Jesus was a Comedian
Holly R. Anderson, MA
Holly R. Anderson is an ordained minister who is the chaplain and activity assistant at her local hospital. She is greatly enjoying the certified humor program because it teaches her about different ways to use humor effectively. Holly lives in a tiny house in a tiny town. She loves the beach and lives in North Dakota, so she watches Netflix and Prime Video -a lot of Netflix and Prime Video.
The Laughter Lightning Round
Noreen Braman, CLWI
Noreen Braman is the author of “Treading Water,” a collection of her humor columns and essays. Noreen helps others learn how to “laugh for the health of it” through her Smile Side of Life Laughter & Happiness Club presentations and special events. She was featured on EBTV3’s Wellness Spotlight, has spoken at numerous conferences and is an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at Rutgers University. She has received numerous awards over the years for design, writing and video production.
Refreshing Your Soul
Nafiseh Emadmostofi was born in Tehran, Iran. After immigrating to Canada, she pursued studies in Art and Art History and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. She is the recipient of numerous awards during the course of her studies, including the Faculty Award for excellence in Painting. Emadmostofi’s work has been shown in group exhibitions at University of Toronto, Sheridan College, the Iranian Women’s Organization of Ontario and Scarborough General Hospital. Since 2018, she has been studying art therapy in Toronto Art Therapy Institute and as part of the program requirement, she is doing research regarding incorporating humor into art therapy. In 2020, she was certified as a Laughter Leader from World Laughter Tour and her curiosity about humor led her to study in AATH’s Humor Academy.
MOCCAI & AATH: Improving Newspapers’ Comic Page Negativity
Ron Gagliardi, Geezer-Guy
My Goal Since Childhood ...”Make Everyone I Encounter Every Day Smile, Giggle, Laugh". I've been a Gag writer since first grade in 1953, when I started writing my last name... Gagliardi. It's been an appropriate appellation. I've been a high school class wit, emcee at stags. variety show host, spoof beauty pageant winner, WABC TV kids' show script writer and animation designer, editorial page humor poet, stand-up comedian (GagMan The Geezer Guy), cartoon strip creator/captioner and AATH future CHP-per. Welcome to my lifelong goal to make people happy worldwide through the auspices of AATH.
Humor in an Anti-Social World
James ‘Figgy’ Hardwick
With 40 plus years as an entertainer, and a true belief that everyone has the ability to change, Figgy is able to bring his unique skills and experiences as he counsels individuals young and old that are navigating the criminal justice system.
Robin ‘Phoenix’ Johnson, Lt. Colonel, (Retired) U.S. Army
After 26 years of military service including 5 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, Robin found her new mission in healing veterans through humor. She is a nationally touring stand-up comedian and the CEO of Best Medicine Brigade. She created HEAL*ARIOUS, a humor therapy program that allows veterans to use humor as a cognitive restructuring tool. She is passionate about her work to reduce veteran suicide and to promote whole health wellness in the military community. She currently resides with her husband and two children in Isle of Palms, SC and is an active volunteer at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital. For more information, go to https://www.healarious.org. You can also follow her on Instagram @robinphoenixjohnson or Facebook @comedianrobinphoenix.
Positive Living with love, joy, and laughter
I am an illustrator in the morning, a teacher and a nanny for twin granddaughters by day, a translator by night, and a host for “Happy Talk” every other Sunday morning. I am flexible and empathetic by nature. I am positive and joyous by choice. I enrolled in Humor Academy by chance. I am a huge music lover by all means. I am an ambivert by Dr. Adam Grant’s psychological test.
I value three things: love, joy, and laughter. They cover all the positive energy there is.
I was born and raised in Japan, but the year I spent in Elkhart, Indiana as a teenager greatly influenced and totally changed my life. It gives me great pleasure to be able to appreciate two different cultures and their values. Positive thinking is definitely one of them and has led me to pursue the importance of humor.
Giving Crisis the Finger: When humor rises above psychosis and dementia
Alison M. Landoni, MA, LMHC, LYL
Alison is a visual and performing artist, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, expressive arts therapist, and certified laughter yoga leader. Alison currently runs a small private practice working with teens and adults and uses expressive arts and humor to help clients process trauma, and anxiety, and manage ADHD. She is the author and illustrator of the children's book A Place for Spooz and has worked with several independent film projects as a writer, actor, video editor, puppeteer, and graphic designer. Alison earned her BFA in Fine Arts through Montserrat College of Art and her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Expressive Arts Therapy through Lesley University. Alison continues to paint in her studio and remains active in her local arts community. When not working, she enjoys painting, attempting to play the accordion, enjoying time with her family, friends, and pets, studying Tibetan Buddhism and other transformative topics, and hopes to one day laugh her way into enlightenment.
Review of Blood Pressure and Laughter Research & Laughter at Work
Karen Lang, MS, FNTP, CLYL
Karen Lang is a married to an amazing and supportive husband of nearly 35 years. Together they have two wonderful children who they enjoy visiting often. Karen has worked at the University of Michigan for over 25 years in financial and administrator roles. As work/life became more stressful, Karen discovered AATH while trying to find ways to manage work-related stress. She enjoys having a community where she receives great ideas and support. Recently, Karen decided to switch careers. This year has been very exciting as she continues to work full-time and is a full-time massage therapy student (in addition to working on her level 2 HA project!). Karen enjoys being outside, going for hikes, playing hockey and pickleball, and being with family and friends. Karen tries to live by finding the funny in life.
