Who We Are

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       Sue Wallingford

 “Why I started this project involves a long story that includes a lot of people, mostly my students, and if I had more space I would tell it.  But I can say this, this project, like the namesake of one of our first fundraisers, “Small Resources = Big Possibilities,” proves that it is possible to start with very little and with the combined effort of well intended people guided by compassion and dedication, miraculous things can happen.”  

~ Sue Wallingford  Naropa University, Associate Professor, Art Therapy Program   Faculty Lead and NCAS-I Coordinator

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     Chatti Phal Brown

” I went to Cambodia for the first time in November 2010 and lived there for two and a half years doing photography and working as an art therapist at an amazing NGO in Phnom Penh. Instead of expecting that BIG change, I’ve learned to look for the small changes in clients and celebrate the small steps they have taken to improve their lives. I can say this with confidence, art therapy provides a powerful way for clients to examine their life situations and a means to give “voice” to their stories. It knows no international boundaries. What I am most excited about is witnessing the students in a different environment and guiding them in growing personally and professionally. There will be challenges but they come with rewards.”

~ Chatti Phal Brown NCAS-I Clinical Support

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       Katie Hanczaryk

“From a very young age I have had the bug for travel. At the age of four, my family and I drove from Jacksonville, Florida to Nova Scotia Canada to live. I went to school at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and received my undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary art and minored in fashion. During my fourth year, I began taking psychology courses at Dalhousie university and began my career path of merging art and psychology. During that time, I took a teaching position in Bhutan where I taught sewing and fashion design to Bhutanese youth. I went to Naropa university, for my Masters in Art Therapy, where I began doing Graduate Assistant work with Sue Wallingford, and founded the Naropa Community Art Studio International project. Currently I am starting a private practice, and I continue to make art, sew, teach, and travel.”

~ Katie Hanczaryk, NCAS-I Clinical Support

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                                                             2014 NCAS-I TEAM

2013-2014 TEAM

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Krystel Chamberlain ’15

“My heart is drawn to help the women and children of Cambodia who are living in poverty and trying to survive the sex trafficking industry, as well as the therapists and caregivers who work with them everyday. I am grateful for this opportunity to learn about the Cambodian culture, while supporting the use of Art Therapy in helping victims of trauma in that country. Art is a universal language and I look forward to connecting to the Cambodian people through this amazing, healing, modality.” ~ Krystel

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      Daniel Swazer ’15

” I am interested in working in Cambodia because I want to be a part of a cause that is able to spread mass awareness of the horrific human trafficking industry that is so present there. Action needs to be taken to aid and support people who have been trafficked. The tremendous opportunity I have to go to Cambodia and share the healing powers of art therapy was one I could absolutely not pass up. I feel that this will be a meaningful and powerful experience for all involved. I am proud to be a part of it.” ~ Danielle 

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       Aiya Staller ’15

“I am interested in how best to be in an ethical international helping relationship with women and children in Cambodia who have been victimized by a system of trafficking, including sex-trafficking. As a student of art therapy, I wish to share therapeutic skills which can be utilized by our partner organizations to best serve the women and children they work with. I have responded to survivors of sexual trauma for over 5 years as an advocate and have a deep passion for trauma-informed care that focuses on resiliency. I look forward to seeing how art therapy can facilitate healing for people living with multigenerational cultural trauma. I am grateful for the opportunity to practice art therapy in Cambodia and NCAS-I’s relationship with the NGOs in Cambodia who have welcomed us as partners.” ~ Aiya

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   Emma Ehrenthal ’15

“I was drawn to studying Art Therapy at Naropa University because of the healing qualities I have experienced through the use of art as a form of communication. I was interested in the Service Learning Trip to Cambodia because I have always been interested in working with trauma, survivors of genocide, and the generational effect of those experiences. My family emphasized the need for survivors to support each other, reaching beyond our physical and social divisions to unite us in our process of surviving to thriving. I am excited to be part of the global art therapy community through our trip this summer.” ~ Emma

