Drawing upon a Bachelor of Science in education from Indiana University in 1972 and a Master of Arts in special education from Ball State University in 1978, Alice J. Olson commenced her career in 1975 as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the deaf. Serving in that capacity until 1986, she subsequently thrived as an addictions and behavioral medicine counselor at Methodist Hospital in Merrillville, Indiana, for 20 years between 1986 and 2006. Congruent to this appointment, Ms. Olson served as a group facilitator at the St. Jude House in Crown Point, Indiana, from 2000 to 2011. Furthermore, she served as a counselor for the Regional Mental Health Center in Merrillville between 2006 and 2015.
Since 2016, Ms. Olson has excelled as an addictions and mental health therapist at the Parkdale Center for Professionals in Chesterton, Indiana. In her role, she works with individuals struggling with addiction, as well as their families, in four-week group programs. While serving in her career, she received an additional Master of Arts in counseling and guidance from Governors State University in 2001 and became a licensed professional counselor, nationally certified alcohol and drug counselor II, clinical addictions counselor and licensed mental health counselor. Also recognized as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) since 2017, Ms. Olson is a past president of the Indiana chapter of the Indiana Association for the Deaf from 1984 to 1986. She has provided her expertise as a consultant in numerous instances, as well as served as an editor for various health-related newsletters.
Outside of her primary ventures, Ms. Olson is a former treasurer of the Everyone Counts Center for Independent Living, a former parent educator at the Trade Winds Rehabilitation Center and a former coordinator for several professional conferences throughout Indiana, including for the Department of Mental Health’s Advisory Council on Mental Health Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. Between 1975 and 1996, Ms. Olson also taught American Sign Language to classes throughout Northwest Indiana and the South suburbs.
In light of her outstanding achievements in counseling, Ms. Olson earned a Letter of Commendation from Indiana Governors Robert Orr and Otis Bowen. She was previously honored with a Letter of Commendation from former President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was elected a fellow of Ball State University from 1973 to 1974.