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Hillary Rubesin, PhD, LPC-S, REAT           Executive Director, Expressive Arts Therapist

Hillary Rubesin received both her PhD and her MA in Expressive Therapies and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. She has training in numerous expressive therapies fields, including art, music, dance, drama, and creative writing, and believes that all art forms hold great potential for healing on both individual and community levels.

Beyond her duties as the Executive Director at ATI, Hillary provides expressive therapies sessions to newly-arrived refugees and immigrants in local schools and community-based settings. Hillary also co-facilitates the Arts and Peer Support Group, a free, weekly, outpatient arts group for adults living with severe and persistent mental illness. 

Hillary is available to provide supervision to LPCA's as well as REAT's. Please contact her if interested.



Courtney Powers, MA, LPCA, ATR                   Art Therapist 

Courtney has provided art therapy services with the Art Therapy Institute since 2010.

She facilitates individual art therapy with newly immigrated children and adolescents. Courtney also co-leads weekly outpatient expressive arts groups for adults living with mental illness. In addition, she works with the Memory Care Program for older adults facing Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Uli Schempp MA, ATR-BC, LCAT, LPC
Art Therapist

Uli Schempp received a Master’s Degree in fine arts from UNC-Greensboro in 1985 and has worked as a ceramic artist since then. He taught as a technical instructor and taught ceramics in the sculpture department of the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 2003, he obtained Master’s Degree in art therapy from New York University. He conducted art therapy groups with Liberian refugee children and adolescents through Safe Horizon/Solace and the International Rescue Committee on Staten Island and worked for five years as a creative arts therapist in adult inpatient psychiatry at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. He is currently working with the Art Therapy Institutes exceptional children’s program.


Anna Hicken MA, LPCA
Art Therapist

Anna is a graduate of the George Washington University where she received her MA degree in Art Therapy. She has experience working in a variety of settings including an acute inpatient psychiatric unit, public and private schools, community youth centers, adult day programs, and a residential camp for students with special needs.

Through ATI, Anna currently works with the Exceptional Children’s Program in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School system, facilitating group art therapy sessions with students from kindergarten through 8th grade.

In her personal work, she enjoys drawing with chalk and oil pastels. She is also very interested in empathy and has researched the effects of the presence of art on art therapist empathy in sessions with individual clients.


Mallory Schellhorn, MA, LPCA                                          Art Therapist

Mallory is a 2015 graduate of Saint Mary-of- the-Woods College where she received her Master of Arts in Art Therapy. She received her Bachelor of Art in Studio Art with a concentration in Art Therapy from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2008. She has experience working with a range of populations including children and adolescents with exceptional needs, children with behavioral and emotional disorders, refugee and immigrant students, and senior adults in memory care facilities. In her personal work, Mallory enjoys painting with oils and acrylics and drawing with pastels.


Jailene M. Nieves-Mercado, MA, LPCA                        Art Therapist

Jailene received her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Lesley University in 2017. She has experience working with immigrant and refugee students within Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham public schools. She has also worked with students with developmental disabilities and adolescents with eating disorders in a hospital setting. Jailene is currently working on publishing her thesis, which focused on the influence of art therapy on identity expression and empowerment within Latina adolescents. She hopes to pursue a PhD in trauma-informed counseling in the future.

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Lucy Li                                                            

Nonprofit Management Intern

Lucy was a history and women's studies major at UNC-Chapel Hill and has always dabbled in different areas of creative expression. Although her professional life has just begun, she has previously worked with other nonprofit organizations including Planned Parenthood and the Women's Birth and Wellness Center. As an artist and mental health advocate, she is a great supporter of ATI's mission and hopes to help ATI expand its reach in all areas.

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Michael Raúl Brown                                                            Clinical Intern

Michael (or Raúl) received his MS in Counseling Psychology and his Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the University of Kansas, where his focus was the use of narrative and theatre in trauma recovery. He’s spent the last 12 years teaching literature, language, and culture at UNC, where he continues to examine the intersection of narrative and theatre with issues of trauma, identity, power, personal performance, and social narratives and their influence. As part of his university work, he travels and speaks in Mexico regularly, and has led study abroad in Guadalajara and Puebla. Before UNC, he worked with Seriously Emotionally Disturbed children and adolescents, families at risk, college students, Christian Psychological Services of Kansas City, and a lot of other things!

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Natalia Torres Disney                                                Clinical Intern

Natalia Torres Disney is an educator with a background in Elementary (k-6) and ESL (k-12) education. She taught kindergarten and first grades at Douglas Creative Arts and Science Magnet Elementary School. There, she witnessed how the arts had a powerful and lasting impact on her students' academic understanding and socio-emotional development. Currently, she is the Youth and Family Programs Educator at the North Carolina Museum of Art teaching and developing lessons for the "What's in the Box?" preschool program. Natalia is a master's candidate in Clinical Mental Health with a Specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University. Her research interest includes connecting works of art and children's literature to help clients process childhood trauma. She is so excited to intern and learn at the Art Therapy Institute this year!