meet our team

 

Ping Ho, MA, MPH – Founder & Director

Ping is Founder and Director of UCLArts & Healing, an organizational member of the UCLA Integrative Medicine Collaborative, of which Ping is a steering committee member. She was founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field. She has a BA in psychology with honors from Stanford—where she was appointed to establish the still-thriving Health Improvement Program for faculty and staff, an MA in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in community health sciences from UCLA School of Public Health.

Ping is associate editor for the Creative Arts Therapies section of the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine and has been Co-Chair of the annual Expressive Therapies Summit: Los Angeles, which has offered 150+ workshops on creativity and the arts in healing. She developed the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) and the SEA on a Shoestring program of supportive art, movement, music, and writing for individuals or groups in any setting. In addition, she co-developed and served as principal investigator for the evidence-based program, Beat the Odds®: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming.  She is co-author, with Erica Curtis, of the 2019 National Parenting Products Award-winning book, The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art (Ohio University/Swallow Press, March 2019).

 

Krista Beagin – Operations & Communications Director

In addition to earning a BA in literature from UC Santa Cruz and an MFA in writing from the California College of the Arts, Krista has over a decade of experience in the publishing and product-design sectors. As a seasoned editor and administrator, she brings an organizational aptitude and a detailed eye that is integral to her role at UCLArts & Healing. As the Operations & Communications Director, she wears many hats—from managing our monthly newsletters to captaining our website to codifying best organizational practices —which allows her a unique opportunity to utilize her skills and experience, be part of something she wholeheartedly believes in, as well as be a member of an extraordinary team that continue to promote the creative arts as an indispensable element of mind-body healing and wellness.

 

Janelle Ketcher – Social Media Manager

Janelle is an interdisciplinary artist and arts worker originally from Des Moines, Iowa now living in Los Angeles. As the Social Media Manager, she creates our social media content to connect and share resources with our digital community. As an artist, she uses a range of mediums from graphic design, drawing, photography and beyond to explore how creative expression can support people to share their stories and heal. With a personal connection to dementia, Janelle explores the themes of memory making, caretaking, archiving and loss in her creative practice and community work. Janelle holds a BFA in Painting, Art History, and Social Practice from the Kansas City Art Institute, completed our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts in 2017, and is currently studying to be an End of Life Doula with Going with Grace.

 

Jazlynn Pastor – Programs Administrative Assistant

Jazlynn is a storyteller, educator, and coordinator dedicated to serving her community through art and programming. Since graduating from the University of San Francisco in 2018, she has had the opportunity to create SF Asian Art Museum’s first Open Mic “What About Us?”, American Center of Philippine Arts’ Online Youth Program ACPA Konnect, and Project Home Art’s first global movement film festival HOMESCREEN. Jazlynn has also shared Philippine arts and culture around the world like in Colombia, Hawai’i, and San Francisco Bay Area with Parangal Dance Company. Her love for using art as connection strengthened when she completed her Social Emotional Arts Certificate through UCLArts and Healing in the Fall of 2020. She has taken what she has learned into spaces like Girl Scouts of Northern California and pinaypages. Now as the Program Administrative Assistant, Jazlynn is excited to continue serving her community by supporting individuals in their learning journeys.

 

Jennifer Kuo – Programs Manager

Jennifer-Kuo-Headshot-WebsiteJennifer brings an abundance of experience with her two decades of work in events management, community building, marketing, and education within the non-profit and corporate sectors. She has worked in development and fundraising with the Boys & Girls Club, event management and marketing at The Walt Disney Company, and grassroots community-building programs and e-commerce marketing at TOMS. Jennifer values education and lifelong learning and she obtained a BA in Music Industry Studies from San Francisco State University, is a certified 200-hour and kids’ yoga teacher, trained in sound healing work, and will be receiving a Masters of Public Health at Cal State Northridge in Fall 2022. Having been a Kindermusik music & movement educator, she has always been an advocate for the research-based impact that the arts have on people’s wellness. Jennifer holds a Social Emotional Arts Certificate and Beat the Odds® Training certificate from UCLArts & Healing and continues to study mindfulness at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