Improv Your Health - A coached approach to self-care
Kathy Luhn is a Certified Health Educator, Health Coach and Registered Dietitian who has dabbled in theatre, storytelling, and improv over the years. Humor and creativity are key ingredients in her life and gifts she used in many ways in her 30+ year career in local public health. Her passion now is promoting self-care. As a recently retired Health Commissioner, she knows first-hand the many challenges of self-care. She is designing her second career around helping people create joy, better health, and well-being. Kathy is thankful that the Humor Academy Level 2 process, peers, and mentors supported and encouraged her exploration of how to combine humor, health, happiness, coaching, and creativity to help others “improv their health.”
I Got Jokes! My Journey into Stand-up Comedy
Darryn ‘Dutch’ Martin
If there's one thing I've always been passionate about, it's public speaking. Once I decided five years ago that I was going to dedicate the rest of my life to developing my speaking gift, so that I could connect with others and touch lives, I haven't looked back. I have taken a big step in that direction by becoming a Certified World Class Speaking Coach. I share tools that keep audiences engaged with every word. There is a process in doing powerful presentations that generate success. As a result of my coaching and teaching, I provided others with skills to move them from good, through great,... to EPIC!
‘Jest’ a Bit of History
Don Morrison, EdD
Education was my career choice and I still have the sense of humor of 13-year-old students given over 50 years in middle school teaching and administration. My wife and I spend as much time as possible with our 12 grandchildren and love to travel with them. I am the property manager of our estate and chief do-it-yourselfer. Photography and genealogy have been my passions for many years and I have joined Shirley Trout and Baghet Elsagher to provide photos of past AATH conferences. I have served as treasurer of AATH and currently serve on the membership committee.
Merry Ways to Modify your Mindset
Mary Jo Neil
Mary Jo Neil has had a variety of careers - art therapist, professional volunteer, facilitator/trainer, and caregiver. Visual communication has played a big part of her life. When taking an improv class, she realized the application for daily life. Recently she founded Drawn Dialogue, using creative communication tools and strategies in visual thinking and humor to bring people together to learn and grow. Of the many associations Mary Jo holds a membership in, AATH and the cafe CHIN are most dear to her heart. She loves to learn, grow, play especially with 3 little grands and explore new possibilities. Mary Jo enjoys being with her quirky family - her husband of 36 years and 3 grown children and values her friendships. One of her most hysterical achievements has been her “lucky duck” award which gives “birdie” a whole new meaning - go ahead and ask her about it.
‘Tromedy’ the Podcast
Nancy Norton is a former nurse turned Award Winning Comedian; Winner of The Boston Comedy Festival and the International Seattle Comedy Competition; Grand Slam Story Telling Champion of Truth Be Told; Dry Bar Comedy special, “Super Dork”; Comedy Album “4th of 3” Nancy’s pronouns are She/They or Being/One. She is affectionately known by friends as “Nance or Uncle Nance”. Nance was raised in the Ozarks, but don’t ask which trailer park! Born the 4th of 3 children. Yep, that is 4th of 3! Norton tours nationally - headlining comedy clubs, festivals, conferences and events - doing Standup Comedy and Keynote Speaking. Most recently adding the concept of therapeutic “Tromedy.” As a “tromedian,” Norton deconstructs comedy bits and pulls back the curtain to see how the jokes are made, revealing the root of the pain to show others how to cartoon their stresses to make them more manageable. Watch for Tromedy the Podcast coming soon.
Teaching with Humor: for Teachers in Correctional Institution, Blitar, East Java, Indonesia
Moses Glorino Rumambo Pandin, PhD
Moses Glorino Rumambo Pandin lives in Surabaya, Indonesia. Since 2021, Moses has joined AATH and has attended the Humor Academy up to level 2 this year. He works as a lecturer at Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia. His main research interests are educational psychology, humor and laughter, identity and citizenship, and resilience. In his second year at Humor Academy, his project was about applying humor and laughter to teachers who teach with humor at correctional facilities. Through his studies and project, he tries to discover a model of leadership and an institutional system for good human resource management based on humor and laughter, especially for those working in juvenile correctional institutions in Indonesia.
A Time to Laugh: Music and Humor in Caregiving Relationships
Amy Standridge, MM, MT-BC
Amy is the founder and owner of Oak Song Music Therapy and Consulting Services in San Antonio, TX. She is the co-founder of Grace Notes Community Singers and has been its musical director since October 2018. Her clinical work focuses on people living with dementia and their care partners. A Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) since 2000, Amy holds a Master of Music in music therapy from Colorado State University (2000), and a Master of Music in music and human learning from The University of Texas at Austin (2006). She is currently a Level 3 student in the Humor Academy. Amy is a sought-after speaker and clinician in her local senior adult community.
Put Yourself Out There: Exploring Social Fears and Improvisation Competencies
Heather Walker, PhD
Navigating social situations can be a tricky and anxiety provoking affair because it’s impossible to script and predict every possible scenario. Improvisation is a critical component of interpersonal communication and the ability to “go with the flow.” It’s not uncommon for fear, doubt, and a lack of skill to hold us back from developing our ability to improvise. For this project, I sought to understand the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that one must overcome and/or adopt to effectively improvise with others. I interviewed adults to learn why they choose to avoid conversations, consulted with improv experts, and reviewed the literature to support my conclusions. My ultimate goal with this project was to use this information to create a workshop that would help socially anxious communicators become more comfortable facing their fears and improv’ing their way to effective communication.