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Mercer's Kocherzat Wins Academic Award

Tags: DOC, Mercer
February 18, 2020 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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SCI Mercer Licensed Psychologist Manager Dr. Kathleen Kocherzat was recognized for a proposal she wrote for a new academic course at Duquesne University. Her proposal was selected as one of the winning finalists and she was invited to an Award Ceremony in downtown Pittsburgh in mid-September. Nine student finalists won $1,000 each, competing for the top award of $5,000.

Here is a brief description of the proposal she submitted:

Animal-Assisted Intervention Studies, by Dr. Kathleen Kocherzat

Today's students and young people increasingly see the benefit of animals—e.g.  service dogs for veterans, therapy dogs for students with emotional challenges—as a means to assist in ameliorating challenges on campus and in the work place. Inspired by the cutting-edge Animal Assisted Interventions Minor offered at Slippery Rock University, the current proposal supports creating a new 3-credit course at Duquesne University in Animal Assisted Intervention Studies. This course would use an interdisciplinary approach to offer students an opportunity to learn how to apply Animal-Assisted Interventions to careers in healthcare, psychology, education and even law. In this way, Duquesne students can share the love and comfort of animals with vulnerable populations in the community who are desperately in need of such succor and non-judgmental care. The final outcome would be a new course at Duquesne that is sustainable for years to come.

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