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Thursday, April 4
 

8:00am

Levels II & III: Humor Projects That Can Change The World
Who knew that one idea, one plan, one action could change the world!  Those involved in the Academy know it and will continue to provide humor research and knowledge through the creation of their own projects during this course.

Speakers
avatar for Nila Nielsen, CHP

Nila Nielsen, CHP

Ed.D, Nila Nielsen: Heartfelt Humor
Audiences have been captivated by the endless enthusiasm Nila shares as she helps others find Heartfelt Humor. In her work as a teacher and principal, Nila infused humor daily as a model to make learning fun. Now, as a speaker, she generously gives away free smiles to everyone she... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 8:00am - 9:00am
Kent Room

8:00am

CHP: Tips and Techniques for Humor Professionals
In this session, Certified Humor Professionals will share their tried and true techniques of infusing humor into various careers.  By outlining the specific benefits that result from these techniques, attendees will gain workable tips to implement humor.  

Speakers
avatar for Roberta Gold, CHP

Roberta Gold, CHP

R.T.C, CHP, Laughter for the Health of it
Roberta Gold is a Recreation Therapist by trade and a Humor Therapist by choice.  She founded Laughter for the Health of it in 1985 with one mission: To empower everyone to have a more positive outlook by seeing the humor instead of the horror in our world.  Her program has helped... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 8:00am - 9:30am
Grand Ballroom

8:00am

Level I: Intro to Humor Theory
This basic course is designed to provide opportunities for networking and dialogue among those interested in healthy humor/laughter theory.  To provide research-based instruction in a collaborative environment, promote positive and healthy humor, encourage like-minded people, groups, and organizations to join in promoting healthy humor.  To discern between truth and fiction regarding the benefits of humor and laughter.  To support AATH in their mission to be the recognized worldwide authority and primary membership organization for people with a common interest in applied humor and laughter.

Speakers
avatar for Mary Kay Morrison, CHP

Mary Kay Morrison, CHP

MSEd, Humor Quest
Mary Kay Morrison is an author, international speaker and an educator who has taught at virtually every level of the educational spectrum. She provides keynote presentations and programs on the neuroscience of humor. She is past-president of AATH (Association of Applied and Therapeutic... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 8:00am - 11:30am
Hunt Room

9:00am

Level II: Personalizing Humor
Everyone has talents.  These vary from person to person.  Most are obvious and known to the individual, but some, when not fully developed, may be lurking inside waiting to be fully utilized.  During this session, participants will explore their top strengths and discover how they can be used to support successful outcomes.  Isn't it about time for you to discover who you are!

Speakers
avatar for Nila Nielsen, CHP

Nila Nielsen, CHP

Ed.D, Nila Nielsen: Heartfelt Humor
Audiences have been captivated by the endless enthusiasm Nila shares as she helps others find Heartfelt Humor. In her work as a teacher and principal, Nila infused humor daily as a model to make learning fun. Now, as a speaker, she generously gives away free smiles to everyone she... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
York Room

9:00am

Level III: What's So Funny About Leadership?
In this course, participants will discover their funnybone through development of a unique, self-determined humor goal.  This goal will be strengthened through exploration of a variety of resources and exploring specific humor strategies that will strengthen personal leadership skills.  Sounds like serious fun, right?  
You can count on it, because the focus will be on YOU!

Speakers
avatar for Karyn Buxman, CSP, CPAE, CHP

Karyn Buxman, CSP, CPAE, CHP

RN, MSN, CSP, CPAE, CHP, Levity Works
Karyn Buxman is an international speaker, successful author, and neurohumorist (living at the intersection of the brain and humor). Karyn is a pioneer in the field of applied humor, starting with her masters thesis in graduate school and now continues her partnerships with leading... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am
Kent Room

9:30am

CHP: Nurturing the Ha-Ha, Ho-Ho, and Hee-Hees of Professional Service
Certified Humor Professionals are unique, diverse and exceptional leaders of humor.  They utilize their expertise all over the world by engaging others and sharing knowledge learned while in the Humor Academy and beyond.  But how do they continue to nurture and grow their talents?  Come explore the possibilities with a distinguished panel of experts.  

