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Spring 2015 Conference



This conference will bring together colleagues from social work, creative arts therapy, and other mental health and arts-related fields to explore innovative social work and multidisciplinary responses to today’s practice.  By sharing perspectives across disciplines we will create a new climate for interprofessional understanding and collaboration.

Learning Objectives

Through attendance at this event, participants will:
1. Be introduced to the theory and practice of creative arts therapy through a number of modalities;
2. Be introduced to CAT’s evidence based practice implications;
3. Learn how a better understanding of creative arts can be a valuable clinical resource for social work practitioners;
4. Learn how to assess clients for creative arts intervention;
5. Recognize the value of and learn how to facilitate collaboration with creative arts professionals;
6. Differentiate therapeutic exposure to creative arts as different from creative arts therapy; and
7.  Expand knowledge of creative arts resources and how to use them.



9:15 - 9:30 am



Eileen Wolkstein, PhD, Director, Office of Global and Lifelong Learning, NYU Silver School of Social Work
Lynn Videka, PhD, AM, BSN, Professor of Social Work; Dean; McSilver Faculty Fellow, NYU Silver School of Social Work
A brief history behind this conference and its cross-discipline collaboration.
Michelle R. Munson, PhD, MSW, BA, Associate Professor of Social Work; Faculty and Researcher, Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health; Faculty Fellow, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work
A brief overview of social work theory at the meso, macro, and individual levels and a discussion of creative arts therapy as a way to expand resources and engagement on many levels including families, agencies, and community.


9:30 - 9:45 am

Introduction: Social Work and the Arts

(Introduction by Michelle Munson)
Theresa Aiello, PhD, MSW, MS, Retired Associate Professor of Social Work (formerly of NYU Silver School of Social Work)
An introduction to creative therapies in social work practice including: the theory; pertinent science and evidence-based practice; ethical responsible work; and differentiating therapeutic exposure from therapy.


9:45 - 10:45 am

Keynote: Dad, There’s a Monster Under My Bed: Applying Creative Arts Therapies within Social Work Practice to Enhance Wellness

(Introduction by Michelle Munson)
Robert Landy, PhD, LCAT, RDT, BCT, Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Georgie Landy, BFA, Artist, Art Educator, Graduate Art Therapist Candidate  
A pioneering drama therapist presents a model of wellness in collaboration with his daughter, an MA candidate in art therapy. Through drawing, embodiment and story-making, the co-presenters demonstrate how effective communication in the early years of development can promote positive mental health throughout the life span. Given their work through creative arts therapies within the fictional realm, they will show how the distance of play provides a new way for caregivers and mental health professionals to help others express and work through frightening and confusing experiences.
(Q&A Facilitated by Theresa Aiello)


10:45 - 10:55 am



10:55 - 11:55 am  

Roundtable Discussion: The Arts and Social Movements

(Introduction by Alison Aldrich, LCSW-R, ACSW, MSW, BA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, NYU Silver School of Social Work)
Deborah Willis, PhD, MFA, MA, BFA, Chair, Professor of Photography and Imaging, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

This discussion will focus on community engagement, social justice, and collaboration including a demonstration of community arts projects that engaged around human rights, sustainable change, collaboration and activism through art.  How do you see your art impacting community/society and the individual?
(Q&A Facilitated by Alison Aldrich)


11:55 am - 12:35 pm

Interactive Dance/Movement Experience


Miriam Roskin Berger, BC-DMT, LCAT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Diane Duggan, PhD, BC-DMT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; 92nd Street Y Dance Therapy and DEL Programs


12:35 - 1:30 pm

Lunch and Presentation: Exploring Common Ground: Multi-Disciplinary Use of the Arts and Creative Expression in Working with Individuals and Groups


Mary C. Bitel, PhD, LCSW, Chair, Open Arts Program, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
This presentation will serve as a bridge for the broad range of disciplines represented in the conference. From social worker, to arts worker, to arts therapist, to artist, we all strive to locate and develop our creative use of self in service of illuminating the human condition and raising the voices of others. Through the identification of worker skills utilized across disciplines represented, this presentation will explore the meaning of “creative” practice and locate a common thread of practice concepts and skills that support the creative worker in each of us.