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     Michelle Bosco ’15

“As a second year Art Therapy student at Naropa University, I have witnessed the power of Art Therapy as a pathway to healing and transformation. The NCAS-I project has been one of the many ways I have seen this notion come alive. Since 2012, I’ve been exposed to the various components NCAS-I and how the project has evolved. Currently, NCAS-I combines Art Therapy, Service Learning, social justice, and community awareness.  I’m grateful for this integrative approach and I can confidently say that this project has enhanced my overall graduate school experience. While I’m in Cambodia, I would like to learn how to sit with another person who is so different from me, and has encountered many different levels of suffering. I hope to find beauty even within the ugliness, and I’d like to cultivate ways I can source my own life from its presence. “ ~ Michelle

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     Kelsey Butler ’15

 ” One of the main reasons that I am looking forward to working in Cambodia is that I am going to learn and grow so much as both a professional and as a person. The devastating history and stories that we will be confronted with will open up a pathway for me to learn how to cope with and contain these traumas, while still being supportive and connected to the people that I am working with. Sitting with this discomfort and unknown future will be a test unlike any I have faced before. It’s going to be challenging and heavy, but I know that this is a unique and important opportunity to learn about myself, my coping strategies, and how I can find strength, hope, and trust even in the darkest times. This chance that we are taking to deepen our relationship with ourselves is something that is so beautiful, and so rare. I’m excited to share this with the 2014 NCAS-I team.” ~ Kelsey

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        Jessica Sabo ’14

 “I am most interested in seeing how art therapy translates across cultural lines by fostering an international art therapy community. I think this trip to Cambodia is a unique educational opportunity for professionals in our field to become more culturally competent through an immersion experience.” ~ Jessica

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     Megan Nemire ’14

 “I was was born and raised in Michigan, and received my Bachelor of Arts in studio art and psychology from Michigan State University. In May, I will finish my Masters degree in Art Therapy and Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University. My years studying and integrating art therapy into my life have been incredibly transformative on personal, interpersonal, and professional levels. I bring reverence and passion to my work. I have a love of psychological theory, and I aspire to contribute to the theoretical literature in the art therapy field through research and writing. I appreciate expression of all kinds, and lately I’ve focused my own artwork in textiles and clay. I love and live art therapy, and I feel very grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to bring my depth and devotion internationally.” ~ Megan

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  Chelsey Langlinais ’15

“I am very excited to have this wonderful opportunity to be part of the team going to Cambodia this summer. I anticipate hard work, but I am looking forward to the intrinsic rewards that helping others, creating art, and teamwork will bring throughout the preparation process and the trip.” ~ Chelsey

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          Liz Maher ’15

“I am a second year student in Naropa’s Art Therapy program. I grew up in Connecticut, went to school in Providence, RI, and spent my twenties pursuing a career as a fine artist in San Francisco and New York, all the while holding down a series of odd (and sometimes extremely odd) jobs. Much of my background is in Art Education, so the transition to Art Therapy seemed a natural choice. I feel particularly drawn to working with survivors of trauma, and am looking forward to the symbiotic learning that will take place between us students and the Cambodian women we create art with. This will be my first time out of the country since volunteering as an English and Art teacher in India in 2005, and my goal is to speak more convincingly in Khmer than I was able to in Hindi.” ~ Liz

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                                                              2013 NCAS-I TEAM

2012-2013 TEAM

“When your fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity, when your love touches someone’s pain, it become compassion.” ― Stephen Levine

“I aspire to be grounded and open to love on our trip to Cambodia. The spirit shines through, if provided with safety, consistency, presence and means of communication. My study of Buddhism and Contemplative Psychotherapy over the past 15 years has taught me that all beings have “Buddha Nature” or “Basic Goodness.” Open curiosity and presence create safety which allows the basic goodness of the human spirit to shine through. I hope to facilitate this safety in supporting the students, faculty, staff and participants we meet. Through connecting with ourselves in meditation and deep contemplation we are grounded and we can better hold a safe environment.”

