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Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

Innovative Courses Taught By Field Leaders

Internationally recognized faculty train culturally aware and culturally sensitive therapists dedicated to serving a diverse client base.

Creative Arts Therapies Department

The Department of Creative Arts Therapies provides students with the most comprehensive and the highest-quality education in their respective creative arts therapy discipline.

Through an integrated blend of classroom, experiential and practical learning in the field, students learn side-by-side with future colleagues in the other creative arts therapy specialties.

Program courses are taught by faculty that are national leaders in their respective fields. Students take advantage of Philadelphia’s lively arts community, which nourishes the artist, dancer and musician within and enables you to continue practicing your art form while pursuing graduate study.

The Department and Diversity

As a community of learners, Drexel’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies is committed to cultivating a diverse and dynamic student population. We are interested in, and enriched by, diversity, including but not limited to: culture, race, ethnicity, gender identification and expression, socio-economic class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, learning styles, and political perspectives. We value these identities, shaped by experience, which support empathetic understanding and enlivened critical thinking in and outside of the classroom and in field placements.

Here in this community, we are aware of our past and present shortcomings and deficiencies. We understand that our programs, like the society in which we live, have too long habitually failed to provide just and plentiful opportunities and resources to all people, a perpetual misstep that has resulted in recurrent exclusion for some and disproportionate inclusion for others. We strive for an expansion of diversity. We recognize, embrace and proclaim that it is only by welcoming all people that we may reach our full, and true, potential as an educational community.

Programs

The Department of Creative Arts Therapies offers three Master of Arts degrees: Art Therapy and Counseling, Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, and Music Therapy and Counseling. The 90 quarter-credit curricula can be completed in two years on a full-time basis. We encourage full-time enrollment, yet part-time study can be arranged.

We also offer a PhD in Creative Arts Therapies, an innovative and unique research degree for art therapists, dance/movement therapists, and music therapists who are interested in focusing their careers on scholarly pursuits and academic leadership in their specific discipline.

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling
Engage in art therapy at a prestigious health center aligned to a school of fine arts.

Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy Counseling
Integrate dance and movement into a whole-body approach to mental health.

Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling
Study in the only music therapy program housed within an academic health center.

PhD in Creative Arts Therapies
Earn your PhD in a culture of creativity, innovation, initiative, and support.

Creative Arts Therapies Faculty

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News & Events

 

07/05/17

 
Producing a commencement ceremony honoring all our graduates is a huge undertaking, months in the making and includes many, many volunteers, but it pales in comparison to the work the College of Nursing and Health Professions graduates did to earn their seat at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on June 12, 2017. Drexel University Provost Brian Blake, PhD welcomed our graduates and all who taught, nurtured and supported them along the way including their family and friends who made up their greatest support network. He commented about CNHP graduates having a higher level of capacity for knowledge, innovation and most importantly, for service to others. That theme, so deeply embedded in the curriculum of all the programs in the College, was highlighted in the speeches given by student speaker Kimberly Allen and Sueann Navarez-Brown and David Baiada, who delivered the commencement address.
 
Allen stated how humbling it is to be part of a person’s most difficult and vulnerable moments and how important it is to empower patients or clients to make the choices that matter the most to them. “Drexel’s programs have educated us to promote social justice and healthcare equality as we serve our clients in the various wellness/health pathways,” she articulated. She acknowledged that it is necessary to be skilled to be able to perform, but that it is far more important to choose to be present in each and every moment while with clients, to choose to be in service of others. 
 
Navarez-Brown, in her speech, noted that both faculty and classmates assisted each other in becoming the best they each could be by providing outstanding support and encouragement. However, sometimes it did require a gentle and loving push. Benefitting from the confidence professors and fellow students had in each other, she concluded that they are skilled and determined, able to learn from failure and equipped with a sense of service and success.
 
Nowhere is service to others better explained than in the keynote speech delivered by David Baiada. Baiada is the incoming CEO of BAYADA Home HealthCare, a company that brings vital services into homes across 23 states, India, Germany, South Korea and Ireland. Their staff of 50,000 nurses, home health aides, therapists, medical social workers and other healthcare professionals live the mission, vision and beliefs — the BAYADA Way — while caring for their patients. They put their clients first. They value their employees and they believe in building relationships based on trust, compassion, honesty and service. Baiada told a story of a client he called Mr. Jones who he visited in his West Philadelphia apartment.
 
