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Faculty Experts

Girija Kaimal, EdD

Assistant Professor, Creative Arts Therapies Department

College of Nursing and Health Professionals

Contact:

Gk27@drexel.edu

267.359.5507

Kaimal’s research focuses on understanding the way that creative self-expression affects human emotions and other brain processes. Some of that work has involved examining how activities such as coloring, drawing or doodling affect stress hormone levels or activation of the brain’s reward pathways. Particularly, her work often focuses on understanding the ways that people’s own experiences and stories, especially related to the art they create, affects their lives and health. She also focuses on what effects self-expression can have on underrepresented or vulnerable populations.

She has undertaken multi-year studies in art therapy programs among armed service members at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Kaimal is also interested in the role creativity plays in empowerment and learning and has looked into arts-based psychosocial support for vulnerable children and adults in areas of the world particularly effected by trauma. 

More information about Kaimal 

For news media inquiries, contact Frank Otto at fmo26@drexel.edu or 215.571.4244.

 

In the News

  • Do You Like ‘Dogs Playing Poker’? Science Would Like to Know Why

    Research by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, about the effect that art-making has on stress hormones was cited in a July 8 New York Times.

  • Do You Like ‘Dogs Playing Poker’? Science Would Like to Know Why

    Research by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, about the effect that art-making has on stress hormones was cited in a July 8 New York Times.

  • For Service Members with Traumatic Brain Injuries, Art Can be Healing

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a July 3 Philadelphia Inquirer story on her work analyzing decorative masks created by military service members recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

  • New Study Provides Insights into PTSD Among Military Patients

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a June 27 post on the news site of the National Endowment for the Arts on her study examining symbolism in the masks of military service members.

  • Does Art Therapy Actually Work?

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a Feb. 26 Vice story on its “Tonic” blog that covered Kaimal’s study looking into how a short period of art-making can reduce stress hormones.

  • What Can Adult Coloring Books Do for Your Health?

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, wrote a Dec. 28 post for Philly.com on how coloring books can reduce stress but art therapy does much more. She was also quoted in a Dec. 28 Inc story about how doodling rewards the brain.

  • Art Therapy Reduces Stress More Effectively Than Coloring Alone

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a Dec. 22 Healio story on her study comparing the positive effects of coloring alone versus working with an art therapist

  • Coloring Books Relieve Some Stress, But Real Art Therapy Boosts Mood, Creativity

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a Dec. 16 PsychCentral story on her study comparing the positive effects of coloring alone versus working with an art therapist.

  • How Art Is Helping Veterans Overcome PTSD

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a Nov. 6 Artsy article about a military creative arts therapy program for which she has conducted research over the last few years.

  • Doodling Isn't Just Something You Do When You're Bored--Science Says It Helps You Brainstorm

    A study by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, looking into how making art affects the brain’s reward pathway was covered by Inc. Aug. 30.

  • Your Weird Doodles Are Good For Your Chill

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a June 30 story in Vice's Tonic about her study that showed making art can activate the brain’s reward pathway.

  • Your Weird Doodles Are Good For Your Chill

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a June 30 story in Vice's Tonic about her study that showed making art can activate the brain’s reward pathway.

  • Researchers Find Doodling Could Be Beneficial For Your Brain

    A study about how art activates the brain’s reward pathway by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was featured in June 26 CBS Local and KYW-Newsradio (1060 AM) stories.

  • Good News for Doodlers: Drawing and Colouring Triggers Feelings of Pleasure in the Brain  

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a June 19 Daily Mail story about her study into how art-making activates the reward pathways of the brain. She was also quoted in a June 20 Yahoo Style article covering her study, and mentioned in a Spirituality & Health magazine article on it. Additionally, the study was featured in a June 20 KSTU-SLC (FOX 13, Salt Lake City) segment.

  • The Doodler Abides

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a June 14 Pacific Standard article about her study into the effect art-making has on the brain’s reward pathway. Detroit’s WJR-AM also covered the study during a segment June 15.

  • 3 Ways Being Childish Can Change Your Life

    Drexel was mentioned in Reader's Digest Canada on Dec. 22. The story referenced a study by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, that explored how art-making lowers stress hormone levels.

  • How Art Can Help Children Overcome Trauma

    Drexel was mentioned in a Dec. 13 Education Week story about the ability of creative art-making to help children overcome trauma. The study mentioned was by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and explored how art-making by people of any skill level lowers stress hormone levels.

  • Art Reduces Stress: Create Art, Stress Less

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was quoted in a story for Better Nutrition magazine’s September edition on her study into art-making’s effect on stress hormone levels.

  • Science Suggests An Artful Way To Reduce Stress

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Profession was quoted in stories in Forbes, Medical Daily and Philly Voice about new research that discovers creating art can significantly reduce stress-related hormones.

  • #NPRreads: 3 Stories To Check Out This Weekend

    A Daily Beast story featuring Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the research she's doing for an art therapy program conducted at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was named by NPR's "The Two-Way" Jan. 9 as a weekend #NPRread. More than 30 public radio sites across the country featured the article.

  • Veterans Let Slip the Masks of War: Can This Art Therapy Ease PTSD?

    Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, was interviewed for her work analyzing masks from an art therapy program for military service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in a Jan. 8 Daily Beast story.

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