~ Anne Howland  Naropa University, Art Therapy Program, Cambodia Clinical Support

I look forward to the learning exchange between us and our international partners that will extend beyond our time in Cambodia. Art is a reliable, accessible method for working through trauma. Our team has the unique privilege of sharing tools and methods with clinicians in Cambodia faced with the trauma of clients and their own experiences of vicarious traumatization. I hope to infuse my work with a strong sense of cultural humility and gratitude to all I will learn from and all who helped make this project a reality.

~Erin Shannon ’14

“Kurt Vonnegut once described artists as the canary in the coal mine, because they are so sensitive they notice and react to global issues before the ‘more robust types’ realize there is a danger. When a government chooses to exterminate the canaries, it is because they are willfully leading their people into a toxic environment. I believe art therapy is particularly important in Cambodia because it uses the creative expression condemned by the Khmer Rouge as a way to help heal and rebuild the culture of Cambodia.”

~ James Huffman ’14

“I am very passionate about working with populations suffering from poverty, abuse, abandonment, and neglect. This service-learning trip to Cambodia will be a great opportunity for me to experience art therapy being utilized in another culture, and I am excited to see how art therapy transcends barriers of language and culture. I believe this will be a great opportunity for us to collaborate with social justice organizations in Cambodia to bring art therapy to populations who do not readily have access to art or therapy.”  

~ Lisa Lamoreaux ’14

“I believe as art therapists we have a responsibility to educate and to assist those who have been deprived of their cultural heritage. The amount of trauma the people of Cambodia have experienced is something that is truly beyond my comprehension. The destruction of the culture and art in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge was one of the most horrible things done to this country. I hope through NCAS-I I can bring support to the children who have experienced trauma by acknowledging the role of spirituality, creativity and the needs to find wholeness and meaning in the horror of the trauma they experienced.”

~ Joanna Loftus ’14

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” –Rabindranath Tagore

“It is with great joy that I welcome the opportunity to work with NCAS-I and Transitions in this service-learning trip to Cambodia. I am eager to utilize and share my skills as an art therapist in the context of mindfulness. I hope to empower survivors of sex trafficking with the healing qualities of art and empathy, which I believe transcend all borders.”

~ Alexa Pinsker ’14

“With all of the struggles and trauma happening around the world, I want to be a part of the solution. I am so thrilled that this opportunity exists to bring art therapy into an international setting. I believe it will give us another opportunity to experience the healing power of art and to more fully comprehend what it looks like to do this work cross-culturally. I am hoping to bring my curiosity, passion, and mindfulness into practice, and begin to help people that are surviving so many unimaginable traumas.”

~ Danielle Rifkin ’14

“Thanks to those trailblazing students and professors of NCAS-I who came before me, I have the incredible opportunity to connect with social justice organizations in Cambodia where I can engage in collaborative efforts aimed at solving problems related to global issues like sex trafficking, poverty, abuse, abandonment, and neglect.  Everything I hoped for in my graduate art therapy education – engagement, social responsibility, collaboration, connection, and healing – I have found at Naropa University and within NCAS-I.”

~ Emily Seagrave ’14

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and go on the service learning trip to Cambodia.  I would like to say I hope to impact the people I meet, however, I believe they will affect me much more.  Through this process, I hope to learn more about myself, to increase my skills as a culturally competent counselor, to witness the power of art beyond language, and to find strength in community with my fellow NCAS-I members.  This opportunity holds wisdom and learning beyond what I can imagine.”

~ Paula Ulrich ’14

“My deepest desire is to be part of the collective struggle to eradicate abuse and create an atmosphere of empowerment for survivors. I am appreciative of NCAS-I and this service-learning project in Cambodia for the opportunity to combine my passion for social justice, multiculturalism, and art therapy by working cross-culturally with marginalized populations and helping to facilitate self-expression, self-esteem, and profound healing for individuals and communities.”

