Shelly Volsche, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology,
Boise State University
Clarissa M. Uttley, Ph.D.
Plymouth State University
Stephanie Langston, Ph.D.
Appalachian State University
Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center
Editorial Advisory Members
Arieahn Matamonasa Bennett, Ph.D.
Arieahn Matamonasa Bennett, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at DePaul University in Chicago and a Licensed Psychologist. She is a life-long horsewoman who has partnered with horses in educational and therapeutic settings since 2006. She has researched, published, and presented on topics in HAI internationally, and currently serves as a reviewer for Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.
John-Tyler Binfet is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Okanagan campus. He is the founder and director of the Building Academic Retention through K9s (B.A.R.K.; barkubc.ca) program at UBC, and oversees 60 therapy dog teams who participate in stress reduction and well-being initiatives on campus and in the community. In addition to his expertise in canine-assisted interventions, Dr. Binfet writes about best practices to screen, train, and assess therapy dogs and handlers. His research explores the effects of therapy dogs on the well-being of college students. In addition to his work with therapy canines, Dr. Binfet also researches children and adolescent conceptualizations of school kindness. He is the lead author of the School Kindness Scale. More information about Dr. Binfet’s work can be found at: https://education.ok.ubc.ca/about/people/jtbinfet.html
Dr. Phyllis Erdman
Dr. Phyllis Erdman is a Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program and is Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at Washington State University. Dr. Erdman has conducted research in parent/child relationships and human-animal interaction looking at the effectiveness of equine-facilitated activities, particularly in adolescent populations and their impact on social emotional development
Her most recent work has focused on pet loss and bereavement in human-animal relations. She has conducted numerous workshops to help counselors understand the emotional impact of pet loss on their clients. She co-edited a book with Lori Kogan entitled, Pet loss, grief, and therapeutic interventions: Practitioners navigating the human-animal bond, published by Routledge in 2019. Additionally, she has given presentations and workshops on the legal and ethical implications of prescribing service and emotional support animals to help counselors understand the complexity when requested to write letters for their clients.
Dr. Erdman serves as Past Chair of the Human-Animal Interaction Section of Division 17, and is committed to promoting research that documents evidence-based approaches for animal interventions, as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the field of human-animal interactions.
Dr. Aubrey Fine, Ed.D.
Dr. Aubrey Fine, Ed.D., is a native of Montreal, Canada. He received his graduate degree from the 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. 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 named Educator of the Year in 1990 by the Learning Disability Association of California, and received the 2006 California 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, and Afternoons with Puppy. He has also had a featured monthly column on the human-animal bond in Dog Fancy Magazine entitled, The Loving Bond. Dr. Fine is the Chair of the Human-Animal Bond Advisory Committee for Pet Partners, as well as the Past Chair of the steering committee on Human-Animal Interactions for the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Angela Fournier, PhD
Angela Fournier, PhD, LP, holds a PhD in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech. She is a licensed psychologist in Minnesota and a professor in the department of psychology at Bemidji State University. Dr. Fournier is certified in equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning (EAP) with Eagala, and co-facilitates EAP at Eagle Vista Ranch & Wellness Center in Bemidji, MN. As director of the Human-Animal Interaction Laboratory, she conducts studies into the psychological processes and outcomes of human-animal interaction, focusing on development of theory and validated measures. Recent work includes development of the human-animal interaction scale, investigation of HAI in laboratory and applied settings, and exploration of psychosocial issues for professionals in animal-welfare work.
Dr. Maya Gupta
Dr. Maya Gupta earned her BA from Columbia University, and both her M.S. and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia. Her primary area of expertise is animal cruelty, including its connections to domestic violence and other forms of violence. She was a cofounder of the Section on Human-Animal Interaction in 2008, and has since served its Governing Body in a variety of roles.
She is currently Senior Director of Research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where she leads a team focused on research and program evaluation efforts in the areas of cruelty/disaster response, public policy, community engagement, animal behavior, and equine and farm animal welfare.
She previously served as Executive Director of Ahimsa House, a Georgia nonprofit organization assisting human and animal victims of domestic violence, and as Executive Director of the Animals & Society Institute. She has also contracted for animal welfare organizations on program development and evaluation, served as a consultant for federal research on human-animal interaction, and provided expert witness services for animal cruelty cases.
Dr. Gupta is an adjunct faculty member for the University of Florida Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program and the Master’s Program in Anthrozoology at Canisius College, as well as a guest lecturer/supervisor for the Veterinary Social Work Program at the University of Tennessee. Her professional service includes roles on the Steering Committee of the National Link Coalition, the Animal Cruelty Advisory Council of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Board of Directors of Mojave Animal Protection, the Advisory Team of Pets for Vets, the Advisory Council of Ahimsa House, and the Advisory Committee of the Banfield Foundation’s Safer Together Initiative.