 

Heidi Parker – Community Initiatives Manager

Heidi is a lifelong advocate for healthy places to live, work, and play; and is on a mission to build a more equitable and just world. Prior to joining UCLArts & Healing, she was Executive Director of Immunize Nevada, Associate Director at University Studies Abroad Consortium, and Art Therapist at The Center for Hope & Safety and The Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois. As Programs Manager, Heidi is passionate about connecting with individuals and groups at the intersection of public health, expressive arts, and community. She believes public health challenges are best solved through collective action, collaboration, and community partnerships. Originally from Chicago, Heidi’s deep appreciation of the arts grew through the abundance of museums, music, theatre, and dance she experienced throughout her childhood. She graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Studio Art, received a M.A. in Art Therapy from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and completed an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Duke University.

 

April Schneider – Finance & Administrative Manager

As the Finance & Administrative Manager, April oversees the day-to-day accounting and business administration components of our organization. For over a decade, she has also served as the Finance Manager & Office Administrator for the non-profit (and our annual conference co-sponsor) Expressive Media. With over 20 years of experience, April has worked as a Bookkeeper and Financial Manager for multi-million dollar companies as well as non-profit organizations. Additionally, she is the Registration & Continuing Education Coordinator for the annual Expressive Therapies Summits (including the one co-sponsored by UCLArts & Healing) and Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Training Institute.

 

 

Heeya So – Digital Media Manager

Heeya is a visual artist and advocate of healing through creative expression. As the Digital Media Manager, she brings her technical aptitude to spearhead digital initiatives and increase community awareness of our mission. When she is not troubleshooting issues or organizing digital assets, she helps the team create collaborative content. In her art practice, Heeya paints narratives inspired by personal and planetary healing. She loves storytelling through digital and traditional mediums, especially illustration, video, and music. Prior to UCLArts & Healing, she held project management roles within corporate and nonprofit sectors, including the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. She holds a BA in English from UCLA.

 

 

program associates

 

Kendra Knudsen – Founding Director, Creative Minds Project

kendra-knudsen-headshotKendra is the Founding Director of the Creative Minds Project (CMP), which delivers social-emotional creative arts groups for mind-body wellness and healing at local mental health and homeless agencies. The CMP is a partnership between UCLArts and Healing and Students for Integrative Medicine at UCLA. Kendra is also a Staff Research Associate at UCLA, where she coordinates The Big C Project: Exploring the Brain Bases of Exceptional Creativity. Kendra graduated with honors from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology and a minor in Disability Studies. She is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Service Award (2013) and the Charles E. Young Humanitarian Award (2012) for her work developing the CMP. She is a Donald A. Strauss Foundation Scholar (2012), UCLA Undergraduate Research Scholar (2011, 2012), and a Milton Gottlieb Foundation Scholar (2010, 2011).

 

Julia Vishnepolsky, MA, LMHC, R-DMT – Founding Director, Addressing Loneliness through Movement & Art (ALMA)

Julia VishnepolskyJulia Vishnepolsky, MA, LMHC, R-DMT is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in integrating somatic and expressive arts therapy to address biopsychosocial and chronic health concerns. Julia has developed and implemented uniquely integrated somatic and expressive arts curriculums for multiple treatment settings, including therapeutic elementary schools, day treatment, skilled nursing facilities, community mental health clinics, intensive outpatient programs, and residential treatment facilities. Currently, Ms. Vishnepolsky directs the Expressive Arts Therapy department at Passages Addiction Care Center in Malibu, CA and is the founder of Addressing Loneliness through Movement & Art (ALMA), which brings vitality to neglected elderly in nursing homes through movement, music, art, and intergenerational connection.