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Master of Arts in Music Therapy and Counseling

There's still time to apply! Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.

Program

The Master of Arts in Music Therapy & Counseling is a 90 quarter-credit program that integrates advanced music therapy and general counseling coursework with hands-on clinical experience and research opportunities, preparing graduates for a variety of career paths in the music therapy profession.    Faculty include dedicated, knowledgeable music therapists as well as other creative arts therapists, clinical psychologists and counseling educators, offering a curriculum focused on in-depth study of foundational and innovative music therapy and mental health theories and approaches. The program is designed to be completed in two years (7 quarters) of full-time study. Classes held during the regular academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring quarters) are taught in-person at our Center City Philadelphia campus, while coursework in the Summer term can be completed remotely.

Founded in 1975, the MA in Music Therapy & Counseling is one of the few music therapy  academic programs in the country housed on a health sciences campus. This setting provides a unique perspective on the merging  of arts and health sciences, with an emphasis on culturally responsive interprofessional education.  Students have opportunities for clinical experience, research and more at several University- related facilities, including Hahnemann University Hospital, Parkway Health & Wellness, the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center and the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Our program is designed both for students who have a Bachelor’s degree in another field, and are seeking the required education and clinical experience to become a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC), as well as current Bachelor’s-level music therapists who wish to pursue advanced study in music therapy and counseling. All courses are taught at the graduate level; we do not offer an equivalency program.

The Music Therapy and Counseling Curriculum is approved by the American Music Therapy Association. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the examination of the Certification Board for Music Therapists, to earn the MT-BC credential. Our program also meets the Pennsylvania Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) education requirements. Please note that licensure requirements vary from state to state, and may change at any time. Therefore, if you are considering counseling licensure in the future, you are strongly advised to review educational requirements for any state(s) in which you may seek counseling licensure. It is the student’s responsibility to know and understand the requirements for any type of future licensure.

What you'll learn

  • Integration of music therapy methodologies with mental health counseling and medical sciences theories and approaches.
  • Daily interaction with music, art and dance/movement therapists, psychologists, neuroscientists, physicians and other health professionals as teachers and supervisors.
  • Clinical applications of  instrumental and vocal improvisation, composition,  re-creative and imagery methods within music psychotherapy and counseling, medical music therapy and developmentally-focused treatment models.
  • Multiple supervised adult and child clinical placement opportunities in a variety of settings, including medical and psychiatric hospitals, inpatient and outpatient behavioral health facilities, schools, continuing care facilities, community health centers, correctional facilities and more.
  • Basic understanding of art and dance/movement therapies and their relationship to music therapy.
  • Interaction with students and educators representing all the health sciences.
  • A culminating project (traditional research thesis or capstone project) focused on a student’s chosen area of interest, and guided by a multidisciplinary advisement committee.
  • Student presentation of research at local, regional, and national conferences.

What makes the Drexel Music Therapy and Counseling program unique?

  • Housed in Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, on the University’s health sciences campus.
  • Mental health counseling component of curriculum, which covers topics such as Human Psychological Development, Clinical Diagnosis, Group Dynamics, Theories of Psychotherapy, and Social and Cultural Foundations in Counseling and Psychotherapy, and prepares students for professional counseling licensure in Pennsylvania.
  • A strong emphasis on multicultural perspectives and social justice.
  • The opportunity to study alongside art therapy and dance/movement therapy students, creating opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement and collaboration.
  • Students complete coursework and clinical experiences simultaneously, allowing for synthesis of theoretical and practical knowledge throughout the program.

There's still time to apply! Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Admission Requirements

Background checks:

As a student of the College of Nursing and Health Professions you will be required to satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, child and elder abuse checks, drug test, immunizations, physical exams, health history, and/or other types of screening before being permitted to begin clinical training.

You will not need to submit documentation of these requirements as part of your application to the master’s program. Failure to fully satisfy these requirements as directed upon enrollment may prevent assignment to a clinical site for training.  A background check that reflects a conviction of a felony or misdemeanor may affect your ability to be placed in certain facilities, and later, to become board certified and licensed.

Deadline:

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis through May 1st for entry the following Fall. We encourage you to apply as early as possible, as the incoming class often reaches capacity before May 1st.

Degree:
Baccalaureate degree and demonstrate musical competencies in performance, music theory, and music history. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above on all previous coursework.

