Board Members

Joyous D. Thayer, MA- PresidentJoy has been a member of the AzATA board since 2010 when she joined as Student Liaison. She received her Masters in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy from Prescott College. She has 3 years of combined professional and educational experience, which includes providing therapy services to children with trauma, using a neuro-developmental framework, in groups and individual sessions. She currently works with SMI adults in the open studio setting and facilitates children’s art therapy groups for ages 7-17 with varying needs. She is also working towards acquiring licensure and registration as an Art Therapist in the near future.”As president of AzATA I hope to support the association, board members, art therapists and other community members in their individual journeys, goals of networking, further building the community, and last but not least in their work within the field of art therapy. I look forward to coordinating events, compiling resources, and building a technological framework for AZ art therapists to further connect, all while working as a member of the team on the 2012-2014 AzATA board.”
Sally Markey, MA, LPC, ATR- Vice President/President Elect“I earned my Master’s in Fine Art in Art Therapy from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. I became a licensed professional Counselor in the State of Arizona in 2004, where my licensing remains current. Having over 10 years experience as an Art Therapist I have primarily worked with children and families although I have enjoyed working with many different populations. My background varies in a range of settings including out-patient clinics, domestic-abuse agencies and hospital settings. I am currently in the process of applying for my ATR and establishing my own private practice.””While serving as Vice President, I hope to support membership experience with AzATA and increase AzATA’s networking strategies within its community. I will purpose a forum of communication where Art Therapists in Arizona may dialogue with each other about their practice, community resources and developmental proposals. I will emphasize the importance of strengthening communication opportunities so AzATA members can more productively and successfully reach their professional goals.”
Seema Bacon, MAAT, LAC- TreasurerCredentials and Professional Experience: Certified Rape Crisis Counselor (Illinois); MAAT from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; LPC in Illinois; LAC in Arizona; Experience working in child welfare, juvenile courts, with trauma survivors, and rape crisis counseling. “Within the different populations with whom I provided art therapy services to, I have been able to witness the true impact art can have in the healing process.””While serving as treasurer I hope to contribute to the existing art therapy committee and to promote the profession of art therapy within the state of Arizona.”
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Gail Ferens, MA, ATR-BC- Professional Member at Large

Gail Ferens has worked as a counselor and art therapist with individuals, children, adolescents, families, and groups since 1984. She worked for Salem, Oregon Public Schools for 15 years prior to joining the Marylhurst University staff as Instructor in the Graduate Art Therapy Program and going into private practice. She joined Willamette Valley Counseling (A State Certified Mental Health Agency) in 1988 and continued until June of 1995. For the past 15 years her work has focused on assisting clients to utilize “the arts” as tools to access inner wisdom, find meaning, wholeness and balance. Her work concentrates on growth of the mind, the heart, and the spirit. She currently offers supervision for Post Graduates working toward their ATR.

“While serving as Professional Member at Large I hope to support AzATA executive board members, and offer experience and insight.”

Danielle Moss, MA, ATR-BC- Membership Coordinator

Dani graduated from Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA with her Masters in Art Therapy with Specialization in Counseling and has 9 years of art therapy and behavioral health experience. She has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities, at risk adolescent males in a residential wilderness therapy program, and with children and families in both in-home and outpatient settings. Dani is currently a child therapist at Marana Health Center, an outpatient community service provider which integrates medical and behavioral health, where she provides art therapy and counseling to individuals, families and groups. She enjoys exploring the Arizona hiking trails, knitting, and creating art.

“While serving as Membership Coordinator I hope to manage members’ membership status and contact information, help to keep members informed of meetings and events, and help direct members when they are in need of contacting someone from the board. I plan to be a welcoming contact person for all those interested in AzATA and assist them in joining our organization with the hopes to maintain interest and active participation in the Art Therapy Community.”

Rochelle M. Norman, MPS- Chapter DelegateCredentials and Experience: BA in Psychology 2006; MPS in Art Therapy 2010 from School of Visual Arts, 2011 AzATA Board Member. 5 years of professional experience including counseling families in acute behavioral crisis, residential counseling of adolescents and art therapy with elementary school students, adolescents in partial hospital setting, and youth in an outpatient art therapy studio setting.

“While serving as Chapter Delegate I hope to represent AzATA at the national conference as well as create and engage in networking opportunities with other state chapters throughout the year.”

Rory O’Neill Schmitt, MPS, ATR-BC- General Board MemberRory O’Neill Schmitt is an art therapist, art educator, and artist. She believes in the power of art as a catalyst for self-expression and self-exploration. As a board-certified art therapist, she has worked with youth and adults in rehabilitation programs. As a current doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction Studies at Arizona State University, Rory is studying Art Education. Focusing her studies in museums, she has experience both as an educator and curator. In 2011, she co-curated the ASU Art Museum’s family art exhibition, Words of Art. Prior to moving to Phoenix, Rory worked at museums and galleries in New York and California, such as the International Center for Photography, Cristinerose Gallery, Visual Arts Gallery, and the San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum. In addition, she is a fine art photographer who has exhibited her work in New York and Los Angeles, and has published her photography in print and online.
Emily Weiss, BFA- Student Liaison“I graduated in 2008 from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Studio Art. I have a certificate in Early Childhood Education and for the past three years I have worked for the Easter Seals Blake Foundation as an Early Childhood Educator at the Children’s Achievement center in Tucson, Arizona. I am currently in my second year as a graduate student at Prescott College in the Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapies program. In my own art making I enjoy exploring mixed media art work, in particular photography and fibers.””While serving as Student Liaison I hope to promote Art Therapy within the state of Arizona and to be an active role model for fellow students and encourage their membership in AzATA.”

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