Skip to Main Content

Registration Is Now Open!

ANIMAL-Assisted Therapy SYMPOSIUM & Expo

 

Meet Your Speakers


 
Aubrey-Fine

Dr. Aubrey Fine

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

 

Dr. Aubrey Fine is a native of Montreal, Canada. He received his graduate degree from University of Cincinnati in 1982. Dr. Fine has been on the faculty at California State Polytechnic University since 1981 and is presently a Professor Emeritus and a licensed psychologist. In 2001, Dr. Fine was presented the Wang Award given to distinguished professors within the California State University system (23 Universities).

 

Aubrey has been recognized by numerous organizations for his service and dedication to children, animals and the community. In July of 2016, he received the William McCulloch Award for Excellence in HAI Education and Practice from the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations, in Paris, France. Additionally, he was awarded the Educator of the Year in 1990, from the Learning Disability Association of CA, as well as receiving the 2006 CA Poly Faculty Award for Community Engagement.

 

Aubrey’s primary research interests relate to the psycho-social impact of human animal interactions and animal assisted interventions, social skills training and children with ADHD, and resilience in children. Dr. Fine is the author of several books including Our Faithful Companions, Parent Child Dance, Therapist's Guide to Learning and Attention Disorders, Fathers and Sons, The Total Sports Experience for Children, Give a Dog Your Heart, The Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy (new 5th edition released in July 2019) and Afternoons with Puppy. He also has had a featured monthly column in Dog Fancy Magazine on the human animal bond entitled the Loving Bond. He has been a guest on numerous national TV and Radio Shows including on programs on ABC, Discovery Network, KTLA, NPR, PBS, Fox and CNN. His work has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, People magazine, LA and N.Y. Times. He was noted as one of the pioneers in Animal Assisted Therapy in a March issue of the NY Times. Dr. Fine is the chair of the Human Animal Bond Advisory Committee of Pet Partners as well as the past chair of the steering committee on Human Animal Interactions for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 


 

 

Amber-Barnes

Amber Barnes, MPH, PhD

Associate Professor

Brooks College of Health | University of North Florida

 

Amber N. Barnes earned her PhD in Public Health, with a concentration in Environmental and Global Health at the University of Florida. Following a postdoctoral research position with Duke University’s One Health program in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Dr. Barnes began teaching as an instructor at the University of North Florida. Her research explores the role of domestic animals in peri-urban communities of Kisumu, Kenya and their association with household food and water contamination as well as the prevalence and risk factors for zoonotic enteric parasites among rural Mongolian herding households, domestic animals, and the environment.

 

She has previously served as a Florida Department of Health’s Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellow and a polio eradication consultant for WHO/CDC STOP Team 37 in Sierra Leone. Her research interests are in zoonotic disease and the creation of One Health programs to support a healthier human-animal relationship.

 


 
Cristy Cummings

Cristy E. Cummings, PhD, LMSW

Assistant Professor

Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work | University of North Florida

 

Cristy E. Cummings joined the University of North Florida faculty in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work. She earned a PhD in social work from Michigan State University, with a dissertation on help-seeking behavior of male victims of sexual assault. She also holds a MSW degree with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from Indiana University South Bend.

While pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked as a veterinary social worker at the Michigan State Veterinary Medical Center. Her primary role was in the emergency room, supporting clients through difficult decisions and emotional events involving their companion animal. This role also included the opportunity to support veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and animal caretakers in an effort to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. She has been an invited guest lecturer by professors at Michigan State University School of Social Work and the College of Veterinary Medicine to present on the following topics: having difficult conversations about grief and loss, and the link between violence towards humans and violence towards animals.

Her teaching interests include social work research, practice, and the human-animal bond. Dr. Cummings’ primary area of research focuses on victims' interface with health, criminal justice, and social service organizations, and help-seeking behaviors. She is especially interested in inquiry that relates to how interventions involving animals can ease that process.

 

 


 
Amy-Johnson

Amy Johnson, MA, MAT, LPC, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB

CENTER FOR HUMAN ANIMAL INTERVENTIONS DIRECTOR

ONLINE ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY CERTIFICATE DIRECTOR

School of Nursing | Oakland University

 

Amy Johnson is the Director of the Center for Human Animal Interventions at Oakland University in Rochester, MI which includes the online Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate program which she developed and has directed since 2007. She founded and directs the nonprofit, Teacher's Pet: Dogs and Kids Learning Together which pairs at risk (adjudicated as well as homeless) youth with harder-to-adopt rescue dogs for a multi week training intervention program. This program was a part of an NIHCD funded study in 2012. She is co-facilitator of the Human Animal Interventions in Counseling Interest Network through the American Counseling Association, a board member and chair of the competencies committee for the American Psychological Association, Human Animal Interactions Division 17 as well as on the dog welfare committee for Animal Assisted Interventions International. She has published journal articles and book chapters related to human animal interventions. She is a licensed professional counselor as well as a nationally certified dog trainer.

 


 
Jennifer Main

Jennifer Main, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S

OWNER

Magnolia Counseling & Play Therapy, PLLC

 

Dr. Jennifer Main is a licensed professional counselor supervisor and registered play therapist supervisor in Mississippi. She has raised and trained 3 shelties, all of which have went on to become certified therapy dogs. Dr. Main earned a doctorate from the University of Mississippi in Counselor Education and Supervision in 2017 with her dissertation focused on Understanding Child-Centered Canine Assisted Play Therapy: A Qualitative Collective Case Study. She actively uses her trained therapy dog, Rook, in the treatment of emotional and behavioral issues with children through the use of Canine Assisted Play Therapy. She has utilized the use of her therapy dog through her work in private practice as well as in various university settings.

 

Dr. Main has published articles on the topic of Canine Assisted Play Therapy and presented at local, state and national conferences on a variety of topics pertaining to Play Therapy and Canine Assisted Play Therapy. She is currently a board member and the secretary for the Mississippi Association for Play Therapy.

 


 
Rev-Elizabeth-Teal

Reverend Elizabeth Teal

 

Reverend Elizabeth Teal is a specialist in interspecies/trans-species bonds, companion animal behavior, animal-assisted therapy, education, emotional support and crisis response. She was on the board of The Society of North American Dog Trainers; served on the Pet Partners National committee; was a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers; and was a Delta Society Pet Partners evaluator and instructor. At the ASPCA’s headquarters in New York City, she was coordinator of the Visiting Pet Program, served as an evaluator of shelter and Board of Health animals in the care of the ASPCA, and was a behavioral counselor with the Society’s Companion Animal Services. She and her dog Annie made over 19 trips to the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11 and volunteered at the NYC Family Assistance Center Pier 94 until it closed. Annie lived a long life of service and love. Reverend Lizzie has a new canine partner, Tomi, a Standard Poodle. Together they partner in chaplaincy, and spiritual counseling. Tomi is also a Canine Guardian ad Litem in the State of Florida, additionally he visits with the Clay County Humane Society. She is a consultant for ‘Pattes Tendue,’ headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.