Education Department Spotlight
Durr currently works as an art therapist at the Center for Autism in Philadelphia,PA.
At the Center for Autism in Philadelphia, Katie Durr ’14 makes a difference in the lives of children who are visibly suffering each day. She has witnessed non-verbal children learn to speak and violent children learn to safely request attention—actions that were previously considered impossible by medical professionals. “I have gotten so many crying phone calls of people thanking me because their child has learned to look at them, or say thank you to them, and a million other little things in between,” Durr said. “Those moments make the hard parts worth it.”
In addition to her full-time job at the Center for Autism, Durr also works at the Creative Healing Center, where she is a primary art therapist for teens suffering from trauma and other mental health difficulties.
Being an art therapist was a dream that came true because of the interdisciplinary studies program at Gettysburg College. Her personalized major, “Therapeutic Visual Arts Studies,” gave her exposure to classes she would take in post-undergraduate education. “I believe that Gettysburg gave me a leg up over my [graduate school] classmates, some of whom had never written a research paper before,” Durr said. “I am not sure I can even put into words how grateful I am to Gettysburg for making me the person I am today.”