1:30 - 2:15 pm

Panel: Creative Arts and Social Work

Marygrace Berberian, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCSW, Program Coordinator, Art Therapy in the Downtown Schools; NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Miriam Roskin Berger, BC-DMT, LCAT, Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Mary Bitel, PhD, MSW, BFA, Chairperson, Teacher, Open Arts
Maria Hodermarska, MA, RDT, LCAT, CASAC, ICADAC, BFA, Professor, Drama
Therapy, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Johanna Martinez, MSW, CAPF, PTP, Founder, Healing Expressions
Toby Williams, LCAT, MA, MT-BC, Director, Music Therapy Program, The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music; Music Therapy Faculty, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
A discussion of creative arts therapy and social work in regards to engagement, how it is used in practice, how it serves as an educational tool, and how art can change the way people practice.
(Panel and Q&A Facilitated by Drena Fagen, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LCSW, Director, Adult Programs; Art Therapist; Clinical Social Worker)


2:15 - 3:15 pm

Breakout Groups: Exposure to Creative Arts Modes (w/Q&A in groups)

(Introduction by Alison Aldrich and Peggy Morton, DSW, MSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work; Assistant Dean, Field Learning & Community Partnerships; Coordinator, Undergraduate Field and Service Learning, NYU Silver School of Social Work)
Arts Therapy
Lead by Marygrace Berberian & Drena Fagen
Dance Therapy
Lead by Miriam Roskin Berger
Drama Therapy
Lead by Maria Hodermarska
Music Therapy
Lead by Toby Williams
Poetry/Journal  Therapy
Lead by Johanna Martinez

Demonstration of variety of arts therapies and application to practice including the use of art forms in case discussion. Demonstration of how the arts can inspire and inform practice in work with individuals and groups in agency settings and private practice. Each participant can attend two groups with options including: music, art, drama, poetry, design, and photography. Structure will include the elements of engagement, creative experience and use of final product. The participants will be given resources to take back to their agencies and practices.


3:15 - 3:30 pm



3:30 - 4:30 pm

Agency Presentation: Still Life: Why Art?  


Robin Glazer, MS, BA, Director, The Creative Center, University Settlement
The Creative Center offers programs in visual, performing and literary arts for people living with cancer, other chronic illnesses and across the aging spectrum. As participants struggle through the challenges and turmoil of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, having a space to engage in creative expression - where positive distraction with a caring individual can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and fear, decrease boredom and reduce pain- has proven to be highly therapeutic in its own right. Robin Glazer, Director of The Creative Center at University Settlement (TCC) will discuss the program's unique approach. Participants from one of the programs will describe their experiences.


4:30 - 4:55 pm

Closing Remarks


4:55 - 5:00 pm

Evaluation Collection and Continuing Education Credit Dissemination


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Continuing Education Hours

The Silver School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0012.

Attendance at this event result in receipt of six-and-one-quarter (6.25) continuing education credit hours.

Learning Assessment
In order to obtain the credits, all participants are required to complete a short post-event learning assessment. The learning assessment will be sent out electronically via the e-mail address provided at registration. Upon completion of the learning assessment, the credits will be e-mailed to the participant.

Attendance Fees

  • General Admission: $160
  • NYU Silver Alumni (Graduate and Undergraduate degrees): $120
  • NYU Silver Post-Masters Certificate Program Alumni: $136
  • NYU Silver Current Field Instructors: $120
  • NYU Silver Current Students (space-available basis): $50
  • Non-NYU Silver Current MSW and PhD Students (space-available basis): $70
  • 3+ from one agency: $120 each
  • Veterans: $80

Cancellations and Refunds

In the event that after registering, you determine that you can no longer attend this event, The Office of Global and Lifelong Learning offers refunds on the following basis:
Refund requests made on or before April 20 (by midnight): full refund
Refund requests made on or before April 25 (by midnight): 50% refund
Refund requests made on or after April 26: no refund
In the instance of event cancellation, all registrants will be fully reimbursed.
If you can no longer attend this event and wish to be reimbursed, please complete the form located here.

Contact Us

NYU Silver School of Social Work
Office of Global and Lifelong Learning
1 Washington Square North, G08
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212-998-5973
Fax: 212-995-4497


Learn More About our Presenters

Dr. Theresa Aiello | (212) 627-8636

Retired Associate Professor of Social Work (formerly of NYU Silver School of Social Work)

Since retiring from her tenured position, Dr. Theresa Aiello has assumed directing the Post-Master’s Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice for the continuing education program at NYU Silver.

