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Community and campus invited to learn more about how dogs help people heal on Nov. 3
Monday, October 29, 2012

November 3:

Jonell Belcher

SUNY Fredonia graduate Jonell Belcher, above, is one of the presenters for the Canine Therapy topics on November 3. The 2010 Fredonia graduate is a military veteran who is certified as an animal-assisted social worker. 

ON-SITE REGISTRATIONS for the Nov. 3 event is being accepted! Please call or email Bruce Klonsky  (673-3892) if you are considering this or would like to register in advance.

To help the campus and community learn more about animal-assisted learning and therapy,  SUNY Fredonia Psychology Professors Bruce Klonsky and Nancy Gee, along with Psychologist Sandra Vedovato are hosting a two-part series, "Horses, Hounds, and Healing Arts: Animal-Assisted Learning and Therapy Programs," which will allow participants to hear from experts in the fields of animal-assisted learning and therapy.

However, attendance at workshops requires registration on-site or in advance through Dr. Bruce Klonsky, and a fee of $12 per person, which includes lunch. Campus and community groups are welcome to sponsor an individual’s attendance at workshops.

People from many backgrounds have reported the beneficial effects from interactions with animals, both as life companions and as service or therapy "assistants." As a result, animal-assisted programming has been offered in schools, workplaces, medical and mental health hospitals/clinics, military sites and senior living facilities.

November 3 features Canine Therapy

The Nov. 3 session, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Horizon Room of the Williams Center, will focus on canine therapy topics and feature Dr. Gee and Jonell Belcher, MSW. Gee is a Mars Corporation Fellow in Human-Animal Interaction whose professional research has revealed the positive effects which dogs have on the motor and cognitive skills of young children. Belcher is a SUNY Fredonia graduate (Class of 2010) and a military veteran who earned her master’s degree in Social Work with an animal-assisted social work certificate from the University of Denver. 

Another presenter is Psychology Professor Justin Couchman, Ph.D., who is researching the effects of dogs on children's higher-level mental skills.

Representatives from schools, medical and mental health facilities, senior programs, civil service organizations such as fire and police, military organizations and prison programs, are encouraged to attend this program.

Funding for the series has been provided by the SUNY Fredonia Convocation Committee as well as the Faculty-Student Association.

Animal-assisted learning and therapy programs

Equine-assisted Program- Saturday, Oct. 20
SPEAKERS AND WORKSHOP LEADERS:  CLAUDIA MONROE, PT, President, Centaur stride therapeutic riding, Westfield, NY;  DEBBI FISHER, Operations Director, Rainier Therapeutic Riding Center, Yelm, WA

Keynote Remarks, “Equine-ASSISTED interventions: BENEFITS AND CAUTIONS” : 11 a.m. to noon. Free to campus and community.

Workshop, “Resource Information about equine-assisted programs and Volunteer/Internship Opportunities:” noon to 3 p.m.,  $12/person, includes lunch. Advance Registration Required: Contact or 716-673-3892 by October 12, 2012.  

Military and Civilian Responder Programming: 3 to 4:30 p.m.  All interested campus and community members are welcome to join in a planning session for local animal-assisted programming for military and civilian responders.

Canine-assisted program: Saturday, Nov. 3
Speakers and workshop leaders:  NANCY GEE, PHD, Professor of Psychology, and Jonell Belcher, MSW

Keynote Remarks, "CANINE-ASSISTED interventions: BENEFITS AND CAUTIONS:" 11 a.m. to noon. Free.

Workshop, “Resource Information About canine-assisted Programs and Volunteer/Internship Opportunities:” Noon to 3 p.m., Horizon Room, Williams Center. Workshop Fee: $12/person, includes lunch. Register by October 12 through or by calling 673-3892.


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