Board and Committees

2020-2021 NAPT Board Member Roles (click any name to read a biography)

President: Marianela Medrano
Past President: Nick Mazza
Vice President: Barbara Kreisberg
Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Jazmin Hamilton
Conference Chair: Catherine Tanguis
Diversity Chair: Irania Macias Patterson
Membership Chair: Robin Rosado
Academic/Institutional Outreach Chair: Lorrieann Geyer
Public Relations Chair: Lisa Haversack
Social Media Chair: Laura Santner
Publications Chair: Karen vanMeenen
Journal of Poetry Therapy Editor: Nick Mazza

Board Members-at-Large
Cynthia Holloway-Kelvin
Laurie Anderson Sathe
Sherry Reiter

NAPT Liaison to IFBPT: Laura Santner
Awards Committee: Karen vanMeenen (as standing Chair)

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!


Marienela Medrano was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and has lived in Connecticut since 1990. A poet and a writer of nonfiction and fiction, she holds a PhD in psychology. Her literary work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines in Latin America, Europe and the United States. In 2015 she did a TED Talk at Ursuline College. Her individual publications include: Oficio de Vivir (Buho,1986), Los Alegres Ojos de la Tristeza (Buho,1987), Regando Esencias/ The Scent of Waiting (Alcance,1998), Curada de Espantos (Torremozas, 2002), Diosas de la Yuca, (Torremozas, 2011), Prietica (Alfaguara, 2013), and Rooting (Owlfeather Collective, 2017). Her poetry has been translated into Italian and French.

Nicholas Mazza, PhD 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, 2nd Edition (2017) He is past vice president and has served continuously on the NAPT Board since 1985. In 2017, he received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from NAPT.

barbraBarbara Kreisberg, MS, CPT is currently serving on the NAPT Board as Vice President. 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, hospitals, cancer support groups and other community settings on the healing power of writing reflectively using poetry therapy and journal writing techniques. She currently facilitates ongoing writing groups in Miami.

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, and she integrates self-compassion, mindfulness techniques, and Sandtray therapy where appropriate. Jazmin has her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and infuses poetry into her work with clients wherever possible. She led a Poetry Therapy group, “The Art of Losing,” for the processing of grief and plans to continue leading these groups in the Portland area.

Catherine Tanguis, MA, NBCT currently serves on the NAPT Board as Conference Chair. She has 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. Recognizing the importance of creative writing in empowering young people find their own voices and developing empathy, she organized numerous student writing groups and sponsored nationally recognized student literary publications. As an alumni of the Fulbright Program IREX, she has given presentations and lectures on using poetry to open dialogue in communities.

Irania Macias Patterson currently serves on the NAPT Board as Diversity Chair. She is a CAPF, dynamic speaker, award winner author and educator who specializes in the subjects of arts integration in multicultural- bilingual populations, and the connections with literacy, mental health and expressive arts.  As an ardent supporter of schools, libraries, and cultural organizations, she has spoken in many arts, education and humanity base organizations promoting “out of the box” intercultural exchanges for social transformation.

Robin Rosado, CASAC-T serves as Membership Chair on the NAPT Board and is a substance use counselor and provides counseling and case management services to individuals struggling with homelessness, mental illness and substance use disorders. She has a BA in Creative Writing from The City College of New York. She has the pleasure of training to be a CAPF under mentor Laura Santner. Robin is an NAPT Regional Representative and is thrilled with the opportunity to bring the power of poetry therapy to the Bronx.

Lorrieann Geyer, MA is currently serving the NAPT as Academic and Outreach Chair.  She has been under the supervision of Dr. Sherry Reiter over the past two years and is expected to complete her CAPF requirements in 2020.   She is a life long learner who inspires others with words; “To know better is to do better” by Maya Angelou.  We can all do better and begin with kindness to ourselves and others.  She has been an English Teacher at a private therapeutic high school for the past eight years.   During which time she has been working with a population of young people who struggle with mental and emotional disorders.  The use of poetry has provided a bridge to social and emotional learning for many of these young people.  Lorrieann has facilitated poetry groups at the Edna Mahan women’s prison and attended many Dodge Poetry Foundation festival and workshops. She has been invited to join Creative Kinections, LLC in Livingston, New Jersey.

Lisa Haversack, MFA is currently serving on the board as Public Relations Chair. She’s been working in digital marketing for the past 10 years. She’s currently pursuing a new career in counseling to work at a college or university helping students with career counseling and wellness. She has a BA in English from UM-Missoula and an MFA in poetry from UW-Madison. Her poetry chapbook, Speak, Cairn, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. She loves teaching and the outdoors and has guided wilderness trips in Montana, taught writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, worked with youth to create community festivals in Minnesota, and directed a fruit-tree planting project in Ecuador.

Laura Santner, LCSW, PTR is Social Media Chair and a New York Regional Rep for NAPT. She graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in psychology, minoring in creative writing. She 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. Ms. Santner has been a clinical social worker and has incorporated poetry therapy in her work since 2006. She offers individual and group therapy in addition to clinical and poetry therapy supervision. She has facilitated workshops, presentations, and lectures all around the United States. 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.

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.

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 

Laurie Anderson Sathe, Ed.D.,  is Associate Professor and Program Director for the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies at St Catherine University.   She is interested in exploring the ways that the use of poetry, story and creative expression can be used in the classroom to create holistic learning and healing experiences.

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.

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.

Diversity 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.

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