In conjunction with NYU Silver, Dr. Aiello has continued her research and scholarly trajectory with social work and the arts with children. She has conducted observation of the effects of gardening in an East Harlem school involved with roof top gardening for grammar school children. Dr. Aiello plans to replicate this work in community gardens in the East Village section of Manhattan. She has also observed the effects of learning music on school-age children via the Phil Ramone Orchestra, sponsored by the Salvation Army, and will continue to replicate this study in other children's orchestras. These projects continue her interest in children's narratives of aesthetic development.  

In May 2000, Dr. Aiello was the recipient of the New York University Distinguished Teacher Medal. She has worked as a clinician and consultant specializing in child treatment in both residential treatment and out patient treatment for the past 28 years (most recently consultant to the Jewish Board of Family & Children's Services Manhattan North Office). Dr. Aiello is a supervisor for the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Child and Adolescent Analytic Training Program. She has presented widely at international conferences in social work, psychoanalysis, and narrative/narratology.

Dr. Aiello's interests include the intellectual history of psychoanalysis and clinical social work. Her other interests and areas of focus include: attachment theory and contemporary issues of child and adolescent treatment; psychoanalytic theories; the history of psychoanalytic theory and practice; oral history; social theory; feminist theory; and infant research. In 2000-2001, Dr. Aiello participated in a study group on infant research with Dr. Beatrice Beebe. Dr. Aiello is a participating member of the Oral History Seminar at Columbia University. She was recently elected to the National Academy of Social Work Practitioners and Scholars. In 2011, she was elected to The National Academies of Practice in Social Work as a distinguished practitioner and researcher.

Dr. Aiello is currently focused on the construction of narrative in child therapy. Her research project "What the Children Said" is a study of oral histories from child therapists on children's narrative constructions of the events of 9/11. This project is supported by the Jane Bram Fund.

In 2003-04 Dr. Aiello was co-leader with Dr. Brad Lewis of a Humanities Council Colloquium, "Discourses of Identity: Psychoanalysis & Cultural Identifications." This colloquium was an interdisciplinary seminar utilizing post-Freudian, post-Lacanian, Foucauldian historicist approaches to cultural studies and political theory. Dr. Aiello was the first professor in the Silver School of Social Work to receive a Humanities council grant for this colloquium.

Her recent work includes "What the Children Said:" Children's Narrative Construction of the Events of 9/11 as told to child therapists. This research is being conducted in part at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies Child & Adolescent Comprehensive Training Program. It is funded by the William B. and Jane Eisner Bram Research Fund.

Dr. Aiello has been invited to present a paper on children's narrative constructions of the events of 9/11, based on her ongoing research project at the Oral History Association Conference in Oakland, California (Oct. 24-27, 2007). Most recently, Dr. Aiello authored Narratology, Narrativist Theories, and Children, the fourth publication in the faculty-authored research series, Issues and Action. The article describes the investigation of children's narratives, with a particular focus on the narratives of children who were affected by the events of 9/11.

Alison Aldrich |

Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Alison Aldrich joined NYU’s Silver School of Social Work as a clinical assistant professor in September 2007. Prior to receiving her MSW at Columbia University School of Social Work, Professor Aldrich was a fine arts photographer in conjunction with the International Center of Photography/NYU Master of Photography Program.

Professor Aldrich’s practice experience for over a decade has been in the field of HIV and AIDS. In this regard, she has worked as a case manager; social work supervisor; family intervention specialist; program manager; and most recently as the assistant director of clinical services at Bailey House, a community-based housing program that provides supportive housing to homeless HIV-positive individuals and families with mental illness and substance abuse histories.

Professor Aldrich is also involved with the Gender Identity Project at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center having co facilitated numerous cycles of support groups for the transgender community, including those that assist trans-partners, trans-couples, and trans-families.