~ Bethany Wells ’14

“I have witnessed and experienced the healing power of art therapy in my own life and in the lives of many others.  I believe in it, and I also believe in the amazing ability of all beings to connect and offer healing in relationship with each other.  I am excited and nervous as we embark on this journey of preparing for and working towards fulfilling our mission through a service-learning trip to Cambodia.  The individuals and institutions that we touch along the way will inevitably touch us and for that, I am so very grateful.  My hope is to be of service, to sit with everything that comes up with empathy compassion and grace, to love and to learn.”

~ Emily Wilson ’14

2012 NCAS-I TEAM

2012 NCAS-I TEAM

2011-2012 TEAM

“The opportunity to participate in the development of NCAS-I and the partnership with Transitions Global has become an invaluable component of my education. In this collaboration, I have the opportunity to engage my most persistent passions, to develop skills unique to the field of art therapy, and to explore the overlaps between social justice, healing, art, and personal growth in ways that will continue to grow and I will continue to gain from in all of my future work.”

 ~ Meg Hamilton ‘12

“To me, the Naropa Community Art studio is a service-learning project where I am able to practice compassion and loving kindness to my community. NCAS-I takes the principal of the Studio to another level. In a growing global community, we are connecting to the pain and suffering not only in our backyards, but also on our whole planet. This project makes me feel as though I am utilizing my skills as a Post-Modern Art therapist, and bringing compassion and awareness to a larger community by shining light on a population that has mostly existed in the shadows.”

~ Katie Hanczaryk ‘12

“I see human trafficking as one of the greatest issues of our time. In being exposed to this issue, my life has been changed and often I imagine how I will be part of the transformation.  This trip gives me hope that I can realize my role as art therapist and social activist.”

~ Katie Markley ‘12

“Naropa provides an unparalleled experience for training art therapists who are deeply concerned with spreading their education across the globe to offer service to humanity in the most effective and compassionate way possible. NCAS-I aims to teach, to heal, to grow, and to inspire anyone in it’s path. By using the therapeutic benefit of art, alongside mindfulness-based training, the Naropa art therapists have their gears set towards Cambodia with the mission to engage heart-to-heart and directly confront the atrocities of trauma caused by sex trafficking.”

 ~ Marissa Grasmick ‘12

“As an emerging professional in the field of art therapy, my participation with NCAS-I and Transitions Global will provide me the opportunity to be an agent of transformation in a global context.  As an artist, activist and healer I feel blessed that I will become culturally engaged through collaboration and compassion with the power of art as a modality towards change.  I am passionate about providing a sustainable container to help relieve suffering around the world.”

~ Tracey Kayne ‘12

 “Being a part of NCAS-I has become a pivotal piece of my education at Naropa. It allows me to take the skills I am building and apply them actively towards a cause I am passionate about.”

 ~ Ariana Tosatto ‘13

“As a rising second year student, I feel deep gratitude that my graduate education has intersected with this important, inspirational and unprecedented learning opportunity. I believe that transpersonal psychology is inextricably connected to social action and that art therapy is both personal and universal. NCAS-I allows me to explore these professional tenets in a tangible direct way. Through this community effort, I am realizing what it means to be a heart-centered, globally engaged, deeply intentional art therapist in the world.”

~ Aimee Palladino ‘13

“I am so thankful for the chance to learn so much from my NCAS-I experience.  The amount of commitment and intention the students and faculty bring to each step of this process is truly enlightening and inspiring.  In the Naropa spirit of both first and third person experience, my education brings me to new levels of empowerment in my journey as a transpersonal art therapist.  Expanding my view from the local community to global levels allows me to realize how great the potential is that we each have in being a part of healing the world.”

~ Stephanie Andres ‘12

2 thoughts on “Who We Are

  1. Pingback: Painting Marathon 2012: Meet Team “Tutulicious Animalz” | Naropa Community Art Studio-International

  2. Pingback: Painting Marathon 2012: Meet Team “SOARING HEARTS” | Naropa Community Art Studio-International

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