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Alfred University professor gives talk on animal-assisted therapy at scout meeting
11/29/17

Lynn O’Connell, associate professor, school psychology, with scout Raven Clency and therapy dog Blue

Lynn O’Connell, associate professor, school psychology, with scout Raven Clency and therapy dog Blue

ALFRED, NY – Dr. Lynn O’Connell, associate professor of school psychology at Alfred University, recently gave a presentation to the Alfred-Almond Girl Scout troops on animal-assisted therapy.

O’Connell’s presentation at the Alfred-Almond Daisy, Brownie, Cadet and Junior troop meeting was Nov. 15. She talked about how animals are used to help people coping with various social, emotional, cognitive and physical challenges.

The scouts, ranging in age from 5 to 15, learned about proper etiquette when around service animals. They had the opportunity to test some of their new skills by interacting with Blue, the official therapy dog of the Alfred University Psychology and Counseling program. One of the scouts, Raven Clency, is daughter of Shakima Clency, a 2001 Alfred University graduate and the University’s Diversity Fellow. O’Connell instructed Raven how to give Blue some basic commands.

The University is developing an equine-assisted therapy minor, which will prepare students to work with horses in therapeutic settings. The minor would highlight the psychology and equestrian studies programs, as well as the interdisciplinary study opportunities available at Alfred University.