Rasmussen Faculty Member Works to Eradicate Opioid Epidemic by Day, Teaches by Night
Jamie Roberts has been working in mental health for over 20 years in varying capacities: in/outpatient clinics, lockdown units and eating disorder units for women; she even worked in the third largest jail in Florida. She’s also been a supervisor of adult protective services—and now she has added the title of “adjunct instructor” to her resume.
While pursuing her Ph.D., Jamie said she knew her end goal was to be a college professor. After graduating and trying to get her foot in the door at numerous colleges, she found it very difficult.
“I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to interview me for a full-time position. In the meantime, I got a couple adjunct positions and taught victim abuse programs and classes about abuse in America.”
Eradicating the opioid epidemic
While working in the mental health field, she stumbled upon a job posting for a diversion investigator and thought to herself, “I do investigations in adults as it is.” So, she went for it, and out of 4,000 applicants, Jamie was one of the 52 who got the job.
In her role as a diversion investigator, Jamie works to eradicate the opioid epidemic.
“What that entails is investigating and implementing regulatory compliance for legally controlled substances, not street drugs. I investigate doctors, pharmacies, distributors, treatment programs, researchers, K-9 handlers and all others who would have access to schedule one to five controlled substances,” Jamie says.
While in training for the job, she had the opportunity to go to Quantico where she lived on base for three months. “It has been such a great experience. I don’t know how I got so lucky. I feel like I won the job lottery,” she says.
Her time at Rasmussen
In 2016, Jamie interviewed at Rasmussen, was hired and has taught in Health Sciences numerous quarters since. “I decided to start teaching at Rasmussen because I liked the quickness of the courses. Long semesters can be tedious for me,” said Jamie.
Jamie is adamant on being a great support to all of her students. “I am basically always available; they can text or call me. If something comes up or if they’re going to be late, I understand. I worked and went to school full time while having a family, so I understand the challenges. If one of my students is struggling, I encourage them to give me a call so I can work with them and walk them through whatever they are struggling with.”
“My favorite part of being an educator is watching and hearing feedback of my students’ successes, once they get that dream job, graduating or getting into a graduate program. It makes me so happy when I see them succeed because it pushes me to keep doing what I’m doing.”
If Jamie’s students are ever feeling stuck, she reminds them, “It’s only a blip of time. Push yourself. You can get through this, and I am here to help. My students’ success is my success.” When Jamie first gets a class of new students, she tells them to buy a picture frame and hang it on their wall. She wants that picture frame to be her student’s motivation to push themselves to see one day—they will have a diploma in that frame.
Jamie does not have any other professional ambitions—she has her dream job and enjoys teaching. “I will probably end up teaching as long as I feel like I am still an effective instructor. I just love it so much.” She says she will work until the day she dies, elaborating, “I just can’t see retirement in my future. I just think I would get too bored; I enjoy being busy. I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.”