Standardized Tests:
N/A

Transcripts:

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly to Drexel from all the colleges/universities that you have attended. Transcripts must be submitted in a sealed envelope with the college/university seal over the flap. Please note that transcripts are required regardless of number of credits taken or if the credits were transferred to another school. An admission decision may be delayed if you do not send transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Transcripts must show course-by-course grades and degree conferrals. If your school does not notate degree conferrals on the official transcripts, you must provide copies of any graduate or degree certificates.
  • If your school issues only one transcript for life, you are required to have a course-by-course evaluation completed by an approved transcript evaluation agency
  • Use our Transcript Lookup Tool to assist you in contacting your previous institutions

Prerequisites:
Volunteer or paid experience in a helping relationship preferred.

References:
Three letters of recommendation required. Letters should address academic and musical background. At least one letter should be from a music instructor. Letters of recommendation should be requested and submitted electronically through your online application.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
A 300-750 word essay that focuses on the role of music in your development and family, and how your life path led you to music therapy.

Interview/Portfolio:

Audition: At the audition, applicants will:

  1. Prepare two works from different musical periods or in different music styles that demonstrate moderate to advanced level of proficiency on principal instrument/voice.
  2. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on piano.
  3. Sing a traditional, folk, or popular song while accompanying self on guitar.
  4. Be prepared to play basic chord progressions (I-IV-V-I) in several keys on piano and guitar in several keys. 
  5. Play the melody of a given well-known song and provide the harmonic progression.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of music theory related to transposition, constructing chords.

International and long-distance candidates may submit a recorded audition on DVD or online  in lieu of items 1-4 above. International and long distance candidates should request instructions about all these requirements with their admission materials and are advised to begin the admission process early.

Interview: An in-depth in-person interview with the faculty of the graduate music therapy program, consisting of a review of personal, academic, interpersonal and creative aptitudes. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate knowledge of one or more of the following topics: basic periods of Western music; jazz history; World music. For international and long-distance applicants, a phone interview or video chat may be substituted for the in-person interview.

CV/Resume:
Required.  Include relevant education, work and service/volunteer experience.

Clinical/Work/Volunteer Experience:
A social service work or volunteer history and cross cultural experience is highly valued.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

  • Transcript Evaluation: All international students applying to a graduate program must have their transcripts evaluated by the approved agency: World Education Services (WES), 212.966.6311, Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087, New York, NY 10274-5087, Web site: www.wes.org/.
  • TOEFL: Applicants who have not received a degree in the United States are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). An official score report must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. For more information visit the Web site: www.ets.org, then click on TOEFL.
  • I-20/DS-2019 and Supporting Financial Documents (international students only): Please print, complete, and submit the I-20/DS-2019 Application Form (PDF). 

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.
P.O. Box 8629
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8629
215.222.8454, ext. 603

Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market St., Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
215.349.8767

World Education Services, Inc. (WES)
Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
212.966.631

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

Application Link (if outside organization):
N/A


Curriculum

Research

The program contains at least two research components. First-year students complete a research proposal related to the influence of music upon behavior. Second-year students are required to conduct original research in the form of a master’s thesis with the guidance of their director and a thesis committee. Once completed, a copy of the thesis becomes a permanent holding of the Drexel University library. First and second-year research projects are presented in a variety of research forums including the Drexel University’s Research, Scholarship, Innovation and Creativity Day, the Music Therapy Research Colloquium, and may be submitted to regional and national music therapy conferences.


Accreditation

The Music Therapy and Counseling program is approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

http://www.musictherapy.org/ 

Clinical Practice

Students complete more than 1,200 hours of graduate clinical practicum and internship experiences under the supervision of a board-certified music therapist. Placements include pediatric and adult psychiatric and general hospitals, recovery and wellness programs, therapeutic day care, preschool intervention programs, rehabilitation settings, long-term care facilities, forensic settings, schools, and community music therapy programs.

Students begin their clinical experience as soon as they enter the program. The clinical education is enhanced by 3 to 3.5 hours of individual and group supervision per week.

First-year students gain practical and theoretical knowledge regarding a range of clinical populations across two placements assigned by the Director of Field Education.  During practicum experiences supervised by on-site board-certified music therapists, students are guided through observation, assisting and co-leading of music therapy sessions in preparation for the second-year internship.

