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"About two years ago I decided that I wanted to be an art therapist. There are only about 30 graduate schools in the country that offer a Master's Degree in Art Therapy. CNR was my first choice."

Joyce Bellish
Class of 2009
Art Therapy/Counseling
Graduate School
The College of New Rochelle


Joyce, tell us something about your family and where you are from?

I was born in the Bronx, New York. I currently live in Ossining, New York with my husband and I have two children. My daughter is away at college and is a sophomore, and my son is a sophomore in high school.


Where did you go to college for your undergraduate degree?

I graduated from SUNY/University of Buffalo in 1979. I spent 2006-2007 at Westchester Community College getting the undergraduate credits I would need for grad school (all 30 of them!)


Why did you decide to attend The College of New Rochelle?

About two years ago I decided that I wanted to be an art therapist. There are only about 30 graduate schools in the country that offer a Master's Degree in Art Therapy. CNR was my first choice. I also looked at the program at the New York University. I was really impressed with CNR's emphasis on developing the artist within the student and the wider range of theory and technique that was taught. It was also more affordable. I think the school goes out of its way to make itself affordable. When I went to the Open House, listening to the director of financial aid, I really felt that she would sit down with me and figure out some way to make it possible to attend. I'm doing this full-time and not working. As my husband said, he hadn't planned on having 2 "kids" in college at the same time! CNR has certainly made it easier for us!


What are you studying, Joyce?

I'm getting my degree in Art Therapy/Counseling.


Do you have any favorite teachers?

Tough question. So far, I have had four teachers. Joanna Astor was my Collage & Assemblage professor during the summer graduate institute. She did more to help me develop as an artist then any teacher had done previously. Dr. Patricia St. John, Associate Professor of Art Therapy and Art Education in the Graduate School, knows the stress and confusion that comes with starting graduate school and has done so much to help eliminate all of that. Professor Carolyn Szala also does an amazing job presenting the material. I wish she would teach more classes. I have Robert Wolf, Professor of Art Studio, for two classes. I think the most meaningful experiences I have had in the program so far have been in Professor Wolf’s Psychology of Art Materials class and his Dream Seminar class. He helps us truly understand what it would be like for the client in the therapeutic relationship as well as the therapist. Experiencing art materials first hand in the context of art therapy in his Psychology of Art Materials class has been an amazing journey for me. I've learned so much about myself and grown in ways I could never have imagined. I think his Dream Seminar should be a required course for the program. He poses tough questions, frequently about our own reactions and feelings to the material, encourages us to experiment with new ideas and offers tremendous support.


What has surprised you the most about the Graduate School?

I really didn't know what to expect, so I can't say I was surprised about anything.  I'm just very impressed with the quality of the teaching, the tremendous amount of knowledge my classmates bring to the table and the resources available.


Do you have a job on campus?

Yes, I was fortunate to be offered a Graduate Assistantship and I work in the Graduate School Dean's Office.


When do you expect to graduate?

I expect to graduate in May of 2009.


What are your career plans?

My goal is to practice art therapy, working with adults in an institutional setting and perhaps one day work in private practice.

To find out if  CNR is the right choice for you, please contact:

Graduate School

Office of the Dean
The College of New Rochelle
29 Castle Place
New Rochelle, NY 10805
914-654-5334  
email: gs@cnr.edu


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