Speakers
avatar for Roberta Gold, CHP

Roberta Gold, CHP

R.T.C, CHP, Laughter for the Health of it
Roberta Gold is a Recreation Therapist by trade and a Humor Therapist by choice.  She founded Laughter for the Health of it in 1985 with one mission: To empower everyone to have a more positive outlook by seeing the humor instead of the horror in our world.  Her program has helped... Read More →
avatar for Kyle Edgell, CHP

Kyle Edgell, CHP

Caricature Artist, CHP, CLYL, ADD, Kyle Edgell & Creative Associates


Thursday April 4, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Grand Ballroom

10:30am

Level II: What is Mind/Body Medicine?
Dr. Saltman provides information on the effects of humor as it applies to the emergence of Psychoneuroimmunology and Positive Psychology.
In this session, she shares the importance of emotion on health and well-being. The benefits of humor physically and mentally are discussed along with exploring the connection between humor and the brain. Her energy and vibrant life experiences demonstrate the importance of integrating humor into healthcare settings, the workplace and everyday living.

Speakers
avatar for Joyce Saltman, CHP

Joyce Saltman, CHP

Ed.D - Professor Emeritus - Special Education, Southern CT State University
Joyce Saltman, CHP, is a professor Emeritus of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. Joyce’s innovative teaching style has led to the development of a graduate course entitled The Enhancement of Learning Through Humor, as well as a summer... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
York Room

10:30am

Level III, CHP: A Time to Cry and A Time To Laugh: Using Humor in the Adaptation Process
Participants will gain an understanding of how to assist others with processing loss connected with a changed lifestyle as a result of acquired disability status.  As part of this process, humor can play an invaluable role if used appropriately in terms of timing, readiness of the individual, and cultural values.

Speakers
avatar for Penny Willmering

Penny Willmering

Ph.D., Rehablitation Psychology, Arkansas Tech University
Dr. Penny Willmering is Professor and Director of Rehabilitation Science at Arkansas Tech University.  She has held a variety of employment positions working with individuals with disabilities.  Research interests include compassion satisfaction, ethics, humor, and conflict management... Read More →
avatar for Jennipher Wiebold

Jennipher Wiebold

Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling Program Coordinator, Western Michigan University
Dr. Jennipher Wiebold is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies and Department of Counselor Education & Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University.  She is the Coordinator... Read More →



Thursday April 4, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
Grand Ballroom

11:40am

Humor Academy Luncheon
Thursday April 4, 2019 11:40am - 12:30pm
Grand Ballroom

1:00pm

Level I: Hee Hee Healing: Foundation of Therapeutic Humor
What makes humor therapeutic? What activates your sense of humor? How do you become a humor being? How do you distinguish between therapeutic humor, humor in general and hostile humor? This lively program will answer these core questions and provide a solid framework that will help you synthesize the material presented throughout the conference.

In this chapter of your Humor Academy Journey you will learn the theory, rationale, and practical application of therapeutic humor, and will learn the health impact (for you and others) of becoming a therapeutic humor being.

You will learn 1) the central model that illustrates how and why the experience of humor (which activates laughter, mirth, and wit) can be therapeutic, 2) the universal stimuli that activate your funny bone, 3) the core human qualities that are critical for the communication of therapeutic humor, and 4. the significance of intentional and purposeful humor. Be prepared for lots of learning, laughter, and tickling your funny bone. (Now that IS ‘Humerus.’)

Speakers
avatar for Steve Sultanoff, CHP

Steve Sultanoff, CHP

Mirthologist, HumorMatters
Steven Sultanoff, PhD is a psychologist, professor at Pepperdine University, professional speaker, past AATH president, and internationally recognized expert on therapeutic humor.   With over 30 years in the therapeutic humor field, he has written many innovative articles, including... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Hunt Room

1:00pm

Levels II, III, CHP: SEL-ebrate! Social Emotional Learning and the Brain
Where in the brain is happiness? stress? humor? trust? By discovering what areas of the brain process different types of information we can use strategies to activate areas that will provide us with the results we are seeking! In this session, learn about the brain and the “soft” skills everyone knows are required for success in life!


