Board and committees.

2022-2024 NAPT Board Member Roles 

President:  Nick Mazza
Vice President: Laura Santner
Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Jazmin Hamilton
Conference Chair:  Catherine Tanguis
Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee ChairAkeera Peterkin
Regional Representative Chair:  Vacant
Public Relations and Social Media Chair:  Cynthia Holloway-Kelvin
Membership Chair:  vacant
Education Chair:  Sherry Reiter
Publications Chair: Karen vanMeenen
Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor: Nick Mazza
Board Members-at-Large  Jenna Robinson and Stacey Z. Lawrence
NAPT Liaison to IFBPT: Laura Santner
Awards Committee (Standing Chair): Karen vanMeenen 
IFBPT Liaison to NAPT: Nancy Scherlong

NOTE: Committee members can be drawn from membership and do not need to be Board Members.We encourage your participation!



 Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR is Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Florida State University, College of Social Work. Dr. Mazza holds Florida licenses in psychology, clinical social work, and marriage and family therapy. He is the founding (1987) and current editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition (2022) He is currently serving a second term as President of NAPT and has served continuously on the NAPT Board since 1985. In 2017, he received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from NAPT.

Vice President

Laura Santner, LCSW, PTR-CM is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a graduate from the master’s program at New York University. She received her Certification in Poetry Therapy and became a Registered Poetry Therapist. Laura Santner is also a Certified Mentor in Poetry Therapy. Ms. Santner has been a clinical social worker and has incorporated poetry therapy in her work since 2006. She also has been involved with NAPT in various roles since 2006. Ms. Santner has a published chapbook of poetry called “The Earth and I, Nature Healing Poetry” and is co-author to a chapter on Group Poetry and Writing Therapy with Adolescents in “Creative Arts-Based Group Therapy with Adolescents Theory and Practice 1st edition.” Ms. Santner is also co-author to a research study “Linguistic Dimensions of Psychopathology: A quantitative Analysis” in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. She currently serves as Vice President, is a New York Regional Representative, and works closely with the National Coalition of Creative Art Therapies Associations Inc.

Eric Kreuter serves as Treasurer on the Board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy. He has contributed articles to the Journal of Poetry Therapy and has presented at NAPT’s Annual Conferences. Dr. Kreuter is a partner with the accounting and advisory firm of Marks Paneth LLP, providing forensic and litigation support services to a broad range of clientele. He has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has published books and articles on a variety of topics.


Jazmin Hamilton, MA, MFT, currently serves as Secretary on the NAPT Board. She is a Marriage & Family Therapy Registered Intern in the state of Oregon. She is the recipient of the Al Stiefel award from George Fox University. Jazmin is a member of the AAMFT and NAPT and is the NAPT regional representative for Oregon. She focuses on working with couples, families, and adult individuals using Emotionally Focused Therapy integrated with aspects of Internal Family Systems Theory. Interpersonal Neurobiology research and Attachment Theory serve as the foundation of her work with clients. Jazmin has her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and infuses poetry into her work with clients wherever possible.

Conference Committee Chair

Catherine Tanguis, MA, NBCT, CAPF worked for over 30 years in the Greater New Orleans area, as both a high school English teacher and community college adjunct instructor. She graduated with a master’s degree in English from the University of New Orleans, with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition and American Literature and has been a National Board-Certified Teacher since 2005.

Along the way, her passion for encouraging creative writing with both adults and young people, led to her to serve as Co-Director of the Greater New Orleans Writing Project, founding and serving as Co-Director of the Southeast Regional Affiliate of the Scholastic Writing & Arts Awards, as well as working in various capacities for the National Council of Teachers of English Writing Recognition Programs. Her love for encouraging creative writing with young people led her to found and sponsor the award winning student art & literary magazine Prism for a decade. She served as conference chair in 2021 and 2023 and is a reviewer for the Journal of Poetry Therapy.

Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice (formerly Diversity) Committee Chair

Akeera Peterkin (she/they), LCSW,CASAC,CPT specializes in trauma, identity, and intersectionality. The communities she supports include but are not limited to: BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color), LGBTQAI+, TGNC, creative spirits, introverts, highly sensitive people, empaths, students, and trauma survivors. She has several years of experience in mental health and substance use disorders.

As an inclusive and affirming clinician, Akeera is committed to helping clients cope with the challenges that often come with humanity, identity, and emotional/mental health. By employing eclectic evidence-based practices and a culturally sensitive approach, she tailors her interventions to meet her clients’ individual needs and goals Akeera is currently serving on the NAPT      Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice (formerly Diversity) Committee.

