Dr. Ramirez is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and core faculty member of the Department of Graduate Expressive Therapies. Dr. Ramirez is a Board Member of FNE International, a 501(c)3 organization that partners with communities in developing nations to identify opportunities to advance housing, health and education. With that international experience, Dr. Ramirez continues to collaborate and develops programs with educators, clinicians, and community leaders in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and India. He has developed academic curriculum that build and reinforce initiatives in Nicaragua, The Dominican Republic, Haiti and India.
Prior to joining Lesley, Dr. Ramirez was the Vice-Principal of a high school in the South Bronx where he developed and incorporated art therapy within educational systems to enhance student’s personal and academic growth. During his 9-year tenure as Vice-Principal, Art Therapy was infused throughout the academic and therapeutic approaches of the school, increasing retention and shifting behavioral approaches to enhance students' socio-emotional development. Dr. Ramirez has taught for the Counseling Division at the College of New Rochelle and the Clinical Art Therapy Program at Long Island University C.W. Post.
Current areas of interest and research include the development of international Art Therapy initiatives that conform to the specific needs of communities, contemporary social justice issues and how art therapy addresses or ignores systemic oppression, the underrepresentation of people of color within the field of art therapy and the implications of this on theory and practice, and the connections between horticultural therapy and art therapy to transform communities.
Teaching is important to Dr. Ramirez, because it is through this act of service that people are prepared to direct their destinies and author their own stories. It is a profession that entrusts educators with the malleable minds of the future. Dr. Ramirez holds fast to the unwavering ideals that brought him to education, including that social injustices can only be remedied by an educated populous, that an educated mind is a mind called into action for the betterment of all human kind, and that through educating our future generations, our positive influence on the world will continue long after we expire.