Since the honor was named in 1993, there have only been 18 awardees. Its purpose is to recognize distinguished contribution to the field of drama therapy in education, publication, practice, and service.
Dr. Sajnani has distinguished herself in all areas of professional practice as a drama therapist.
An internationally recognized leader in the field of drama therapy, she is the founder of the World Alliance of Drama Therapy, an organization whose mission it is to promote the practice of drama therapy around the world. Sajnani has also received the Corann Okorodudu Global Women's Advocacy Award from the Society for the Psychology of Women of The American Psychological Association.
Sajnani has an extensive research and publishing history, including being editor in chief of the Drama Therapy Review, which is the journal for the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA).
Her primary areas of research interest include the health benefits of improvisation and theatre-making as it relates to social determinants of health, relational aesthetics in therapeutic theatre, scalable drama therapy interventions in schools, and sustainable mental health care in humanitarian contexts. She has also published in the areas of culturally responsive pedagogy in the arts therapies, embodied and performance research, trauma-informed care, and global mental health.
An internationally recognized leader in the field of drama therapy and global immigration and displacement, she maintains research partnerships with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, the Foundation for the Arts and Trauma, the Institute for Arts and Health, the Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit (University of Melbourne), and KenVak (European Arts Therapies Research Consortium).