Mr. Jones is an elderly man who, because of cerebral palsy, relies on his electric wheelchair as his lifeline to the outside world. When Baiada arrived for a visit, Mr. Jones took a while to answer the door as his wheelchair was inoperable and he was forced to drag himself with the use of his walker. Baiada carried him back into his apartment and helped him get situated all the while Mr. Jones, clearly agitated, ranted about his frustration. In order for him to safely stay independent and in his home, he uses BAYADA for his Medicaid-funded home health services. When his aide Mary arrived, who is completely in tune with his needs and anxieties, Mr. Jones was finally able to calm down. Mr. Jones is someone who represents so many of the BAYADA clients who struggle day-to-day living because of disease or illness and Mary represents the thousands of people who bring their clients comfort and compassion and facilitate a better quality of life for them.
 
The collaboration and coordination of care people have come to expect from BAYADA is most successfully achieved through interprofessional work. And Baiada noted that that kind of practice is purposely taught and demonstrated at CNHP because it is what is needed when dedicated to serving others. He learned many lessons over his career at kitchen tables in apartments like Mr. Jones’, but Baiada chose three to share with graduates.
  1. Listen closely, show empathy and respond to the needs of others. Helping others starts with a willingness to listen, connect, and tune in.  Your perception of their goals and needs might be biased or distorted by your own preferences, Making the most meaningful impact is dependent on your willingness to take the time to sit at the proverbial kitchen table and listen. 
  2. Set specific goals and work hard and efficiently to achieve them.There is no more powerful force than a clear goal.  You all are here because you set a goal to get your degree, and now as you look ahead, what will your next goal be?  I challenge you to think big, write it down, think about it often.  You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish once you put it out there. 
  3. Be creative, flexible and determined. Reaching your goals will not come easy.  Like the patients and clients we care for, ups and downs are inevitable.  But I always find that those that are willing to think differently, adapt to change with an unrelenting determination will inevitably overcome almost any obstacle. 
Compassion, excellence and reliability are elements of The BAYADA Way and they are also what so many have learned as students in the College of Nursing and Health Professions.

Provost Blake, before introducing Susan Smith, PhD, interim dean, affirmed that the world needs those who received their diplomas that day citing that the long-term health and prosperity as a society depends on how graduates use their education.

Smith thanked graduates for the privilege of learning from them, mentoring them and working alongside them for as long as they had been at Drexel. She acknowledged University administrators and Stephen Sheller, a prominent Philadelphia attorney and Drexel University trustee. Smith thanked both Sheller and his wife Sandra, a creative arts therapies and couple and family therapy alumna, for their support of the College and the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University before presenting him with a gift for his service as a trustee.
 
Honoring accomplishment and excellence continued as exceptional academic achievement was recognized. Students designated Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, as well as Pennoni Honors College students and the recipient of the Harold W. Pote “Behind Every Graduate” Award where acknowledged before the specific award winners were announced.
 
  • Harold W. Pote “Behind Every Graduate” Award – Donald Little of Pennsbury High School
  • College-level Outstanding Promise Award – Kendra Ray, PhD (Creative Arts Therapies) and Anniliese Marie Kummerle, MS in Human Nutrition
  • Teaching Assistant Excellence Award and Outstanding Civic Engagement – Leah Tsui, MS in Human Nutrition and Jessica Liu, MS in Human Nutrition
  • Outstanding Civic Engagement – Corinne L. Ellis, MS in Human Nutrition
  • Dean’s Award – Anne E. Woolley, BSN
  • Achievement Award – John Ghee, MHS
  • Community Service Award – Kevin Carrasquillo, BS in Nutrition and Foods
  • Clinical Service Award – Nahidah R. Rahman, BS in Health Sciences
  • Social Justice Research Award – Mariya Kesselman, MA in Art Therapy and Counseling
 
Graduates names were announced by Yasmine Awais, Beth Leonberg, Virginia Wilson, and Drs. Theresa Campo, Nancy Gerber, Stella Lucia Volpe and Linda Wilson with Dr. Michael Bruneau and Lauren Karch assisted with distribution of the scrolls.
 
Doctoral graduates earning degrees in Couple and Family Therapy, Creative Arts Therapies, Nursing, Health Science in Rehabilitation Sciences, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences were hooded by their supervising professors first. Then graduates earning Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling, Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling, Master of Family Therapy, Master of Health Administration, Master of Health Science (Physician Assistant), Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Master of Science in Nursing (Advance Practice and Nurse Practitioner) were escorted to the stage. They were followed by the graduates who earned Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods. Once all graduated has been announced, an alumna for the classes of `90, `92 and `99 greeted the newest alumni — a long-standing tradition – to the more than 25,000 CNHP alumni.
 
