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Arts & Health @NYU

Nisha Sajnani

Dr. Nisha Sajnani, NYU Steinhardt/ NYU Stern/ NYU Abu Dhabi (Founder/Co-Director)

Nisha Sajnani is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Drama Therapy, the NYU Theatre & Health Lab, and the Chair of the NYU Creative Arts Therapies Consortium and International Research Alliance. Her research and practice centers on the role of imaginative play, improvisation, and performance in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, trauma prevention, and community mental health. She is the Editor of Drama Therapy Review and a senior fellow with the Minnesota Institute for Trauma-Informed Education. Dr. Sajnani is also on faculty in the Stern School of Business where she co-developed and teaches a course on improvisation and effective leadership and is affiliated with NYU Abu Dhabi where she teaches a course entitled Can Art Save Lives?

Andrew Feigin

Dr. Andrew Feigin, NYU Langone (Co-Director)

Andrew Feigin is a Professor of Neurology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where he directs the Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders. He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and has been involved in research and clinical care for patients with Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and related movement disorders for more than 25 years. Dr. Feigin’s research focuses on clinical trial design and conduct, and he has also worked extensively on the use of neuroimaging as an outcome measure in clinical trials for movement disorders. He has been an investigator on more than 30 clinical trials of potential treatments for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, including therapeutic innovations in the arts therapies.

Mary Bitel

Dr. Mary Bitel, Tisch School of the Arts (Co-Director)

Mary Bitel is the former Chair of Tisch Open Arts and the founder of the Collaborative Arts BFA where she teaches the integration of the arts with the theories, skills and dynamics of group work. Mary also teaches acting at Tisch with a focus on Shakespeare’s texts as well as scene study. She is a senior faculty member in Tisch’s International Theatre Workshop, Amsterdam, having taught script analysis in that program since 1998. Dr. Bitel holds a BFA in theatre from Wayne State University, an M.S.W. with a concentration in group work from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, and a PhD in Social Welfare from the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

David Purdy

Prof. David Purdy, NYU Stern School of Business (Co-Director)

David Purdy joined NYU Stern School of Business as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Communication in September 2012. He teaches both MBA and undergraduate courses through Stern's Management Communication Department, as well as facilitating seminars through Stern's Executive Education program. Professor Purdy draws on more than 25 years of experience and education in business and the arts to help students, executives and entrepreneurs think and communicate more effectively both in person and online. His research in Aesthetic Intelligence draws on the arts and humanities – and insights from neuroscience – to help others connect, communicate, and create effectively.

Kristin Horton

Prof. Kristin Horton, NYU Gallatin (Co-Director)

Kristin Horton is an Associate Professor of Practice at NYU Gallatin. She is a theater director who works on new plays, re-imagined classics, and community-engaged practices. Recent work includes the world premiere of AFTER/LIFE: DETROIT '67, a community-engaged drama about the '67 Detroit rebellion focusing on the experience of women and girls with playwright Lisa Biggs and the premiere of Chiori Miyagawa’s IN THE LINE. Horton’s new play collaborations have appeared at the Contemporary American Theater Festival, Working Theater, HERE, NYC Summerstage, Lark Play Development Center, William Inge Playwrights’ Festival, New Dramatists, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Workhaus Collective, id Theater, Commonweal Theatre, NYU’s Skirball Center, Riverside Theatre, Iowa New Play Festival, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and National Black Theatre Festival.