Professor Aldrich’s work within the Office of Field Learning and Community Partnerships at the Silver School of Social for the past four years include developing and facilitating an LGBTQ Focused Learning Opportunity and Seminar and co-facilitating the Substance Abuse and Co Occurring Mental Health Disorder Focused Learning Opportunity and Seminar. Additionally, Professor Aldrich teaches a Seminar in Field Instruction, serves as a faculty advisor for the newly formed Animal Assisted Therapy in Social Work student group and for Pride in Practice, an LGBTQ student organization. She is a member of the OUT Faculty workgroup at the Silver School of Social Work.

Professor Aldrich’s areas of interest include harm reduction strategies, disclosure issues in the LGBT and transgender communities, and substance abuse issues in marginalized communities. Over the past four years, Professor Aldrich has presented workshops at the Gay and Lesbian Affirmative Psychotherapy Trans Symposium on “An Emergent Model of Trans Family Support,” at the Brattleboro Retreat on “Engaging Clients in the LGBT and Transgender Communities,” at Temple University Harrisburg on “The Development of an Emergent Field Learning Opportunity in Substance Abuse,” at the NYS Social Work Education Association Conference on “The Development and Execution of an Emergent Field Opportunity - Social Work Practice with LGBT Populations,” at the Silver School of Social Work Summer Lecture Series on “A Peer Partnered Model of Group Support in the Trans Community,” and at the NASW Addictions Institute on “Engaging Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorders in Non Treatment Settings.”

Marygrace Berberian |

Program Coordinator, Art Therapy in the Downtown Schools

Marygrace Berberian has established Art Therapy programs in community based organizations throughout New York City for at-risk children and families. In her current position, she is the director of Art Therapy Initiatives for the New York City public schools. She has published work on the use of art therapy for post 9-11 recovery and has presented at cross disciplinary conferences nationally and internationally. She formerly developed and directed the creative arts therapy program at Hartley House, working with children and adolescents at risk, and served as the art therapist for a residence of formerly homeless, mentally ill adults and women survivors of cancer

Miriam Roskin Berger |

Dancer, Dance Therapist, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Ms. Berger performed with the Jean Erdman Theatre of Dance in the 1960s. She has always focused on dance therapy through the lens of art and the lens of science, and has been involved with the development of the dance therapy profession since its beginnings.

Past President and charter member of the American Dance Therapy Association, Dr. Berger has taught at New York University since 1975, where she was the Director of the Dance Education Program from 1993–2002. She is also currently the Director of the Dance Therapy Program at the Harkness Dance Center of the 92nd Street Y and has just initiated a new Alternate Route Training program. From 1970 to 1990 she was Director of the Creative Arts Therapies Dept. at Bronx Psychiatric Center. A past Chair of the National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies and former co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy and editorial board member of the Journal of Dance Education, she now is on the board of Arts in Psychotherapy and the AJDT.

Dr. Berger has created dance therapy training programs in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Sweden, and has also taught dance therapy and the Movement Psychodiagnostic Inventory in France, Germany, Greece, Korea, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, and Taiwan.  She is currently Chair of the ADTA International Panel.

Dr. Berger received the ADTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007; was inducted into Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame in 2005; received the Marian Chace Award for for fostering the international growth of dance therapy in 2002; and was the recipient of the Charles Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College in 2009.

Dr. Mary Bitel |

Chairperson, Teacher, Open Arts

Mary Bitel, L.C.S.W., B.F.A., Ph.D., holds a B.F.A. in theatre from Wayne State University, an M.S.W. with a concentration in group work from the Hunter College School of Social Work, and a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Mary is on the faculty of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Special Programs, Open Arts, where she teaches the integration of the fine and performing arts with the theories, skills and dynamics of group work. Mary also teaches a course on acting Shakespeare’s texts and is on the faculty of NYU’s International Theatre Workshop, Amsterdam. She has been a guest lecturer at Hunter’s School of Social Work for a number of years. Mary is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups and Actors Equity.

Dr. Diane Duggan |
Registered Dance Therapist and Licensed Psychologist

Diane Duggan, Ph.D., ADTR is a Registered Dance Therapist and Licensed Psychologist.  She provides psychological counseling and conducts a therapeutic dance program at a special education high school in the South Bronx.  Her students have performed in Central Park, Lincoln Center, South Street Seaport, St. Mark’s Church, and the Apollo Theater.  She has created and presented numerous professional development workshops for New York City Department of Education staff members on Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), including a three-day workshop in PBS for Dance Educators.  She is certified as a Senior Trainer of Life Space Crisis Intervention and a Trainer of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention.

