Dr. Yemonja Smalls represents the SAIC's Art Therapy graduate program, one of the nation's leaders on the practical and intellectual dimensions of art therapy theory, research, and philosophy, as well as important trends in related fields such as counseling and psychology. As a knowledgeable, empathic, ethical, and skilled professional, she is deeply committed to helping others gain or recover intellectual and emotional clarity, equilibrium, and power.
Berna Huebner is President, Chair and Founder of the Hilgos Foundation which supports and encourages the ongoing process of artistic creation with people who have different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. She is the Co-Director of I Remember Better When I Paint, a documentary and book by the same name that explore how the creative arts help people with Alzheimer's re-engage in life. Berna is on the Arts & Minds Board in NYC and was a member of Boston University School of Medicine Alzheimer’s Board. She was Research Director for Nelson Rockefeller when he was Governor of New York and Vice President. She is currently the Director of the Center for the Study of International Communications in Paris, France.
Jean Unsworth is an artist, author, teacher, and the co-founder of the Chicago Children's Museum. At 91 years-young, she is proof positive that you're never too old to set the world on fire. Jean's interest has always been the "non-artist" - those who think they cannot draw and have no interest in looking at art. During her sixteen years as Professor of Fine Arts at Loyola University Chicago her favorite course was the basic Art Appreciation elective which drew mostly Business majors. She always found it to be a joy to open worlds of art to them and to challenge their creative abilities. As Art Consultant for the Chicago Archdiocesan schools for those same years, she did countless workshops for classroom teachers, empowering them to challenge their students to draw and think creatively.
Jennifer Norback isthe owner of one of the premier galleries located in Chicago’s River North arts district. Founded in 2008, JNFA specializes in representing international artists with a focus on contemporary art that recognizes the long humanist tradition of art, but is also responsive to the contemporary world.
Fabiana Glazer is the founder and executive director of GoldMind Arts, a firm that provides art workshops focusing on patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia care workshops, inter-generational programming and professional development for scientists and medical practitioners to enable them to leverage the arts in patient care. Fabiana has presented inter-generational best practice standards at Life Services Network, and has also created and facilitated successful intergenerational workshops throughout the Chicagoland area.
Nikki Gamble is the Life Enrichment Manager of the Terraces Healthcare at The Clare. The Clare itself is a luxury independent living retirement community and the Terraces Healthcare within The Clare provides expert care and assistance to those living in assisted living, memory care, and skilled rehabilitation. Nikki has her Master’s in Music Therapy and is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Her background in Music Therapy gives her a deep understanding of the importance of the arts in the lives of seniors, especially those living with dementia.
Bryan D. James, PhD, is an epidemiologist with the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Community Epidemiologic Research. James received his doctorate in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009, his Master of Bioethics degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and his Bachelor of Arts in biology and the philosophy of science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He joined the RADC in 2009. His research focuses on identifying risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, cognitive decline and disability at the population level. In particular, he is interested in social and lifestyle factors that can promote a neural reserve capacity that protects against the clinical manifestation of disease pathology in the aging brain. James is an active member of the Gerontological Society of America and the Society for Epidemiological Research and has published extensively in the areas of cognitive aging, gerontology, neuroepidemiology, and research ethics.
Student, Lifelong Learning program of National Louis University; Director, Community Theater; Registered, Board Certified Drama Therapist; performer/member Playback Chicago theater troupe