New Faculty Appointments: Art Therapy Chair and Clinical Director

29 May 2020

St. Stephen's College is pleased to announce the re-appointment of Micheala Slipp to a new position as Clinical Director, and the appointment of Olga Perju to the position of Co-Chair (Art Therapy) of Psychotherapy and Spirituality. Both appointments will be in the Department of Psychotherapy and Spirituality. Micheala and Olga will work closely with Augustine Parattukudi, thus raising the complement of core faculty in that department to three individuals.

"This is an exciting development for St. Stephen's College," remarks Fred Tappenden, Principal and Dean. "The appointments of both Micheala and Olga into these positions, alongside Augustine who continues as Co-Chair, represents an overall expansion of the Department of Psychotherapy and Spirituality. We expect this change will create better role definition between our faculty members, and ultimately improve the experience of students as they navigate the MPS, MPS-AT, PMATD, and Graduate Certificate programs. Overall, these appointments reflect the commitment of St. Stephen's College toward deepening and enriching our programming in Psychotherapy, Art Therapy, and Spirituality."

Olga Perju Olga joins St. Stephen's after having spent the last several years at The Family Centre here in Edmonton. She holds an MA in Creative Arts Therapies (Art Therapy) from Concordia University in Montreal and a BA (Hon.) from the University of Guelph; she is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist, Registered Psychotherapist (Ontario), and a Canadian Certified Counsellor - Supervisor. When asked about taking on this position, she noted: "I know firsthand that art making can have meaningful, positive impacts on individuals and communities. Since moving to Edmonton, I have been increasingly curious about the Art Therapy scene in Alberta. Taking on the Co-Chair position at St. Stephen's is an incredible opportunity to help build the profession in Alberta, and to support students, clinicians, and ultimately clients in our province." In addition to her work at St. Stephen's, Olga also is launching into private practice at Sparrow Creative Counselling Centre.

Micheala Slipp After serving two years in the Co-Chair (Art Therapy) position, Micheala now becomes St. Stephen's first Clinical Director. This position draws on Micheala's significant academic and professional strength in clinical supervision, which has been the area of her doctoral work (her dissertation focuses on video-conferencing clinical supervision). Micheala holds the clinical supervision credential with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association and has been offering clinical supervision to multiple agencies and clients across British Columbia and the Yukon since 2010. In her words: "It is an honour to continue teaching the practicum course and to support the clinical development of St. Stephen's College students in a more focused portfolio. My hope is that this position will allow for enhanced support to our students in practicum placements as they develop their clinical competency in preparation for licensure or registration as counselling therapists and art therapists."

Olga will join the College as Co-Chair (Art Therapy) beginning June 1, 2020, while Micheala will transition to the Clinical Director role on July 1, 2020. When asked about the timing of these appointments, Principal Tappenden noted: "Planning for this transition began back in Fall 2019, and we had hoped to make this announcement about a month ago. Though the impact of COVID-19 has made this transition a bit different than usual, we are delighted that it is now complete. In the midst of what has otherwise been a strange and tumultuous time, these appointments reflect the fact that the work of the College continues to grow and to move forward."

Please join us in congratulating both Olga and Micheala!