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Psychology professor Shannon Deets addresses dance arts experts in Erie


GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College Assistant Professor of Psychology Shannon Len Deets, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker at the banquet of the Mercyhurst University chapter of the National Honor Society for the Study of Dance Arts on Sept. 23.

Deets spoke to members of the society about her research exploring the connection between consciousness and dance. She also discussed her career trajectory and the specialized way that Deets has been able to incorporate dance into her academic, therapeutic, and research interests. Deets’ research is unique in that it occurs at the crossroads of the philosophy of consciousness theory and the practical applications of mental health therapy.

“Despite the complicated nature of the research and the time-intensive process of the methodology I use, the possibilities of using these findings for the good of humanity push me forward”, Deets said. Previous findings from Deets’ research have contributed to an understanding of better generalizing social skills learning of children with autism and also provide exciting developments in a specialized mind-body therapy for trauma. 

Deets received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in dance studies from Allegheny College, a master’s in community counseling from Gannon University, and a Ph.D. from Gannon University in counseling psychology. She is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Pennsylvania and a certified dancing mindfulness facilitator. Deets continues to research, write, and present her work on therapeutic applications of consciousness and dance.

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Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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