Meet Eric Van Eck, TCNJ’s Recovery & Prevention Coordinator, and all-around solid dude. Although hired for this position in January of 2022, Eric is in no way “new” to The College of New Jersey or its Collegiate Recovery Program. After being academically removed from TCNJ in 2012, due to an undiagnosed substance use disorder, Eric found recovery in 2016 and was re-admitted to the institution in the Fall of 2017. Giving credit to the robust supports offered him through Lion’s House (substance free housing), Recreate Your Night (substance free activities), Counseling Services, & especially TCNJ’s Collegiate Recovery Community Eric was able to thrive and graduated with a BS in Public Health in the winter of 2018.
Upon graduation Eric transitioned into the non-profit world and became credentialed as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist. Under the DMHAS funded Opioid Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) & the Support Team for Addiction Recovery (STAR) grants Eric provided non-clinical assistance, case management, and other recovery support services to individuals in all stages of their recovery process. During that time, Eric maintained his commitment to the college through the Alumni Association, as a chartering member of the Recovery Alumni Chapter.
“I am filled with such immense gratitude to use my experience, of both my addiction and recovery journey, to help others. It is beyond a dream come true to give back to a program at TCNJ that gave me so much.” While he’s out and about on campus doing what he loves most, interacting with students and staff, you’ll be sure to notice Eric by the joy on his face and the inspirational quip he’ll give you. If you get the opportunity, be sure to ask him about the 600-mile solo backpacking trip he took on the Pacific Crest Trail in the winter of 2020.