To conclude a week of celebrations, CNHP participated in the University-wide commencement ceremony at Citizens Bank Park in the evening of June 13. All schools and colleges had the opportunity to hear the inspiring words of John Maeda — the global head of Computational Design and Inclusion at Automattic, the parent company of Jetpack, WooCommerce, Longreads, WordPress.com and more. The night was capped off by a exciting display of fireworks sending Drexel’s newest alumni out in to the world to leave their marks for the betterment of society.
 
 

06/03/17

Revisiting our mission — To impact health and wellness through basic and translational scholarly works created by interprofessional teams investigating complex healthcare issues — we see that the service these men and women have given to Drexel, to the College of Nursing and Health Professions and to our students directly contributed to achieving that goal daily. 
 
We thank these individuals for sharing their talent, intellect and energy toward changing the way we delivery healthcare — with compassion and precision and with the expertise of all our faculty and staff behind it.
 
52 Years of Service
Vincent Zarro, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Chinatown Clinic and Dornsife Center Wellness HUB
 
41 Years of Service
David Flood, PhD, BA
Professor, Health Services Administration
 
40 Years of Service
R. Peter Meyer, PhD, BS
Associate Professor, Health Sciences
 
39 Years of Service
Alan Haroian, PhD, BA
Associate Professor, Health Sciences

36 Years of Service
Michael C. Kennedy, PhD, MS, BA
Professor and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Health Professions

32 Years of Service
Geraldine Buck, DrPH, MHS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Associate Teaching Professor and Director, Physician Assistant Post-Professional Master's Program Physician Assistant
 
29 Years of Service
Rita O'Donnell
Program Coordinator, Health Sciences
 
Gloria Turchi
Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office
 
Ronald Comer, DSW, MA, BA
Associate Professor and Associate Director, Behavioral Health Counseling
 
Janet Stern
Academic Assistant Director, Physician Assistant
 
24 Years of Service
Ellen Schelly Hill, MMT, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC
Associate Clinical Professor and Director, Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling, Creative Arts Therapies

26 Years of Service
Margo Orlin, PT, PhD
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences
 
21 Years of Service
Gloria Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP
Professor and Dean Emerita
 
Priscilla Killian, MSN, RN, CPNP
Assistant Clinical Professor
 
Patricia Gerrity, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean for Community Programs
Founder and Director, Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services of Drexel University
 
20 Years of Service
Elizabeth Gonzalez, PhD, PMHCNS-BC
Associate Professor and Department Chair of Doctoral Nursing Program
 
Patricia Rubertone, PT, MSW, EdD
Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Experiential Learning, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

17 Years of Service
Diane Lewis
Administrative Coordinator, Physician Assistant

13 Years of Service
Cheryl Portwood, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNE
Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Graduate Nursing Advanced Role MSN Department
 
Susan Smith, PT, PhD
Interim Dean
 
12 Years of Service
Robin Young
CICSP Clinical Lab Coordinator

11 Years of Service
Michelle Sahl, PhD, Med, MBA, MBE
Associate Teaching Professor, Health Services Administration

10 Years of Service
Joseph Rubertone, PhD, MPT
Associate Clinical Professor, Health Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

06/03/17

Dr. Dana Kemery has been selected to receive a Medallion Award at Rowan University in honor of her dissertation work. She will receive this honor at a special ceremony that is part of Rowan's upcoming graduation.
 
During the Nurse Anesthesia Program Class of 2017’s graduation program on May 4th, Joseph Rubertone, PhD, MPT, Associate Clinical Professor in Health Sciences and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Departments was awarded the “Didactic Instructor of the Decade” by the graduating students.
 
The Physician Assistant Class of 2016 earned a 100% pass rate for first-time takers on the Physician Assistant Certification Examination.
 
Nihad Almasri, a Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences alumna was featured in the 40 Under 40 group this year. She is a BSN graduate and now working as a human rights advocate for the United Nations.
 
Nancy Gerber, PhD, Natalie Carlton and CAT PhD students traveled to the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Urbana, IL at the University of Illinois. Two of our first year PhD students, art therapist Jessica Drass and music therapist Ming Yuan Low, participated in all aspects of the conference and presented with Gerber and Carlton on a panel entitled "Translation in Arts Based Research: A Creative Arts Therapies Perspective."  The presentation was well received with lively conversation.  This annual international conference attracts scholars from 40 countries and delivers presentations on a variety of approaches to qualitative research including arts-based research, mixed methods research, ethnography and autoethnography, grounded theory and more. The conference is committed to a theme of social justice and political action using research to contribute to diminishing cultural disparities, oppression and prejudices. 
 
