2019-2020 NAPT Board Member Roles (biographies included below)
President: Nick Mazza
Past President: Geri Chavis
VP & Conference Chair: Barbara Kreisberg
Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair: Eric Kreuter
Secretary: Connie Banta
Diversity Chair: Michelle Bee
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
NOTE: Committee members can be drawn from membership and do not need to be Board members.
We encourage your participation!
2019-2020 BOARD MEMBER BIOS
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.
Geri Chavis, PhD, MA, LP, CPT a long-time NAPT member, has served several terms on the NAPT board, chairing committees on Educational Outreach, By-Laws, Ethics, and Conference. A professor at St. Catherine University and a Mentor/Supervisor of Biblio/Poetry Therapy, Geri has taught many poetry therapy-related courses and has authored three books, the latest entitled Poetry and Story Therapy: The Healing Power of Creative Expression, published in 2011.
Barbara Kreisberg, MS, CPT is currently serving on the NAPT Board as Vice President and Conference Chair. 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.
Connie Banta, LPC serves as Secretary on the Board of the National Association for Poetry Therapy as well as an integral part of the Conference Committee. She is a clinical therapist in West Virginia’s largest mental health facility, incorporating poetry therapy into her work. She has facilitated an ongoing writing group for adults with a variety of mental health conditions. She has studied poetry therapy for several years with mentor Sherry Reiter. She holds a Masters in Teaching English, an MFA in Writing Poetry, and a Masters in Counseling.
Michelle Bee serves as the Diversity Chair and is a psychotherapist, author, poet, and developer of Systems of Ease. Over the past decade, she has been teaching and providing mental health services in the Los Angeles area. She advocates for the healing arts, poetry therapy, neurodiversity, and EFT (tapping). She specializes in processing complex trauma, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness, poetry therapy, motivational psychology, energy psychology, somatic practices, and spiritual psychology. She is the Chair of the Los Angeles CAMFT Expressive Arts Committee. In her poetry book, Searching for SHE, Michelle shares her personal walk as a multi-ethnic female. She uses the art of poetry to explore culture, race, romance, sexuality, and spirituality. To learn more about Michelle Bee you can visit her websitewww.MichelleBee.com.
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, PTRis acting 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.
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 www.theevolvingstage.com
Catherine Tanguis, MA, NBCT 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.
Jazmin Hamilton, MA, MFT, 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.
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