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Kelvin Ramirez

Associate Professor/Coordinator of Art Therapy

Kelvin Ramirez

Dr. Kelvin Ramirez is a Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and core faculty member of the Department of Graduate Expressive Therapies. Kelvin 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, Kelvin 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, Kelvin 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.

Kelvin 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.

His 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
  • 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
  • The connections between horticultural therapy and art therapy to transform communities

Teaching is important to Kelvin, 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. Kelvin 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.



Executive Producer, Love in the Making
Executive Producer, Art Therapy: Therapy the Movie


Kerr, C. (2015) Multicultural Family Art Therapy. Identity Formation and Cultural Isolation: An El Salvadorean Family’s Therapeutic Journey.

Academic Manuscripts

Ramirez, K. (2013). Art therapy for enhancing academic experience of male high school freshmen (Order No. 3603041). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ Lesley University; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1468451575). Retrieved from http://ezproxyles.flo.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1468451575?accountid=12


Understanding the impact of gender and culture on both patients and therapists

Horticultural Therapy and the Expressive Arts Therapies. Featured Speaker at the New York Botanical Gardens

SHOTS FIRED: Photographic Materiality, Evidence, and Trauma. Discussing gun violence in schools and communities. Co-Presenters: Deborah LeeKeenan, Joshua Baldwin, Andre Ruesch, Mark Teiwes

Creatively Dealing with Trauma & Anxiety

Coping with Special Needs Populations: Strategies for Families

Reframing Disability: The Art of Working with Special Needs Populations

The Art of Trauma-Informed Treatment: A Training for Mental Health Professionals. The Resilience Center, Mumbai

Arts-Based Research in Art Therapy: Using the Self as a Tool.  Wilfrid Laurier University Vancouver

From Moments to Movements, Solidarity, Collective Struggle and Common Cause

Insidious Absurdity and Ironic Logic: Higher Education's Struggle with Itself. Co-Presenter: Angelica Pinna-Perez

The Progressive Therapeutic Paradox: Struggling with Internalized Narratives of Race when Working Internationally

Expressive Therapies Conference Arlington, VA

Mindfulness, Compassion, and the Arts in Therapy: From Neuroscience to Clinical Practice

Expressive Arts Therapies Abroad: Challenges & Rewards for Therapists and Communities

Exploring the Potential for Expressive Arts Therapies in Addressing Social Justice Issues in the Dominican Republic.  Co-Presenters: Mitchell Kossak, Angelica Pinna-Perez, Jeffrey Ansloos

Examining Structural Violence

Immigration - Dehumanizing Undocumented Minors to Protect America(ns)

Bridging Cultural Terrains Expanding the Lens of Art Therapy

Art Therapy in the Developing World: Opportunities for Social Justice Co-Presenters: Becky Jacobson, Stacey Karpen, Lorette Dye

Magnetic Forces: Working with Attraction and Aversion to Difference and Social Justice

How Much Can I Take?: The Lure of Theoretical Justice. Co-Presenter: Craig Haen

The Enemy Within: Confronting Oppressive Systems within Expressive Therapies Practices with Latino(a) Populations

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Adolescent Brain Development

International Social Action and Art Therapy Education: Benefits and Consequences

Playing to the Audience: Trauma Dynamics and the Complexity of Race and Color. Co-Presenters, Craig Haen, Elva Anderson

Raising Morally Conscious Children: Teaching through Example: Implementing Effective Parenting Style and Self Care

Social Action-Art Therapy: An International Therapeutic Experience in Nicaragua. Co-Presenters, Deborah Brass, Elizabeth Youngs

Phototherapy Outreach: Photo-therapy with elementary school children labeled as at-risk of dropping out of school by the Brockton District Attorney.  Co-Presenters, Prof. Maryjean Viano Crowe, Justin Vuylsteke


  • PhD, Expressive Therapies, Lesley University
  • MS, Art Therapy and Counseling, College of New Rochelle
  • BA, Fine Arts, Stonehill College
  • Board Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC)
  • Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT)

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