Dear Member,

As we enter this New Year, I am honored to begin my service as AATA’s 27th President and continue the tremendous progress we’ve made as an association and profession. I also want to congratulate our newest board members, Jennifer DeLucia, Michael Galarraga, and Miki Goerdt, and introduce our new Treasurer, Marygrace Berberian, who, in accordance with our bylaws, has been appointed for one year to fill the seat vacated by President-Elect Nadia Paredes. I look forward to working with our entire board!

First, a little bit about myself: I am a lifelong visual artist and have found art to explore the intersection of identity and representation of emotion. I am also the Assistant Dean for Special Research Initiatives and an Associate Professor and interim Chair in the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Drexel University.

So, as you can imagine, I am passionate about research and learning through data. I believe that good data helps us tell our story as art therapists—to the public, lawmakers, and the world—about the work we do, and the amazing outcomes our clients achieve. In addition, data-driven decision-making within our association enables us to meet the immediate needs of our members and grow member value. And it helps us better address our association’s priorities: expanding diversity and inclusivity; developing pipeline of future leaders; achieving state licensure and reimbursement; developing a logical plan for credentialing; and more.

Of course, none of these priorities, or the many others established in AATA’s Strategic Plan, will be possible without the support of our members. So I ask for your immediate help:

Thank you for this opportunity to serve this community as AATA’s President and to work with our amazing membership to advance our profession. At any time, please reach out to me directly at president@arttherapy.org, even if just to introduce yourself. I am sincerely looking forward to engaging with each of you, whether virtually, in the Member Community, or in person at our annual conference!

Sincerely,
Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC
President, American Art Therapy Association