Dr. Duggan joined the New York University Dance Education faculty in 1994.  She teaches the course Dance for the Special Child.  She has taught extensively at the graduate level, including the Hunter Dance Therapy M.S. program, NYU’s Special Education program, and Hofstra University.  She has published journal articles, book chapters and a book Out here by ourselves: The stories of young people whose mothers have AIDS.  She served on the Board of Directors of the American Dance Therapy Association and was an Executive Producer for the film, Dance Therapy: The Power of Movement.  

Dr. Duggan received her Ph.D. in School/Child Psychology from New York University and M.S. in Dance Therapy from Hunter College.

Drena Fagen |

Director of Programs and Adult Services, New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC


Drena is a co-founder of the New York Creative Arts Therapists in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a group practice that integrates creative arts interventions with proven therapeutic practice for adults, children, and families. For over ten years her practice has offered continuing education programs, and is currently an NBCC CE provider. Drena's role as an educator is motivated by a passion to promote a respect for the knowledge, ethics, and perspectives of other mental health professionals, including creative arts therapists and social workers, within multidisciplinary teams. As an adjunct assistant professor at NYU Silver School of Social Work graduate program since 2006, Drena teaches a popular electives on the effective use of the arts in clinical practice. 


Drena facilitates workshops regularly with clinical and care management teams.  Recent workshops include working with The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice Social Work Department;  Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital's Child Life Department; and the Brownsville Partnership/Community Solutions care managers. She has joined colleagues across disciplines as a panel presenter at a Children’s Aid Society sponsored event: Balancing the Harms: Dilemmas in Responding to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence. And again as a panel presenter at an event sponsored by The New York Center for Children:  Effective Therapy with Children Traumatized by Abuse and Neglect


Drena offers two ongoing burnout prevention groups for social workers and other helping professionals. The groups are designed to reduce the impact of secondary and vicarious trauma in a supportive environment of art making, creativity and discussion.




Robin Glazer |



Director, The Creative Center, University Settlement

Robin Glazer is The Creative Center's Director, former art director, and first artist-in-residence. Robin has a BA in Dance and Film from CUNY and holds an MS in Child Development from Hunter College. Trained as a painter and printmaker, Robin was an art teacher and arts coordinator for the NYC Department of Education for more than 15 years. A cancer survivor and mother of five, Robin speaks internationally about the power of arts in healthcare and is dedicated to continuing the momentum of hospital artist-in-residence programs throughout the United States.

Maria Hodermarska |

Professor, Drama Therapy, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Maria Hodermarska is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). Her work spans both the creative and applied psychological uses of the theater arts within community-based mental health programs and alcohol/substance abuse treatment programs serving un-served or under-served populations. She has been an adjunct assistant clinical professor in the Graduate Program in Drama Therapy at NYU since 1995 and has been an adjunct faculty of the Gallatin School for almost 10 years. She is currently the Ethics Chair for the National Association for Drama Therapy, serving previously as Education Chairperson. Her publications include: Perfume: A Meditation on the Countertransferential Drama with Babies Who Smell Bad  in  The Arts in Psychotherapy (February 2008); Operatic Play a Drama and Music Therapy Collaboration  in  Healing the Inner City Child , Creative Arts Therapies with At-Risk Youth , edited by V. Camilleri (Jessica Kingsley Press, 2007).


Georgie Landy |

Artist, Art Educator, Graduate Art Therapist Candidate 

New York native Georgie Landy was born in 1989. She began exercising her innate talents within the creative world at the Arts Students League of NYC where she studied figuretive and observational drawing. After completing her four years at the Ringling College of Art and Design in 2011, she received a BFA in Fine Arts and exhibited her work in various group and solo exhibitions including the Crossley Gallery of Sarasota Florida, The Players Theater Gallery of Sarasota, Central Pop-Up Exhibition Space in Sarasota Florida, and Central Cafe in Brooklyn New York. Her work has been published in Musée Magaine and is featured on the Ringling College of Art and Design's official website. Georgie continues her artistic practice from her in in-home studio in Brooklyn New York, and works as an Art Teacher at Kid Esteem Montessori school where she developed a specialized program that supports alternative approaches within the standardized art curriculum. Georgie is currently combining her interests in working with individuals with special needs and the creative arts world within the graduate level Art Therapy program at NYU.

