July 2, 2018
We had her at hello.
Meena Asrat, who starts the master’s program in Counseling and Art Therapy in August, was shocked when she came to an open house event last fall and Department Chair Gail Rule-Hoffman greeted her by name.
“She said ‘You must be Meena.’ I couldn’t believe it. In my old school, we had 200 people per class and nobody knew your name. The other students didn’t even know your name.”
Asrat had read about Ursuline and “what it stands for.” She knew the Counseling and Art Therapy program was accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. She knew the program combined art therapy with preparation for licensing as a clinical counselor, the very combination she was looking for. And she toured the campus on a beautiful, fall day.
“After getting the tour and meeting Gail, I really fell in love with Ursuline. I was like, ‘That’s it; I’m moving to Ohio.’”
The icing on the cake.
The Washington, D.C. resident has a beautiful Cleveland apartment all lined up. In August, she moves into Judson Park retirement community, where, in lieu of rent, she will assist the staff art therapist and provide art instruction for five hours a week as an artist in residence.
Asrat was selected for this coveted position after an application process and a full-day interview with Judson staff and residents. “The residents there are really sweet. I can’t wait to move in,” she said.
The future looks positive.
After graduating, Asrat says, she sees herself returning to her native Ethiopia and introducing integrated counseling and art therapy there to address psychological and learning difficulties, especially in children. “Art therapy or counseling, as an integrated program or on its own, is not commonly heard of back home. I am also fully aware of the need for research and teaching in the field as it would be a new terrain to explore the impact of clinical counseling combined with art therapy.”