Education- Gretchen obtained a Bachelor of Science in Art Therapy from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) and received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Ursuline College. During her time at BGSU, Gretchen was the recipient of The School of Art's James W. Strong Community Service Award, in which she received funding to develop and implement a community-based arts program for youth. Gretchen was also the recipient for Outstanding Art Therapy Student awarded by BGSU's College of Health and Human Services. In graduate school, Gretchen was the award recipient for Exceptional Creativity and Achievement in Thesis Research from Ursuline College's Master of Arts in Art Therapy Program. In honor of Ursuline College’s Art Therapy and Counseling Program 25th Anniversary in 2011, Gretchen received an Alumni Service Award for Promoting the Field of Art Therapy and Building Community, as well as an Award of Commendation for Student Mentoring and Supervision.

Professional Practice- Gretchen has worked extensively with children and adolescents, including starting her art therapy career in residential treatment and partial hospitalization programs (1995-2004).  Her work in residential treatment motivated her to focus more in the area of childhood trauma and loss. This has often included providing art therapy to grieving children and adolescents who have experienced a death of a loved one, children and teens from homes of domestic violence, and families, adults transitioning out of homelessness. Gretchen's work with trauma intervention and loss inspired her to become an Advanced Certified Trauma Practitioner (ACTP) and Trainer through The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC).  In 2011 Gretchen was the recipient of TLC's Consultant Supervisor of the Year Award.  Gretchen also joined TLC's Blogging Team as a Guest Contributor in 2014.

In 2015 Gretchen joined Akron Children's Hospital Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient team in the Division of Psychology & Psychiatry to facilitate art therapy groups with adolescents. She also currently coordinates and provides art therapy outreach services for Ursuline ArtSpace. Gretchen's work as an art therapist has been featured in Cleveland's Plain Dealer and The Huffingtion Post.

Teaching & Lecturing- Gretchen has presented regionally and nationally on the application of art therapy, is a guest lecturer, thesis reader, and adjunct professor at Ursuline College's Master of Arts in Counseling & Art Therapy Program. She also currently teaches for TLC as an Online Instructor about group interventions and strategies for traumatized children and adolescents. Gretchen has been a visiting faculty for Mount Mary University's Master of Science Art Therapy Program (2007, 2013), 2012 Fall Speaker for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Student Art Therapy Association Conference and invited Keynote in 2015 for The New Jersey Art Therapy Association.

Community Organizing and Social Media- Gretchen has an interest in social media and computer technology, which includes creating, designing, and managing various websites, forums, and blogging related to art therapy, creativity, e-networking, and community organizing for art therapists. In 2008, she founded The Art Therapy Alliance, an on-line professional network that embraces social media and connection to promote art therapy, the work of art therapists, and build community. Gretchen also created the online community 6 Degrees of Creativity in 2011 that cultivates creative goodness through art making, collaboration, and connection. In 2013, Gretchen joined the American Art Therapy Association's Social Media Committee, serving as Content Creator for the Association's Facebook page.  In 2016 she was honored for her social media work by the AATA with a Presidential Recognition Award.

Gretchen currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Southwestern College to assist with areas of concern and interest for the college's leadership. Gretchen is also a member of the Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA) and is a Past President of this non-profit professional organization dedicated to the advancement of art therapy in Ohio. She also served as BATA's Publications Committee Chair, which included being the Editor of BATA's quarterly newsletter, The Palette.  Gretchen has been active within the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), including serving as Web Editor of the Association's official website from 2005-2008 and Program Chair for AATA's 40th Anniversary Conference in 2009. Her past AATA committee work has also included Student Subcommittee Chair (1997-1999), Education Committee (1999-2002), Web Editorial Committee (2002-2003), Publications Committee (2005-2006), Governmental Affairs Committee (2007-2008) and AATA's Journal Advisory Board (2007-2009). Currently Gretchen serves as an Ad Hoc Reviewer for AATA's Journal.
Master of Arts in Art Therapy, Ursuline College
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
art therapy, trauma, adolescents, groups
social media, social networking, digital media
Personal Interests
Gretchen enjoys finding inspiration, creating positive energy, and discovering transformation by working in mixed media, collage, altered art, art journaling, as well as organizing global art exchanges and creative collaborations