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AMTA Announces New Education and Clinical Training Consultants

April 27, 2023 08:38 AM

The American Music Therapy Association is pleased to announce that Vicki Vega, PhD, MT-BC, and Veronica Fernandez, MSEd, LMT, MT-BC, have been hired as our new education (Vicki Vega) and clinical training (Veronica Fernandez) consultants, and they will assist the association with managing education and clinical training programs on behalf of the association. 

Dr. Vega has enjoyed 40 years as an accomplished music therapy clinician, educator, and researcher. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from West Virginia University and her master’s in music therapy from Loyola University. She completed her PhD in music therapy from Temple University under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Bruscia. Since 2000 she has served as the Coordinator of the Music Therapy, Division Coordinator of Music Therapy, Director of the School of Music and Associate Dean of the College of Music and Media. Currently, Dr. Vega is the Coordinator of Music Therapy Graduate Studies and is the Charles E. Braswell Distinguished Endowed Professor in Music Therapy at Loyola University. She has long-standing activity in AMTA serving on multiple boards and committees on the regional and national levels. Dr. Vega’s research interests are music therapy with neurological disorders, professional burnout and personality, and trauma informed care.

Ms. Llanos Fernandez has been practicing music therapy for over 25 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Sam Houston State University and her Master of Science in Education/ Curriculum, Instruction, and Design from Walden University. Veronica has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and populations over the years, including mental health, public schools, rehabilitation, and private practice. She has been the music therapist at The Rise School of Houston for the past 23 years where she also serves as Internship Director for and supervises practicum students. She also provides music therapy services at Gigi’s Playhouse in Sugarland and Houston, Texas. She has had the opportunity to present about music therapy locally, regionally, and nationally and has served on multiple boards, committees and task forces representing music therapy at the State, Regional and National level.  She has carried the NMT-Fellow certification from the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy and is a Licensed Massage Therapist/Certified Infant Massage Instructor and certified in both Kindermusik I/II and Music Together.

We had a total of 21 applicants for the positions. All applicants submitted resumes/ CVs and cover letters, which were de- identified and provided to the APAC and AIAC chairs for a first round of review. The chairs reviewed the de-identified materials using a rubric to select three interview candidates for each position. Their info was then sent back to President Gooding, who converted their materials into an identifiable format. The identified materials were provided to President Elect Angie Snell and Past President Jennifer Geiger who chaired two separate interview committees, one for the educational consultant (Jennifer Geiger), and one for the clinical consultant (Angie Snell). Committee members included:  Andrea Dalton, Leslie Henry & Brian Jantz (education) and Jen Sokira, Chelsea Mabes, and Spencer Hardy (clinical training). 

The AMTA Board of Directors commits to a process of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and justice (DEIAJ). In the spirit of this commitment, the interview panels developed questions for candidates focused on the prioritization and centering of marginalized voices using feedback from town hall meetings comments, surveys, and other feedback forms. One example of this included approaches in managing bias and harm to LGBTQIA 2 students and interns. Interviewees were asked questions about collaboration, time management, current rebuilding and DEIAJ efforts, and enthusiasm for the work. Responses were deliberated, and candidates were ranked resulting in the current hiring. 

Thank you again to all who were engaged in this process. We are grateful for all who applied for the positions, and we thank you for your interest in serving our community. We look forward to working with our new consultants.