Shining a Black Light Week Four
February 21, 2022
Week four of our Black History Month 2022 feature celebrates members of the CNHP community who contribute daily to the success of the College.
Kevin Mitchell, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Health Administration Department. He has functioned in this role for over five years and served as the undergraduate program director. He is a member of the student affairs committee and advisor for the Association of Healthcare Administrators. Dr. Mitchell loves teaching and partnering with students to help them uncover and pursue their dreams. His research is centered around academic assessment, healthcare leadership and medication adherence. Dr. Mitchell believes that extending loving kindness in every interaction and relationship is key to nurturing equity and inclusion. Dr. Mitchell loves family and enjoys spending time with them during holiday events.
Marisol Norris, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor in the Creative Arts Therapies Department and director of the Music Therapy and Counseling Program. She has actively contributed to the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) community through culturally sustaining arts therapies education and leadership, designing anti-oppressive agendas on the CNHP's Curriculum Visioning committee, and participating in panel discussions exploring representation across health professions and enacting systemic change to deepen environments of care. Dr. Norris provides community-centered trauma prevention programing at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center utilizing therapeutic songwriting to cultivate health and wellness. As an organizer, Dr. Norris collaboratively transforms education and research across arts therapy disciplines. She is a co-founder and facilitator of the BIPOC Student Fund and the Journal of Music Therapy's , providing immediate need-based assistance for BIPOC arts therapy students and supporting the critical scholarship of emerging researchers. She is also an active member of the American Music Therapy Association's Commission on the Education and Training of 21st Century Music Therapists geared towards developing recommendations that guide the future direction of education and clinical training practice for the music therapy profession. Dr. Norris recently published a special issue on Black Aesthetic & the Arts Therapies in Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy and looks forward to furthering her scholarship on Black aesthetics in music therapy and the applied practice of radical healing frameworks across music and health settings within Black communities.
On the heel of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I continue to center the magnitude of Dr. King's work that stood squarely against anti-Black racism and was unapologetically tethered to radical anti-colonial, anti-capitalist movements. Recognizing Dr. King's dream for justice demands the active dismantling of hierarchical structures proudly upheld across CHNP that oppress minoritized students, staff, faculty and the broader Drexel community.
Jamesa Jackson is currently a first-year Master of Health Science Physician Assistant student in the class of 2023. I am a member of the College of Nursing Health Professions Physician Assistant Minority Alliance (PAMA) and am very interested in finding ways to better support PA students in all facets. I take pride in being a team player and a leader. I am very proactive in all my endeavors—the things I have brought with me to Drexel— while also managing my time skillfully between school and my service in the U.S. Army Reserves. In my spare time, I love to volunteer for various organizations supporting the communities where I am, most recently with Global Citizens for Greater Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King Day of Service at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
Despite it being only my second quarter here at Drexel, I am very pleased with how open this school is about addressing matters and concerns when it comes to equity and inclusion. I appreciate the strides that the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) is taking to be more inclusive of minority groups when it comes to acknowledging the healthcare inequities within the minority community, as well as being open to communication on ways in which we can possibly improve some of these disparities.
Fun Fact about me is that I really love traveling and learning languages. So much so that I even taught myself how to read Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
Christina Marrero is currently teaching a class on the therapeutic uses of gaming, which is offered through the Creative Arts Therapies Department as an undergraduate elective. Therapeutic gaming is a developing field of interest for mental health professionals. Through gaming, emotional struggles related to accessibility, marginalization and emotional trauma can be accessed and healed. Personally, I would like to see more visible efforts at Drexel to improve the accessibility of course materials, learning systems and opportunities for contribution. Particularly with the increase in remote learning, there are opportunities to explore and provide more accessible learning experiences.
A fun fact about me is that I have recently begun exploring fragrance making as a form of creative expression!
Lena Ward, MHS, is a new clinical instructor in the Physician Assistant (PA) Department. Some of the projects Ward continues to work on are, the Physician Assistant Minority Alliance (PAMA), an alumni-lead group aimed to support minority PA students at Drexel, the podcast for the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA), and the Physician Assistant student society, W.W. Oaks. In fall 2021, Ward was named as one of the honorees of College of Nursing and Health Professions’, “People of Purpose.”
Since fulfilling her role as clinical instructor in the PA program and alumni leader of PAMA, she has noticed a decrease in attrition of minoritized students, which has been a positive historical change for the program and the PA profession.
Though this observation provides hope, she notes continual efforts are needed to increase admission and recruitment of underrepresented minoritized students in medicine and faculty into the PA program, which she hopes to help improve.
**Fun fact, Lena is a graduate of Drexel’s Health Science/PA accelerated program she was also featured in a story about the JAAPA podcast Passing the Mic.
As a licensed professional counselor and board-certified music therapist, Joy Bullard-Moore, MA, ML, MS, MT-BC, LPC was initially appointed to an adjunct faculty position within the Drexel University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies in 2020 and currently teaches Social and Cultural Foundations of Counseling. Her professional background includes various clinical roles with specialized focus on grief and loss, such as providing emotional support for hospice patients and bereaved caregivers as a Penn Medicine Bereavement coordinator. Most recently, she has used her clinical skill set combined with further education in legal studies and clinical psychology as a foundation for fully transitioning her career into a supervisory role as the senior manager of Place-Based Initiatives for the Philadelphia Housing Authority. In this role, she has channeled her passion for striving to work collectively toward fostering and sustaining healthy, equitable communities. Bullard-Moore's work involves providing administrative oversight in accordance with HUD regulations and guidelines; managing the development and implementation of supportive services provided by a team of employees with social services backgrounds; and fostering community partnerships to address health and wellness, safety, employment, education and financial asset-related needs of residents impacted by the federally funded Sharswood Choice Neighborhood Initiative revitalization project; North Central Choice Neighborhood Initiative Endowment; and the six-neighborhood based PHA public housing sites who are the recipients of the federally funded Resident Opportunity and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) program.
Bullard-Moore's academic background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and once relocating to Philadelphia, PA, a Master of Arts in Creative Arts Therapy with a specialization in music therapy, and a post baccalaureate certificate in Pre-Medical Studies from Drexel University. Her interest in the intersection of psychology and law, especially regarding grief, loss and the potential applications of therapeutic jurisprudence within healthcare and the criminal legal system, she also obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School by the conclusion of 2020.
“Ultimately, I view teaching not only as focused on clinical practice and scholarship, but also as promoting involvement with advocacy. Specifically, my intent is to teach in a manner that is always mindful of the following question: How can we, as creative arts therapists, facilitate social change and empower individuals of marginalized identities within our communities? Furthermore, how can we support these individuals in having more therapeutic, rather than antitherapeutic, interactions within healthcare, criminal legal system, educational and employment settings, financial and housing sectors, etc.?”
A fun fact about me: I love karaoke! I've missed it so much, especially during the early months of the pandemic, but thankfully, I connected with an online community where we have virtual karaoke nights on a regular basis. My "go to" song is usually anything from Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album, but I'm thinking about trying a couple of songs by A Tribe Called Quest soon!