Dr. Robert Landy |

Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Robert J. Landy, PhD, is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT), a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) and Board Certified Trainer (BCT). A pioneer in the profession of Drama Therapy, he lectures and trains professionals internationally. As a drama therapist, Landy has more than 35 years of clinical experience, having treated children and adults with a wide range of psychiatric, cognitive and adjustment challenges. He has recently worked in prisons, developing programs to treat mentally ill offenders as well as the general population within New York State correctional facilities.

At NYU, Robert is a Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology and Director of the Drama Therapy Program, which he founded in 1984.

As researcher and writer, Robert has published and produced numerous books, articles, films and plays in the fields of Drama, Drama Therapy, Musical Theatre and related topics. He has been featured in the media in the educational CBS-TV series Drama in Education, the award-winning documentary film, Standing Tall, and his own production, Three Approaches to Drama Therapy. His 2008 book The Couch and the Stage: Integrating Words and Action in Psychotherapy examined the relationship between psychotherapy and Drama Therapy. His forthcoming book (with David Montgomery), Theatre for Change: Education, Social Action, Therapy, examines the relationship between Drama Therapy and applied forms of theatre.

Robert has received numerous awards and honors including the Distinguished Teaching Medal from New York University, a Fulbright grant to lecture at the University of Lisbon, the Gertrud Schattner Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Drama Therapy , and the Daniel Griffiths Award from New York University for distinguished research. He has been cited, reviewed and interviewed in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Los Angeles Times.

Johanna Martinez |

Founder, Healing Expressions

Johanna holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University (1996) and a Master of Social Work degree (2000) and Certificate in Urban Leadership (2000) from Simmons College. She has worked in a variety of environments, including a mobile crisis unit for children age 5-21, in early intervention and a teen parenting program.  She has also worked as an Educational Facilitator at Boricua College.

As a certified applied poetry facilitator, she has worked with a college population, individuals with chronic medical issues and lives with a disability. Her other work includes a substance abuse rehabilitation center and with an English as a Second Language population in the New York Public Library.  She is qualified as a Poetry Therapy Practitioner-Mentor status through the International Academy for Poetry Therapy. She is also bilingual in Spanish.  


Individual work has centered with clients who are health compromised, including cancer patients and traumatic brain injury patients using a combination of memoir writing, poetry and journal writing as primary modalities.  She is also an experienced journal group facilitator of many styles of groups.  In January 2014 she celebrated the one year anniversary of a Gratitude Journaling group that incorporated vision boards with the journaling.  The final project for this group will be to publish a compilation of everyone's best writing with commentary from the facilitator about the group's process.

Dr. Peggy Morton |

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work; Assistant Dean, Field Learning & Community Partnerships; Coordinator, Undergraduate Field and Service Learning

Dr. Peggy Morton's professional interests include women's reproductive health issues, specifically the social and psychological effects of pregnancy loss and infertility; gerontology; and the integration of social work and service learning. She has delivered a number of professional papers on psychological and social aspects of infertility and pregnancy loss and on the intersection of social work and service learning.

Her practice experience includes clinical work with children and adolescents, the elderly, and terminally ill patients and their families in both private and public (agency-based) settings.

Dr. Morton teaches bachelor’s- and master’s-level courses in human behavior and practice. She has developed and taught service learning courses to the wider University undergraduate community. She has had extensive experience both as a field instructor and faculty advisor in both the undergraduate and graduate social work programs and serves as advisor to two student groups, Next Steppers and the Global Social Work Collective, and has been a faculty affiliate to five

Dr. Michelle R. Munson |

Associate Professor of Social Work; Faculty and Researcher, Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health; Faculty Fellow, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Dr. Michelle R. Munson is an associate professor of social work, with professional interests in mental health services and interventions, vulnerable populations of youth and young adults, and interpersonal relationships.

Dr. Munson’s research seeks to understand how society and interpersonal relationships shape young adults decisions to seek or not to seek professional mental health services. Munson is also designing intervention programs aimed at positively orienting young people toward seeking professional help when it is needed. Read more about her current projects at theYouth and Young Adult Mental Health Group.

