number of federal and state agencies.
Recent research indicates that the period from 14 to 24 years of age is exceptionally risky.
New insights into brain development, gained through the use of new technology, demonstrate specific conditions that exist in the brain only during adoles¬cence. Participants will explore the connections between the adolescent brain and high-risk behavior and discuss the allure of thrill-seeking activity, drug-and-alcohol abuse, sexuality and other high-risk behaviors. They will also explore new language structures to utilize in helping adolescents acknowledge, assess and respond to high-risk situations.
The conference is recommended for social workers, educators, case managers, medical staff, parents, law enforcement officers, counselors, psychologists, child care providers and nurses. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
For additional information, contact Dionne Spooner, social work instructor and SSWO advisor, at 858-3142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.