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Donna Owens

Assistant Professor/Supervisor of Academic Affairs, Expressive Therapies

Photograph of Donna Owens smiling facing the camera

Donna C. Owens (she/her/hers) completed her dissertation research on multicultural counseling competency in the creative arts therapies. Her current research interests include multicultural competency training in the helping professions, use of poetic transcription in evaluation reports, and the role of spirituality in healing.

As an educator, Donna is committed to collaborative, inquiry-based methods, encouraging students to examine deeply the systemic, sociopolitical, and historical issues which are fundamental to understanding the communities in which they work. Donna has been an educator and trainer for many years–training children and youth in participatory action research, conducting train-the-trainer workshops with young adult leaders, and leading a multitude of trainings and workshops for nonprofit staff and managers.

Donna is an evaluation research consultant, specializing in process and outcomes evaluation, performance management, and organizational development. Her evaluation background includes youth development, gender-specific and arts-integrated prevention programming, community-based participatory action research, and mixed-methods evaluation.

Donna maintains membership in the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Greater Boston Evaluation Network (GBEN), and participates in the International Society for Evaluation Education (ISEE). Donna currently serves on the board of The Theater Offensive (TTO) and on the editorial board of the Journal of Poetry Therapy (JPT).

Publications (select)

Owens, D. C. (current status: conditionally accepted pending revisions). “I found life and Addis there”: Poetic representation in program evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation.

Owens, D. C. (2017). Meditations on the Psalms in words and images: An arts-integrated spiritual practice. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 31(1), 228-240. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08893675.2017.1351708

Owens, D. C. (2012). Examining multicultural competency education in the creative arts therapies (Publication No. 3509294) [Doctoral dissertation, Lesley University]. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. https://digitalcommons.lesley.edu/expressive_dissertations/23

Owens, D. C. (2005). The Psalms: ‘A Therapy of Words’. Journal of Poetry Therapy, 18(3), 133-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08893670500232254

Owens, D. C. & Jones, K. T. (2004). Adapting the youth participatory action model to serve LGBTQ youth of color. Practicing Anthropology, 26, 25-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.17730/praa.26.2.0456r98m2pvg200g

Berg, M. J., Owens, D. C., & Schensul, J. J. (2002). Participatory action research, service learning, and community youth development. CYD Journal: Community Youth Development, 3 (2), 20-25.

Berg, M. J. & Owens, D. C. (2000). Empowered voices: A participatory action research curriculum for girls. Institute for Community Research.

Sydlo, S. J., Schensul, J. J., Owens, D. C., Brase, M. K., Wiley, K. N., Berg, N., Baez, E., & Schensul, D. (2000). Participatory action research curriculum for empowering youth. Institute for Community Research.


PhD, Expressive Therapies, Lesley University

MA, Expressive Therapies/Mental Health Counseling, Lesley University

BA, Women’s Studies, Socialization, Trinity College