Art therapy-focused Lunch and Learn leads week’s events

A lunchtime session on art’s healing power, a dinner to honor international scholars and the Center for Civic Engagement’s annual Drop ’N Swap highlight the week’s activities at Norwich University.

The “How Art Can Heal” Lunch and Learn, at noon Wednesday at Kreitzberg Library, will feature a panel discussion including registered art therapist Michelle Lesnak, who received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy in 1987 from Vermont College of Norwich University. Lesnak uses art therapy, treatment integrating psychotherapeutic techniques and creativity, to help patients improve well-being and express themselves nonverbally.

The panel will also include Kevin Fleming, a cognitive psychologist and chairman of Norwich University’s Department of Psychology and Education and Cara Armstrong, an author, illustrator and professor who directs Norwich’s School of Architecture + Art, part of the College of Professional Schools.

Registered art therapist Michelle Lesnak, who received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy in 1987 from Vermont College of Norwich University will be among the art therapy talk’s panelists.

Since summer, Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center has displayed “Liquid Mind,” paintings by 2005 alumna Jennifer Bryan. In June, Bryan told that she began painting as self-therapy to help her adjust to life on her own when her marriage dissolved. She said she kept painting as a creative outlet when the coronavirus pandemic shut her, and many other people, inside.

“It just drew on the importance of (having) an outside outlet, especially when you’re stuck inside with COVID,” Bryan said. “Kids suffered, adults suffered, everybody suffered because … you need human interaction and when you’re not getting it, it’s easy to go a little crazy.

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— ON POINT: The Counseling and Wellness Center will also hold a free community acupuncture clinic for students from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday in its office on Kreitzberg Library’s fourth floor. Acupuncture can help boost mood, relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep and lessen pain.

— WORLD VIEWS: At 5 p.m. Wednesday in Plumley Armory, Norwich University’s International Center will present a dinner to honor international students, study abroad returnees, and university faculty and staff who oversee and/or support global programs and activities. Thy Yang, Norwich’s assistant vice president of international education, University President Mark Anarumo and several students will speak.

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Miniature world flags adorned tables at a February 2021 dinner to honor international scholars. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

— DRESSED TO ADDRESS: This weekend, the Center for Civic Engagement will host its annual Clothing Drop ’N Swap.

The drop will take place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Plumley Armory, when center volunteers will collect gently used clothing. Donors should put items in labeled bags (women’s, men’s, children’s). Besides outfits, the center will collect coats, bags, costumes and shoes. 

The swap comes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, also in Plumley Armory. Members of the Norwich and surrounding communities can pay a $1 entry fee and take as many clothes as they can carry. Money raised supports the center’s sustainability fund.

— RUNNING ON: Norwich University’s Arnold Air Society Kelly Squadron will hold its 22-hour run for veterans’ suicide awareness starting at 12 a.m. Saturday on the Sabine Field track.

The Arnold Air Society is an honorary service-oriented group; Norwich’s squadron is named for Norwich graduate and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Earle W. Kelly.

Ihaab Majid, a senior business management major, Air Force ROTC member, Student Government Association senator and Corps of Cadets captain, for the second straight year organized the run, which is open to all Norwich community members. Money raised will support a to-be-determined veterans’ suicide prevention nonprofit.


See a complete list of Norwich University events.

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