November 14, 2019


The American Art Therapy Association recognized recipients of annual awards and scholarships during the  50th Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO.  After a special 50th anniversary celebration with Rising Stars and Legacy Members, AATA Board President Christianne Strang, PhD, ATR-BC, CEDCAT-S, led the recognition of AATA’s Award and Scholarship winners at the Plenary Awards Ceremony on Thursday October 31, 2019.


2019 HLM Barbara Fish and Christianne Strang


Dr. Strang presented the 2019 Honorary Life Membership Award to Barbara Fish, PhD, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCPC, in recognition of her extensive contributions to the field of art therapy, contributions to the professional advancement of art therapy, and achievement in the arts. This award is voted upon by the membership and is the highest accolade presented to any member of the AATA.

The Chair of the Honors Working Group, Andrea Davis, ATR-BC, LPC-S, presented additional prestigious honors recognizing service to the profession:

  • Distinguished Service Award: Juliet L. King, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LMHC
  • Distinguished Clinician Award, Family Services: Gwen J. Sanders, PhD, LMFT, ATR-BC
  • Rudolph Arnheim Award: Drew Luan Matott (accepted on his behalf by Annie McFarland)

Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, PhD, ATR-BC, bestowed the Joan Phillips Legacy Award to Charles W. Anderson, ATR in recognition of a lifetime of exceptional service to the AATA and the profession.

Above: Andrea Davis, Juliet King and Christianne Strang; Right: Andrea Davis, Gwen Sanders, and Christianne Strang

Below: Drew Luan Matott; Right: Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, Charles Anderson, and Christianne Strang


Elizabeth Hlavek, ATR-BC, LCPAT, Assembly of Chapters Speaker, announced Ellie Nicol, ATR-BC, as the recipient of the Nancy Schoebel Distinguished Legislative Service Award.

Multicultural Committee Chair Delora Putnam-Bryant, MS, ATR, LPC-IT, announced Marilyn Holmes as the 2019 recipient of the Pearlie Roberson Annual Scholarship Award.

 Liz Hlavek, Ellie Nicol, Christianne Strang and Delora Putnam-Bryant, Marilyn Holmes, Christianne Strang


Jordan Potash, PhD, ATR-BC, REAT, LPCAT (MD), LCAT (NY), Journal Editor in Chief, announced the Best Paper Award for “Medical Art Therapy Research Moves Forward: A Review of Clay Manipulation with Parkinson’s Disease,” written by Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff, PhD, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, and Morgan Gaydos, MA, LCAT, ATR-BC.

Left: Morgan Gaydos and Deborah Elkis-Abuhoff; Right: Jill McNutt, Reyna H. Zascirinskis and Christianne Strang

Research Committee Chair Jill McNutt, announced the 2019 Research Award recipients:

  • Rawley Silver Research Award: Noah Hass-Cohen, PsyD, ATR-BC (accepted on her behalf by Sharon Strouse)
  • Gladys Agell Award for Excellence in Research: Reyna H. Zascirinskis, MAATC
  • Best Conference Poster: Marissa Biswabic

Jennifer Schwartz, Undergraduate Committee Chair, announced Chris Zweifel as recipient of the Best Undergraduate Poster Award.

From left: Noah Hass-Cohen; Jill McNutt, Marissa Biswabic, Christianne Strang; Jennifer Schwartz, Chris Zweifel, and Christianne Strang

Scholarship Annual Working Group Members, Rebecca Miller, LCAT, ATR-BC, CCLS, and Denise Wolf, ATCS, ATR-BC, LPC, presented certificates to recipients of the Student Scholarship Awards and the New Professional Scholarships:

  • American Art Therapy Association 50th  Anniversary Scholarship: Taylor A. Chamberlain
  • Cay Drachnik Minorities Fund: Jenny Lee
  • Irene Rosner David Medical Art Therapy Scholarship: Lara K. Fairbanks-Rutledge
  • Myra Levick Scholarship Fund: Jaclyn Hofstetter
  • New Professional Scholarship to the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference: Elisabeth I. Richards, MA
  • Rawley Silver Award for Excellence: Marissa Marie Uher
  • Student Scholarships to the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference: Taylor Alexander, Jenelle Marie Hallaert, Ashley Caldaro, and Leslie Cancelliere
  • Laura Greenstone Memorial Scholarship: Nala Turner

Board of Directors

The 2019 AATA board was installed after the Annual Meeting of the Membership on Friday Nov 1, 2019. The AATA thanks outgoing Directors of the Board for their dedicated service: Christianne Strang, PhD, ATR-BC, CEDCAT-S, President-Elect (2015-2017) and President (2017-2019), Jennifer Jividen Jackson, ATR-BC, LIMHP, LPC, Secretary (2017-2019); Daniel Blausey, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, (Director 2015-2019); Michaela Kirby, PsyD, ATR-BC, LMHC (Director, 2015-2019).

The AATA warmly welcomes Raquel Farrell-Kirk, MS, ATR-BC, as Secretary of the Board and commends three incoming Directors of the Board:Susan Ainlay Anand, MS, ATR-BC, ATCS, LPAT, James Bulosan, MAAT, ATR, and Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP, (re-elected). We also congratulate Girija Kaimal, EdD, MA, ATR-BC, on her new role as President-Elect, and welcome Margaret Carlock-Russo, EdD, LCAT, ATR-BC, ATCS as the new President of the AATA.

Thank you to everyone recognized this year for your contributions to the profession! We were so glad to celebrate our 50th Anniversary with you and all our attendees in Kansas City!