Dr. Penelope Orr Wins Second Prestigious Fulbright Award

Edinboro professor lends expertise to develop India’s first graduate art therapy program

Edinboro faculty member Penelope Orr, Ph.D., clinical coordinator of Edinboro’s nationally acclaimed art therapy program, has received a Fulbright Award for launching India’s first graduate-level matching program.

Dr. Orr, who was instrumental in establishing the Master of Arts in Counseling – Art Therapy program at Edinboro, was awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship to establish the program at MIT Art, Design & Technology University (MIT-DTU) in Pune, Maharashtra.

“No graduate degree programs in art therapy currently exist in India, and it is often impossible for Indians to afford an education in the United States or the United Kingdom,” said Orr, chairman of the department. counseling, school psychology and special education in Edinboro. “I built the Edinboro program for the same reason; I have found that many people wanting to learn about art therapy do not have access to graduate programs due to life constraints, whether they have families, jobs or different abilities that would not allow them to travel for two years for higher education.

A practicing art therapist and experienced art therapy educator, Dr. Orr was approached by American art therapists Sangeeta Prasad and Susan Anand to help develop the program. The trio worked alongside art therapists and arts practitioners United States and India developing the MIT-DTU curriculum since 2020.

Dr. Orr will travel to India as a Fulbright Scholar in the spring and summer of 2023 to conduct faculty training workshops, introduce students, and assist in the transition to a fully self-directed program.

“Cultivating an international dialogue in art therapy helps us better serve our clients and expands access to the field of art therapy and mental health care,” said Orr, who received his first Fulbright Award in 2015. to teach and conduct research in London. “The opportunity to assist in the development of India’s first Masters in Art Therapy is an end goal in this lifelong mission.”

The Fulbright is one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programs in the world.

Fellows are selected through a rigorous application and interview process and receive a maintenance stipend as well as an array of supports including visa processing, pre-departure orientation, job opportunities, enrichment in the country, a reintegration session and the possibility of joining alumni networks.

“Dr. Orr is a highly respected, responsive and caring faculty member who has contributed greatly to the success of the University of Edinboro,” said Dr. Erinn Lake, Dean of the School of Education and Executive Director of School of Graduate Studies “She is truly an outstanding practitioner in this area. Edinboro students have benefited greatly from her expertise, and I am confident that MIT-DTU students will benefit as well.”

A graduate of Furman University in South Carolina with a degree in studio art, Dr. Orr earned a master’s degree in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a doctorate in curriculum and teaching. with a focus on arts education from Purdue University. in Indiana. More recently, Dr. Orr completed her second master’s degree in clinical mental health. She is also a licensed and board-certified art therapist.

Prior to joining the University of Edinboro in 2008, Dr. Orr taught at Florida State University. In addition to Edinboro’s graduate art therapy program, she designed and created the online MA in Art Education with Dr. Jay Hanes, who recently retired from Edinboro’s Department of Art. She has also developed an open art therapy studio, which provides a creative mental health space open to all Edinboro students, faculty, staff, families, and community members.

Dr. Orr’s research interests and publications explore digital media, film and online environments in art therapy and art therapy education with a focus on expanding access for clients and students who may have been marginalized due to disability, race or financial constraints. She has published two books, five book chapters and 27 journal articles. Her latest book chapter – “Ethics in Online Art Therapy Education” – dealt with her development of the Edinboro Online Art Therapy Program.

Throughout her career at Edinboro, Dr. Orr has taught arts education, art therapy, and counseling at the graduate and university levels. She currently works as a volunteer with Hagar International, for whom she travels to Cambodia to work with children who have been rescued from human trafficking and to train Cambodian counselors in the use of trauma-informed art therapy. .

Dr. Orr has also worked with The Red Pencil International, which brings the power of creative arts therapy to children and families facing overwhelming life circumstances around the world.

Edinboro’s college-level art therapy program integrates both counseling and visual arts practice while engaging creative power for clinical assessment and treatment. It was the nation’s first fully online art therapy program and the first to gain accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

For more information, visit www.edinboro.edu/art-therapy.