Amelia M. Arria, Ph. D.

Senior Adviser, Christie Campus Health

Amelia M. Arria, Ph.D. is currently the Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health and a Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. As a first-generation college student, she received a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University, a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and completed postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

She has authored more than 160 scientific peer-reviewed publications, numerous white papers and book chapters, and is the recipient of several major grant awards from foundations, and state and federal agencies. Her research is primarily focused on mental health and substance use among adolescents, young adults and in particular college students. She has also completed studies related to mental health service utilization, predictors of suicidal behavior, prenatal substance use, and evaluations of addiction treatment. She is the Principal Investigator of the College Life Study, a large prospective study of more than 1200 individuals who were originally assessed as first-year college students and followed up into adulthood. That study has made significant contributions the scientific literature regarding the mental health needs of young adults and the risk factors and consequences of substance use among college students. A main thrust her work is the connection between untreated mental health conditions, substance use and human capital, as measured by academic achievement, employment and health status. She is passionate about translating research findings for practical purposes to be used by parents, policy makers and educational professionals. She has a leadership role in the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems, a policy initiative that brings together 17 universities in the state of Maryland to utilize evidence-based practices to address excessive drinking and other substance use among college students.