Membership Committee Chair

Zachary Katz, LMHC, MSEd, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, psychotherapist, performance poet, and educator. He has taught English at inner-city schools in New York City. He is currently a mental health clinician working in both the non-profit sector and in private practice. His poetry has been published in anthologies from NYSAI Press and ASEI Arts. Zachary holds a BA in English Adolescent Education and an M.S. Ed. in Mental Health Counseling, both from CUNY Hunter College.

Education Committee (formerly Academic/Institutional Outreach) Chair

Sherry Reiter, PhD, LCSW is a Registered Poetry and Drama Therapist and Founder of The Creative “Righting” Center, a distance poetry therapy training program leading to certification. She is also the creator of Poets-Behind Bars. Her book Writing away the Demons: Stories of Creative Coping through Transformative Writing is co-authored by clients and colleagues. Sherry is past President of The National Association for Poetry Therapy and The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She currently serves as chair of the Academic/Institutional Outreach Committee.

Public Relations and Social Media Committee Chair

Cynthia Holloway Kelvin, Psy.D., RDT, has worked in community mental health as well as in private rehabilitation with people at various stages of healing and self-exploration. Cynthia facilitates poetry therapy and creative performance workshops with the overall goal of helping participants cultivate a healthy, creative, and inspired life. More information can be found at

Publications Committee Chair

Karen (Ren) vanMeenen, MA, MA, CAPF is NAPT Publications Chair, Museletter Editor, and Book Review Editor for the Journal of Poetry Therapy. She is a Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches classes in Writing, Creative Writing, Literature, 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 Rochester Reads.

Board Members-at-Large

Jenna Robinson, LMFT is the NAPT Regional Representative for San Francisco/ Northern California. She is currently in her RPT training under the supervision/mentorship of Dr. Sherry Reiter. She is a licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of California. As a spoken word poet and a queer woman of color, she is “certain that a voice and perspective like mine is crucial to grow the association to a greater platform.”

Jenna has worked as a child clinician and coordinator of the LGBTQ+ Clinical Program for the past two years at Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA), a domestic violence agency in San Mateo, CA. She conducts groups as an expressive arts therapist for at-risk populations of all ages and genders across the Bay Area. Jenna completed her master’s at the California Institute of Integral Studies (2019) in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy and currently teaches in their Expressive Arts Therapy program. 

Board Members-at-Large

Stacey Z. Lawrence is a young widow and breast cancer survivor.  Her  writing and reading poetry continues to ease her suffering. She enjoys sharing her passion for writing with others. Stacey Z Lawrence is a veteran public high school teacher of Poetry, Creative Writing & Drama. Her work can be seen in The Comstock Review, Eunoia Review, Flora Fiction, Broad River Review, Vita Brevis, Dream Noir & others. Stacey has a BA in Drama from William Paterson University, an MA in English & MAT in Speech & Theater from Montclair State University & was awarded a fellowship to the Robert Frost House in 2016. She was a coach & mentor for the national PoetryOutLoud competition & the NJ Governor’s Awards. Stacey co-founded the drama company, Stage Right Productions & was the former director of the social action performance troupe, Impact Theater. In 2012 she worked with playwright Naomi Patz to direct the debut production of Karel Svenk’s devastating Holocaust parody, The Last Cyclist. She is the creator of student programs The Write Stuff Poems in the Woods.  She is the author of the book, Fall Risk.

Standing committees.

Academic/Institutional Outreach Committee makes recommendations to the Board about the development and implementation of the educational outreach of the Association and its membership. This committee generates and maintains an annotated list of academic and non-academic resources related to poetry/bibliotherapy/expressive writing.

Conference Committee plans and implements the annual NAPT conference, and engages in long-range conference planning.

Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee expands both the diversity of membership, as well as that of conference attendees. This committee is dedicated to promoting the involvement, within the Association membership, of practitioners and/or professionals of diverse ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, linguistic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds.

Finance Committee oversees and reviews the funds of the Association and presents a proposed budget for approval at the annual meeting of the Board.

Membership Committee makes recommendations regarding membership procedures and focuses on recruitment, retention, marketing, and member services — in support of NAPT’s vision of cultivating poetry therapy throughout the world.

Public Relations Committee develops communications as deemed desirable for the general public, which explain the role, purpose, and objectives of the  Association.  The Committee’s responsibility is to increase public awareness and acceptance of poetry therapy and related forms of expressive writing.

Regional Representative Chair helps to connect regional reps with each other and with their communities and encourages and assists in the implementation of local events in order to promote the healing effects of poetry therapy. 

Social Media Committee posts and monitors materials and responds to or fields inquires emerging from various social media sites and platforms relevant to poetry/bibliotherapy/expressive writing.

Publications Committee oversees the publication of the NAPT e-newsletter, The Museletter, and coordinates any other publications that the Board initiates.

Current Ad Hoc Committees include Nominating Committee, By-Laws Committee, Awards Committee and Website Revision Committee.

"NAPT" The National Association for Poetry Therapy

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