Lynette Hart is Professor of Human-Animal Interactions and Animal Behavior at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she teaches courses, leads research, and mentors students. She completed a PhD at Rutgers University in animal behavior and, after arriving at UC Davis, spearheaded data-based studies in the newly developing field of human-animal interactions, publishing well over 100 papers. From the early 1980s, this work has particularly focused on service dogs, relationships of various groups with dogs or cats, and pet loss. She is a founding member and fellow of the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), and was selected as the first distinguished anthrozoologist in 2017. The special relationships of people with assistance/service dogs are a current research focus, as well as behavioral studies of elephants.
Dr. Brinda Jegatheesan
Dr. Brinda Jegatheesan is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle. She specializes in educational and developmental psychology, medical anthropology, and anthrozoology. Her research concerns the unexamined links between children and animals, and the role animals play in their psychological wellbeing. She investigates the effects of child-animal interactions and AAI in multicultural children, child migrants/refugees, children with psychiatric (autism and other developmental disabilities, PTSD) and medical issues, and on the link between family violence, child abuse and animal abuse. Other areas of focus are animal welfare in AAI, One Health-One Welfare, bioethics in AAI, and the psychology of bond-centered practice in veterinary medicine and human-animal interactions. Brinda Jegatheesan is the Vice-President of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), and a Fellow at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver.
Amy Johnson is the Director of the Center for Human-Animal Interventions at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. Since 2007, she has developed and directed the center’s online Animal-Assisted Therapy Certificate Program. Amy also founded and directs the nonprofit Teacher's Pet: Dogs and Kids Learning Together, which pairs at-risk (adjudicated and 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. Amy is the 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 Interaction Division 17; and serves on the Dog Welfare Committee for Animal-Assisted Interventions International. She has published journal articles and book chapters related to human-animal interventions, and is a licensed professional counselor as well as a nationally certified dog trainer.
Karen D. Schaefer, Ph.D.
Karen D. Schaefer, Ph.D., is a licensed Psychologist who has been living and practicing in Las Cruces since 1990 when she started employment at New Mexico State University (NMSU). She received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She was the Director of Counseling & Student Development at NMSU from 2009 until May 1, 2017 when she retired. Prior to this position, she was the Training Director at the NMSU Counseling Center for 17 years. Karen is currently in private practice, providing individual, couples, and group therapy services. Her areas of professional interest and research include training and supervision; adult survivors of childhood abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, neglect); adult trauma survivors, including combat veterans; LGBTQ clients; individuals struggling with depression or grief and loss issues; offenders of abuse toward humans or animals; survivors who have witnessed animal abuse; the healing aspects of human-animal interactions; and the provision of animal-assisted therapy as an adjunct to psychotherapy. She has presented on multiple occasions about the link between animal abuse and human violence, as well as the integration of animal-assisted interventions in therapy.
Professor Tania Signal
Professor Tania Signal comes originally from New Zealand, where she received her PhD in Psychology from Waikato University working within the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Centre. In 2003, she moved to Australia and took up a position at Central Queensland University. Over the past 15 years, she has developed a comprehensive research program investigating topics such as links between personality factors (especially empathy), interpersonal violence, and the treatment of animals through to community attitudes regarding farm animal welfare and suitable penalties for individuals convicted of animal cruelty offenses. Much of this research involves collaborative work with community partners, resulting in tangible benefits for all involved. Tania is a member of the Australasian Animal Studies Group, the Queensland Centre for Domestic & Family Violence, and the Appleton Institute, as well as a Charter Scholar Member of the Animals & Society Institute (USA).
Clarissa M. Uttley, Ph.D.
Clarissa M. Uttley, Ph.D., is a professor of Education and the Program Coordinator of the MEd in Curriculum & Instruction at Plymouth State University (PSU). She earned her BS and MS degrees in Human Development & Family Studies, and her PhD in Psychology (Behavioral Science specialization), from the University of Rhode Island. She is the coordinator of the on-campus pet-assisted-therapy program at PSU. In addition, she has published articles, co-authored book chapters, and presented at national and international conferences. Her current work focuses on the impact of human-animal interactions with adolescents, specifically in social-emotional development and issues of restorative justice.
Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC
Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, a registered play therapist-supervisor, and a certified dog behavior consultant. In addition to her other psychology work, she is the President of the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy® (AAPT). She has been active in the development and research of AAPT, and has actively sought to preserve the welfare of animals involved in any forms of animal-assisted interventions. She is the author of the acclaimed and award-winning book, Animal Assisted Play Therapy™, published in 2017 by Professional Resource Press. She lives and works in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, but travels nationally and internationally to train other mental health professionals in a variety of psychological and play therapy topics, as well as in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™. Her websites include: www.risevanfleet.com and www.iiaapt.org.