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Meet our Staff

 

Staff


Tamarah Gehlen, MA, LMFT, LADC

Director
612-330-1176
gehlen@augsburg.edu
Hello, Everyone!

My name is Tam Gehlen, and I am the director of the StepUP Program at Augsburg. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed addictions counselor and have a specialty of working with trauma. I am also a National level speaker, author, and graduate level professor in addictions and mental health with a long history of running treatment centers focused on co-occurring disorders (treating addiction and mental health in tandem). Being at Augsburg has allowed me to indulge both my love of education and working with individuals in recovery! In my time outside of work, my partner, Josh, and I have been together for 25 years and have 2 amazing children and 3 awesome rescue dogs, and spend our spare time reading, cooking and hanging out at the dog park.

I look forward to working with you – if you have any questions on the program, please connect with me at gehlen@augsburg.edu

 

Melissa Hunter, MA

Administrative Assistant
612-330-1405
hunterm1@augsburg.edu

Melissa Hunter is the Administrative Assistant for the StepUP Program. In this position, Melissa provides administrative assistance for StepUP counselors and the Director. She serves as the primary contact for incoming students and assists on daily ongoing projects such as New Student Orientation, maintaining the student data base, organizing guest speaker arrangements, as well as providing data for program outcomes.

Melissa joined the StepUP program in August of 2017.  Prior to her position in StepUP she served as Program Coordinator at Saint Mary’s University in Minneapolis.  Within this position, she assisted multiple program directors in a variety of Master level teacher licensure programs including; K-12 Teaching, English as a Second Language, Special Education, as well as the Culturally Responsive Teaching program. From 2012-2014, she instructed a Resume Writing workshop to help assist recent graduates in their career field.

Melissa holds a B.A. degree in Communication from the University of St. Catherine and an  M.A. degree in Human Development with a focus on Student Affairs and Holistic Health.

In her free time, Melissa enjoy spending time with her husband, singing and dancing with their 3 year old son, Isaiah, as well as cooking and crafting farmhouse signs.

 

Romalee Droba, MA, MFT, LADC

Chemical Dependency Counselor
612-330-1692
droba@augsburg.edu

I received my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Argosy University in Minneapolis, Minnesota and my Bachelor of Science in Music at North Central University.

I am also certified in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; a proven therapeutic method used when processing trauma) and am a PREPARE/ENRICH couples inventory provider.  Areas of special interest include: addiction/recovery, anxiety, depression, trauma, relational issues, life transitions, and spiritual growth.

As a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Psychotherapist, I have joined the StepUp team with a focus of encouraging, supporting and empowering you, the student, to actively work towards positive change relevant to your life situations and recovery.  My goal is to help you in your journey to find health, happiness, wholeness, purpose and authenticity as you pursue your collegiate dreams, sober!

Welcome to StepUp!

 

Shane Jensen, BA, LADC

Chemical Dependency Counselor
612-330-1170
jensens@augsburg.edu

In exploring a meaningful and purpose driven life, I began my career working at the Wilderness Treatment Center in Montana.  I was helping young men and their families navigate the challenging first few months of their recoveries.  After serving as an addictions counselor, Family counseling lead, and Continuing care coordinator, my passion to help extended into recovery after treatment. When I learned of the StepUP program I was excited to hear of the integration between a recovery focused community and a University that celebrates the achievements of these gifted students.  In college a common challenge is identity.  “Who am I?” and “what do I want to do?” is a reality that is hard to stray away from.  A focus of mine is to have intentional conversations that examine the blind spots our students face.  Through this I am able to help students find their gifts and put their abilities into action while maintaining their recovery.

In my free time I enjoy spending time being active outdoors with my wife, daughter, and son.  My hobbies include backpacking, fishing, hunting, carpentry, and mentoring people in each of these pursuits.

 

Thenedra Roots, BA, LADC

Chemical Dependency Counselor
612-330-1409
roots@augsburg.edu

Thenedra Roots has been a Chemical Dependency Counselor in the StepUP Program for nearly two years and enjoys working with young adults in recovery as they develop into professionals in their careers. Thenedra has a passion for working with people and believes in a person-centered approach when counseling her students.

Thenedra previously worked at Hazelden Betty Ford, where she gained a lot of her experience working with people in early recovery with acute needs. Thenedra has experience working with adolescents, young adults, and older adults in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. Additionally, Thenedra has experience working with individuals who present with co-occurring mental health issues.

Thenedra holds a B.S. degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitian State University and is currently pursuing her M.A. degree in Leadership from Augsburg University.

For fun, Thenedra enjoys gardening, being a foodie, and spending time with her family and friends.