Girija Kaimal

Girija Kaimal


Assistant Professor

Creative Arts Therapies Department

267-359-5507 P
267-359-5579 F

1601 Cherry Street, Room 7109

Dr. Kaimal has been on the adjunct faculty in the creative arts therapies department since 2008 and joined as full-time faculty in the doctoral program in 2013. Her doctorate is in Human development and Psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She has a Master of Arts degree in Art Therapy from Drexel University and her Bachelor's is in Design from the National Institute of Design in India. For her doctoral dissertation, she conducted a secondary analysis of qualitative data from a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) longitudinal study on depression in families. She analyzed narratives of children from families with parental depression and created a developmental framework that described differences by gender, age, severity of parental depression, and, additional family adversities. Along with her doctoral work she worked on an National Institutes of Health multi-disciplinary study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/ University of Pennsylvania on genetic testing for hearing loss. This study used a mixed methods approach to better understand parental choices, decision making and meaning-making around genetic causes of deafness.

After receiving her doctorate and in continuing to focus on interdisciplinary mixed methods research, Dr, Kaimal worked at the College of Education at Temple University as a Senior Researcher for five years. She has been the principal investigator for evaluation on a range of longitudinal research studies that examined the impact of teacher incentives, school leadership, and, the arts, on student outcomes. These studies included multi-institutional partnerships and were funded by the U.S. Department of Education, The School District of Philadelphia, William Penn Foundation, Ford Foundation, Lehigh University and Temple University. She currently 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 she is examining the role of arts participation on intra-personal and inter-personal learning and attributes of effective leadership.

Dr 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. As part of her interest in internationalizing the context of scholars and students, she serves as a research adviser on international development projects related to gender equity and arts-based psychosocial support for vulnerable children in trauma zones. She is a practicing visual artist and her work explores the intersection of transnational identity and sustainable artistic practices.

In addition to her teaching and research, Dr Kaimal serves on the steering committee of ArtsRising Philadelphia, The Upper Dublin School District Educational Advisory Committee and the Harvard Schools Committee.