Munson’s research focuses on answering three related questions among vulnerable populations of youth and young adults: 1) what multi-level factors influence utilization and investment in mental health services, 2) in what ways can intervention programs positively impact service use and ultimately life outcomes, and 3) how do relationships with adult role models influence these processes.

Dr. Munson’s latest publication in Social Science and Medicine titled,Static, dynamic, integrated and contextualized: A framework for understanding mental health service utilization among young adults” provides a springboard for examining these questions, which emerged directly from face-to-face interviews with young adults who transitioned from adolescence to adulthood with mental health challenges.

Dr. Munson has published in Psychiatric Services, Social Science and Medicine, Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, Children and Youth Services Review, and the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, among others.

Dr. Munson’s research has been supported through funding mechanisms at the federal, state, and local levels.

Toby Williams |

Director, Music Therapy, The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

As Director of Music Therapy at The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Toby oversees 28 outreach partnerships with schools and community organizations to provide music therapy to children and adults with special needs in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The conservatory’s onsite music therapy program serves 45 children with developmental delays.  After completing her master's degree in music therapy from New York University Toby studied with Dr. Diane Austin, gaining a certificate in Advanced Training in Vocal Psychotherapy. In 2005, Toby founded the music therapy program at Reach for the Stars Learning Center, a private school for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. She has been the Director of The Music Therapy program at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music since 2011. Toby offers workshops teaching techniques utilizing the voice and body to promote emotional and physical healing at such institutions as The Kessler Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center; New York Presbyterian Hospital and for Voices of September 11th. Through partnerships with Friends Health Connection, Citicorp and Carnegie Hall, Toby developed music therapy programs at New York Presbyterian Hospital on the cardio-thoracic unit and at the Herbert Irving Cancer Center’s Infusion unit. Toby is an adjunct professor of music therapy at New York University and continues to conduct music therapy workshops. Toby has also conducted educational presentations on jazz singing through Carnegie Hall's Weill Institute Education Outreach program. Toby’s professional experience as a jazz vocalist, voice teacher and children’s music educator provided a strong foundation for her career in music therapy and informs her work at the conservatory.

Dr. Deborah Willis |
Deborah Willis

Chair, Professor of Photography and Imaging, NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and has an affiliated appointment with the College of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies. She was a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow, and a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, as well as the 1996 recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation award. She has pursued a dual professional career as an art photographer and as one of the nation's leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture. Professor Willis has just received the honored educator award at the Society for Photographic Education.

Exhibitions of her work include: A Sense of Place, Frick, University of Pittsburgh, 2005; Regarding Beauty, University of Wisconsin, 2003; Embracing Eatonville, Light Works, Syracuse, NY, 2003-4; HairStories, Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum, Scottsdale, AZ 2003-4; The Comforts of Home, Hand Workshop Art Center, Richmond, VA, 1999;Re/Righting History: Counternarratives by Contemporary African-American Artists, Katonah Museum of Art, 1999; Memorable Histories and Historic Memories, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1998; Cultural Baggage, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1995. 

Her curated Exhibitions include: Posing Beauty which opened at Tisch in fall of 2009 and touring the country with the sponsorship of JP Morgan Chase and organized by Curatorial Assistance, 1968: Then and Now at Tisch and at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in fall 2008, Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits at the International Center of Photography in Summer of 2007, Engulfed by Katrina: Photographs before and After the Storm, Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Imagining Families—Images and Voices and Reflections in Black. Other notable projects include The Black Female Body A Photographic History with Carla Williams (Temple University Press, Philadephia, 2002); A Small Nation of People: W.E.B. DuBois and the Photographs from the Paris Exposition (Amistad Press, 2003); Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers - 1840 to the Present (New York: W.W. Norton); Visual Journal: Photography in Harlem and DC in the Thirties and Forties (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1996); Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography (The New Press, New York, NY, 1994); and VANDERZEE: The Portraits of James VanDerZee (Harry Abrams Publishing, New York, NY, 1993).  Her more recent publications include Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (WW Norton, 2009), Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs  (WW Norton, 2009 and NAACP Image Award Literature Winner), and Black Venus 2010: They Called Her "Hottentot" (Temple University Press, 2010).