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Board and Committees

Board Current Board

2013-2015 NAPT Board Members (biographies included below)

President: Catherine Conway
President-Elect: Alma Rolfs
VP for Conferences: Barbara Kreisberg
VP for Membership: Dottie Joslyn
Treasurer: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Beth Jacobs
Academic/Institutional Outreach Chair: Position Open
By-Laws/Governance Chair: Position Open
Diversity Chair: James Brandenburg
Public Relations Chair for Conferences & NCCATA Representative: Nancy Scherlong
Social Media Chair: Laura Santner
Publications Committee Chair: Karen vanMeenen
Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor: Nick Mazza

Board Members-at-large
Rob Merritt


James Brandenburg, LPC, LMFT, CPT. Diversity Chair.
James applied for the position of Diversity Chairperson for NAPT because he feels he should be doing more in helping our organization. He says, “My entire life has revolved around diversity, both my personal life and my educational and work history. I see a need for our organization to reach out to a more diverse population—both in our recruitment of candidates for poetry facilitators and poetry therapists, and in our outreach programs in our local communities. As Diversity Chair, I encourage NAPT members to increase their awareness in this area and to focus on a more diverse population in their work as poetry facilitators and poetry therapists.”

Catherine Conway, LCPC, CPT, CADC, President. Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois; Certified AODA Counselor, CADC, Springfield, IL; Certified Poetry Therapist credentialed by The Federation for Biblio/PoetryTherapy after completing training with Ken Gorelick and Peggy Heller at the Wordsworth Center, Washington D.C.

Catherine says, "I have been a member of NAPT for nearly 16 years.  I have presented poetry therapy workshops at the Midwest Festival of Expressive Arts Therapies, sponsored by University of Wisconsin, Madison; to community mental health organizations for staff enrichment and for women experiencing mid-life transitions.  I have integrated poetry therapy into every professional position I have held, working with survivors of sexual abuse, addicts and alcoholics.

I have developed poetry therapy groups in my community outreach work at a residential drug court rehabilitation center and work release program. Currently, I am a Clinical Therapist at a private practice in Naperville, Illinois and am working with individuals using both journaling and Poetry Therapy.  I have promoted poetry therapy in the Addictions Counseling program at College of DuPage, local bookstores and park district programs for active seniors."

Beth Jacobs, PhD is a psychologist, avid journaler and author of "Writing for Emotional Balance."  She is honored to be working as the Secretary of the Board of NAPT and as contributor of the Journalers' Corner column for the Museletter.

Dottie Joslyn, CAPF, CJF is serving as Vice President of Membership.
 Dottie says, “I am a CAPF, CJF, Journal to the Self® instructor and a poet and writer who has been involved with NAPT for several years. I led a poetry therapy group and a journaling group of stable mentally ill people for six years as well as several Journal to the Self groups. I was engaged in the profession of bookkeeping and human resources for thirty years and am now offering my skills as the bookkeeper for NAPT. I have had poems published in various journals and have self-published a poetry chapbook. I bring enthusiasm for the poetry therapy profession and a desire to see it grow, I believe that it takes dedicated people to create and maintain an organization and that there are roles for everyone.”

Barbara Kreisberg, MS, CPT is currently serving on the NAPT Board as Vice President of Conferences after a hiatus for several years.  She is a contributing author of The Healing Fountain. She has worked for over 25 years in both Boston and Miami with a variety of inpatient and outpatient populations in the area of mental health using reflective writing and poetry therapy to promote personal growth and wellness.   She has presented workshops at NAPT conferences, local universities,  and at other community settings on the healing power of writing reflectively.  She currently facilitates ongoing writing groups in Miami, FL.

Eric Kreuter is Treasurer of NAPT.

Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR
. Nicholas Mazza is the Dean and Patricia V. Vance Professor of Social Work at Florida State University. He is the founding (1987) and current editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice. Dr. Mazza's experience with poetry therapy in practice, research, and education spans over 40 years. He is past vice president and has served on the NAPT board since 1985. In 1997, he received the Pioneer Award from NAPT. Dr. Mazza holds Florida licenses in clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychology.

Rob Merritt, PhD
is Professor of English at Bluefield College in Virginia and a poet who offers workshops about creativity and the healing powers of writing.  He is interested in educating people, specifically those in higher education, about the resources available through NAPT. He is currently writing about how major authors, such as W.B. Yeats for example, fit within the context of poetry therapy and cultural healing. His poetry deals with the transformative power of landscape and language.

Alma Rolfs, PTR, M/S and President-Elect is a clinical social worker in private practice, poet, teacher, Registered Poetry Therapist and Mentor-Supervisor. She has brought Poetry Therapy to a wide range of clinical populations and integrates it into her psychotherapy practice. She has been a member of NAPT for over 30 years, previously served on the Board as Museletter Editor and Secretary, and has been a frequent presenter at NAPT conferences. She looks forward to returning to the Board in a new capacity.

Laura Santner, LCSW PTR is new to the NAPT board this year and acting as Social Media Chair. She graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in psychology, minoring in creative writing. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, graduate from the Master’s program at New York University. She received her Certification in Poetry Therapy and became a Registered Poetry Therapist . She has led numerous workshops at the NAPT conference in addition to the Creative Righting Center. She has been a clinical social worker and has incorporated poetry therapy in her work since 2006. She has given presentations and lectures at her work place in addition to having an article published in the Journal of Social Psychology. Laura Santner has helped the NAPT board out on projects in the past and is excited to be officially joining.

Nancy Scherlong is NCCATA representative from NAPT and Public Relations Chair for conferences.

Karen vanMeenen, MA, CAPF
is NAPT Publications Chair and Museletter Editor. She is a full-time Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches classes in Writing, Literature (including her favorite class: The Graphic Novel) and Contemporary Art. She is the longtime Editor of the media arts journal Afterimage as well as the Director of Special Projects at the literary center Writers & Books, where she organizes large community reading programs such as "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book...." Write to Karen through this site's contact page (choose "Publications" in the send-to field).

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