Clinical internship lasts the entire second year and offers an opportunity for students to mature and develop advanced skills with one or, in some cases, two populations. The internship is chosen by the student with assistance from the Director of Field Education and approved by the Music Therapy Program Director.  The practicum and internship fulfill the clinical training requirements of the American Music Therapy Association. 

Katy Hutchings, MA ‘15 - Music Therapist

Hometown: Piedmont, CA

Undergraduate: BA, Music (Minor in Educational Studies), Haverford College; MM, Voice Performance, Temple University

Current Employment:  Music Therapist at Young Children's Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

How did the MTC program help you discover and gain experience in your areas of interest? 
I loved that I had clinical experience throughout my two years at Drexel. While other programs make you wait to start clinical work, Drexel allowed me to dive right in and immediately start enhancing my education by seeing and participating in actual music therapy in the real world. As someone who was new to music therapy, this was incredibly valuable. Integrating clinical work and course work deepened my understanding of music therapy. I especially appreciated being able to find and choose my own internship my second year, allowing me to focus on working with children with developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other neurological diagnoses. 

How did your musical identity transform while you were in the Music Therapy program?
Coming from a career of being a professional singer and voice teacher, it was quite a shock to redefine myself as music therapist. I was a complete beginner at guitar and it was very humbling!  I also had never improvised and was not as confident in my improvisational skills. By the end of the program, I grew to love playing the guitar and improvising. 
What aspects of the curriculum were valuable in addressing issues of diversity, multicultural awareness, and social justice?
From our first day, we were introduced to instruments and musical styles from all over the world and different cultures. Musically, we explored a large variety of styles in a safe, nonjudgmental environment and our own personal music histories were valued as well. In our core curriculum courses, I appreciate the focus on diversity and multicultural awareness especially in terms of our role as therapists in such a diverse city like Philadelphia. 

What guidance would you give students who are considering Drexel’s MA in Music Therapy & Counseling? 
Drexel's program is intense but in two years you will feel confident in your skills as a clinician, counselor, and musician. All of my classmates were able to find full time work almost immediately and that speaks to how prepared we all were entering the job market. As an older student returning to school to start a new career, I felt very respected and supported by the faculty and my peers. Another benefit of Drexel's program is the opportunity to take classes with Art Therapy and Dance Movement Therapy students, allowing me to gain a broader perspective of Creative Arts Therapies. I now have a greater sense of how the arts can be used in therapy and I also have a large network of peers from all three modalities. 

Michael Mahoney MA’10 – Alum, Practicum/Internship Supervisor

Hometown: Brockport, NY

Undergraduate major and institution: Philosophy (with Business Studies minor) at SUNY Geneseo

Current Employment: Music Therapist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Why did you choose Drexel’s Music Therapy & Counseling program? I appreciated that Drexel would not require me to earn an undergraduate music degree, as I didn’t have a particular interest in becoming an expert on a specific instrument. Instead, I was able to use my own past experiences (playing in bands with friends, music technology) to develop my model to my own strengths.

What guidance would you give students who are considering Drexel’s MA in Music Therapy & Counseling?
Gain musical experiences, either by learning formal music theory, or on the side of playing music by playing music in performing groups before you begin. 

How did this program prepare you for a career as a music therapist? Through classwork and on-site experiences, I learned everything I needed to know to stand at the starting line of my own music therapy professional practice. I received huge amounts of support from respected experts in the field, and learned to initiate an ongoing learning process that continues to enrich my work today.

What has your professional experience been like? Extremely rewarding and marked by good fortune! I accepted a job at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia shortly after graduation, and I am now nearing my six-year anniversary. Every day I support patients and their families in playing out their thoughts, feelings and values through musical experiences during life-changing illnesses and hospitalizations. I think a lot about how to support everyone I meet from infant patients to their great-grandparents in the developmental challenges they face. This great honor is also a great responsibility, which I take very seriously.

What aspects of the curriculum were valuable in addressing issues of diversity, multicultural awareness, and social justice?
Our class content helped me understand how my (white, male, hetero cis-gendered) perspectives and values are not necessarily "the norm" for everyone, but rather just a single reference point out of so many across the city and the world.  It showed me how community or other non-Western approaches can be more beneficial for the struggling person, than anything that fits my ideas of what's normal.

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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