University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Student Assistance Counselor


The Waterbury Campus offers short-term, on-site personal counseling services for students enrolled at UConn Waterbury.  Dr. Valerie Dripchak is a licensed clinical social worker with experiences in working with college students. All sessions are confidential unless the student gives written permission to disclose specific information or when the statutory law mandates disclosure.

Valerie Dripchak, Ph.D.

Student Assistance Counselor
P: 203-236-9817

Room 112
Mondays: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Wednesdays: 1:00 – 6:00 PM
Thursdays: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Common Issues of Concern

From time to time, we all need help, support or affirmation. Sometimes students experience difficulties that limit their abilities to enjoy life or obtain success. The Student Assistance Program includes a variety of services to successfully overcome life’s challenges. Some of the common issues that students may have include:

  • Starting college
  • Relationship problems
  • Stress management
  • Substance abuse/ behavioral addictions
  • Grief & loss
  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Eating or physical image concerns
  • Anger management
  • Family problems
  • Time management
  • Life transitions
  • Sexual orientation

Services Offered

  • Short-term counseling
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Consultation
  • Referrals
  • Support Groups
    • Relapse is an important issue for those individuals who are interested in maintaining their sobriety. Although 12 Step Programs play a key role in this area, sometimes it is not enough.

      The Relapse Prevention Group is designed to work with individuals, in a safe and confidential place, to identify triggers and work through them. It will provide strategies to help manage problems that arise in the course of daily living, especially in the areas of stress and negative emotions.

      Some of the topics include:
      •How to identify negative emotions
      •How to manage anger
      •How to avoid impulsive decision making
      •How to relax and have fun without drugs
      •How to give & receive constructive criticism
      •How to be assertive without being aggressive
      •How to deal with the give & take of relationships

      Date & time will be announced.

      If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Valerie Dripchak, Student Assistance Counselor, room # 236

      telephone: 236-9817


      All inquiries will be confidential.

    • Women’s Support Group (Girl Talk)
  • Classroom presentations
  • Staff trainings


Student Assistance Counseling services are free to UConn Waterbury students. If issues require long-term therapy, you may be referred to professionals through your health care insurance or through other services provided by Family Services of Greater Waterbury.

Did You Know? – Newsletter

The Student Assistance Counseling Office puts out a monthly newsletter on a variety of topics.

  • Adult Misuse of Alcohol — Did you know that when a parent or important adult in your family misuses alcohol or other substances, it can have a profound effect on you?
  • The Winter Blues — Did you know that there is something that you can do to combat the Winter Blues?
  • Disruptive Students — Did you know that there is something that you can do about a disruptive/disturbed student?
  • Starting College — Did you know that starting college could be both exciting and sometimes overwhelming at the same time?
  • Addiction Dangers — Addiction problems come in many forms. Take the quick quiz to find out more.
  • Addiction Quiz— Let’s consider the dangers of drinking and taking drugs.
  • Anger Management — One out of five Americans has an anger management problem. Learn more.
  • Depression — What is depression? Learn more.
  • Domestic Violence — As domestic violence awareness has increased, there still continues to be many myths about what an abusive relationship really is. Read more.
  • Eating Disorders — Do you know someone who has an eating disorder?
  • Family Problems — Did you know that family problems are common for everyone of us at one time or another?
  • Gambling Problems — Did you know that gambling problems among college students is twice the national average?
  • Relationships — Did you know that even our best relationships take hard work at times?
  • Starting College — Did you know that starting college could be both exciting and sometimes overwhelming at the same time?
  • Stress — Stress is a natural part of life. Read more.
  • Test Anxiety — Did you know that test anxiety is common among college students?
  • Time Management — Did you know that time management may be one of the most difficult struggles that students face in whether or not they are successful in college?


Community Services

Info Line — Dial 211

  • Emergency — Dial 911
  • Waterbury Hospital Crisis Center — 203-573-6500
  • Safe Haven — 203-575-0036
  • Connecticut Legal Services — 203-756-8074
  • To report suspected child abuse or neglect — 1-800-842-2288
  • Family Services of Greater Waterbury — 203-756-8317