A CNHP clinical professor was among the recipients of a Provost Award for Outstanding Scholarly Productivity. Denise Wolf, MA, ATR-BC, LPC received the Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence at this year’s Provost's Awards for Teaching, Scholarship and Professional Service.
 
 
 
Sponsored Research
 
Girijia Kaimal, EdD is the recipient if a 2017 Faculty Summer Research Award for a project titled Assessing the Feasibility of Virtual Reality-Based Art Therapy (VR-BAT). The proposed project is a mixed methods pilot research study that will examine the feasibility of virtual reality-based art therapy (VR-BAT) sessions by collecting qualitative and quantitative outcomes data on a range of tools including Tiltbrush (a digital painting tool used to create three-dimensional images in virtual reality (VR)).  Virtual reality therapies have been used in the past for reducing phobias and delusions but the applicability for creative arts therapies has not yet been examined. Art therapy is a mental health profession that offers patients/ clients non-verbal forms of self-expression as a means to learn about self and function more effectively in the world (www.arttherapy.org).  This would be the first study of its kind to examine the effectiveness of these creative virtual digital tools to enhance psychological health and well-being through creativity, interactivity, and problem solving in an immersive environment. The funds are to try feasibility of virtual reality technology for art therapy. The research team includes the research project team includes Natalie Carlton, PhD, Abby Dougherty , PhD and Arun Ramakrishnan, PhD.
 
Jerome Dugan, PhD and Layla Booshehri, PhD have been awarded an R03 grant from the National Institutes of Health for their project entitled Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority Households Through Improved Financial Decision Making: Evidence from Negative Income Transfers Generated by the Affordable Care Act. 
 
The investigators will examine the impact of recent health regulation on the economic security of households and the financial strategies households can utilize to reduce health disparities. Drs. Dugan and Booshehri are the co-PIs of the Health Economics Analytics Laboratory (HEAL), where they apply computational and data-driven techniques to address policy failures in the health and welfare systems.
 
 
Publication and Presentations
 
Work by Janell Mensinger, PhD have been accepted for publication and/or presentation. It includes:
 
Paper presentation titled Changing physical activity: The cost of weight stigma at the 5th Annual International Weight Stigma Conference, Prague, Czech Republic. (Mensinger, J.L., & Meadows, A. (June, 2017)).
 
Senior Health Science student Margaret Calamari was selected to presenting the research she and Mensinger are working on together at the 1st annual Week of Undergraduate Excellence (May 1-5, 2017). The title of the presentation: Exploring Mediating Mechanisms Relating Weight Status to Healthcare Avoidance
 
Mensinger, J.L., & Meadows, A. (2017). Internalized weight stigma mediates and moderates physical activity outcomes during a healthy living program for women with high BMI. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 30, 64-72. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2017.01.010
 
Hill C. R., Feltz, D. L., & Samendinger, S. (2017). The relationship between barrier self-efficacy and physical activity in adolescents: A meta-analytic review. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. San Diego, USA.
 
Finley, M, Goodstadt, N, Soler, D, Somerville, K, Friedman, Z, Ebaugh, D. Reliability and validity of active and passive pectoralis minor muscle length measures. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy (2017,) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.04.004.
 
Michael Bruneau Jr, PhD accepted an invitation to be an invited speaker for an “Exercise and Fitness in Obesity” symposium at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting in Harrisburg, PA on November 3rd and 4th. He also accepted an invitation from the editor to write an editorial commentary entitled "Traditional vs. Nontraditional Risk Factor Assessment in Chronic Kidney Disease: A Case for Laser Doppler flowmetry?" that was published ahead of print for the May edition of the Journal of Hypertension.
 
Samendinger, S., Forlenza, S. T., Winn, B., Max, E.J., Kerr, N.L., Pfeiffer, K. A., & Feltz, D. L. (in review; Psychology of Sport & Exercise) Introductory Dialogue and Köhler Group Dynamics in Software-Generated Workout Partners.
 
The dissertation of Stephen Samendinger, PhD was nominated and an award application package was submitted this month for the J. Richard Hackman Award for the Dissertation that Most Significantly Advances the Study of Groups. The award sponsor organization is INGroup (Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research). The award recipient will be selected in May and is then recognized at the INGRoup conference this summer, and on the INGRoup website, receives a commemorative plaque, and receives complementary registration and an invitation to present their dissertation in a feature session at the 2018 INGRoup conference.
 

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