Creative Arts Therapies Department
1601 Cherry Street, Room 7109
Girija Kaimal, EdD joined as full-time faculty in the creative arts therapies doctoral program in 2013. She has been principal investigator for evaluation research on several longitudinal studies including those funded by the U.S. Department of Education, The School District of Philadelphia, Lehigh University, Drexel University, Oxfam America, The Writer's Center (sourced through the National Endowment for the Arts), The Foundation for Spirituality and Medicine and Temple University. Kaimal holds a Doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts in Design from the National Institute of Design in India.
Kaimal's research aims to understand the implications of autobiographical narratives and creative self-expression especially among underrepresented and vulnerable populations, on health and well being She is particularly interested in the role of creativity and self-expression in empowerment and learning about self and others. Kaimal leads a multi-year evaluation study on leadership development funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Lehigh University. As part of this study the research team is examining how participation in the arts could ignite learning transfer to leadership practices. She is also principal investigator on a research collaboration with the NEA Military Healing Arts Partnership and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Most recently she completed two research studies on the links between neuroendocrine health and creative visual self-expression, and, differences in brain activation based on drawing tasks. She serves as a research consultant on international development projects related to gender equity and arts-based psychosocial support for vulnerable children and adults in trauma zones around the world.
Other prior research experiences include conducting secondary analyses of qualitative data from a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) longitudinal study of depression in families and managing a four year National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) multi-disciplinary study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/ University of Pennsylvania on genetic testing for hearing loss.
Kaimal was the recipient of the Drexel University Career Development Award in 2014 and the American Art Therapy Association Research Award in 2015.
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Professional Society:In addition to her teaching and research, Kaimal serves on the advisory boards of area educational foundations and nonprofits. She is a member of the American Art Therapy Association Research Committee, The American Education Research Association, The American Evaluation Association among others and also serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, Arts in Psychotherapy and Urban Review. She is a practicing visual artist and published poet and her work explores the intersection of transnational identity and sustainable artistic practices.