Speakers
avatar for Marilee Sprenger

Marilee Sprenger

Author and speaker, Sprenger Consulting
Marilee Sprenger is an international consultant in educational neuroscience, memory, differentiation, reading, and vocabulary. A former classroom teacher, she began applying brain research in her own classroom beginning in 1992. Through years of experience and research, she began... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Grand Ballroom

2:00pm

All Levels: 25 Tips from Presentation Pros to Leave Them Laughing
The pros make presenting look easy, but the reality is that it involves hours of preparation and practice.  Have you ever wondered how they do it?  In just one hour, you will receive 25 tips collected from speaking professionals for designing and delivering engaging presentations.  Spoiler alert!  One of the tips is to use humor.  Humor is one of the top two traits of successful leaders; therefore, you need to embrace laughter and levity as part of your professional communication strategy.  Come learn the other 24, and who knows, you might even laugh a little!

Speakers
avatar for Adrianne Roggenbuck

Adrianne Roggenbuck

Executive Director, Delta Educational Training & Consulting
Since joining The Bob Pike Group, Adrianne has championed the cause of adding engagement techniques to presentations of all kinds. “I especially enjoy working with educators to improve their teaching techniques in order to increase student learning and retention in their classrooms... Read More →



Thursday April 4, 2019 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Grand Ballroom

3:00pm

All Levels: We're All Different, But We Laugh Just The Same...Right? Humor In Cross-Cultural Interactions
Participants will experience a coherent overview of the current, relevant psychological research on humor as it pertains to cross-cultural interactions.  The benefits of this information will promote personal and professional insight as well as how to use humor better in this context.  Concrete ideas for application will be shared.  We can make an important difference in the world, globally, with humor.

Speakers
avatar for Piotr Pluta

Piotr Pluta

MSc, Human Factors AS / psychologyofhumor.com
Piotr Pluta works as consultant (specializing in teamwork, communication, leadership, and interculturality) and is the COE and HR consultancy in Norway.Piotr has an MSc in psychology from the University of Wroclaw, Poland; he also studied at the University of Valencia, Spain; and... Read More →



Thursday April 4, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Grand Ballroom

4:00pm

Humor Academy Graduation
Processional, Welcome, Certificates, Speaker

All are welcome to attend!

Thursday April 4, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Grand Ballroom

5:30pm

War of the Noses: Humor as the Ultimate Survival Skill
George Washington, Napoleon and Attila the Hun Walk Into A Bar...what...wait...is this some kind of joke?  Throughout the ages, humor has been used by military members to cope with disastrous situations.  It helped them cope with the tough situations they were in and have power over the danger they were facing.  Further, it bonded them in arms.  All hardship is relative to the person facing it.  Regardless of our military status, we are all fighting wars in our minds.  Many of the struggles military members face are the same you face.  Grab your noses, it's time to face the enemy.

Speakers
avatar for Chip Lutz, CHP

Chip Lutz, CHP

Lieutenant Commander, USN(Ret), MSEd, CSP, Unconventional Leadership
Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz, USN(Ret), MSEd, CSP, is the President and founder of Unconventional Leader, LLC and has 30 years of solid leadership experience. A retired Navy Officer, he has had two command tours and also served as the Director of Security for Naval District Washington... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Grand Ballroom

6:30pm

Welcome Reception Featuring Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band
And A One... And A Two... It's Time To Polka!
Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band
High-Energy Beatles Polkas Featuring Danny Donuts

Time to meet new people by getting your hands clappin' and your feet hoppin' during this Happy Hour of Polka.

Speakers
avatar for Danny Donuts

Danny Donuts

Comic Performance Artist, Sgt. Sauerkraut's Polka Band
I started the Laughing Limo AATH Shuttle Service at my first AATH Conference (Chicago 2003). I'll again be driving conference participants from the airports to the hotel on Wednesday and Thursday and back to the airports on Sunday and Monday. On Thursday evening, I'll be driving the... Read More →


Thursday April 4, 2019 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Grand Ballroom

7:45pm

AATH Comedy Talent Show
Do you enjoy comedy?  How about clever routines?  Hysterical stories?  Maybe music or a festive comedy dance?  As long as it's funny and audience-friendly, the talents of conference participants will help us "RAISE the ROOF" with laughter.

Want to participate? Fill out the form here by 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5! ​ SIGN UP HERE​​​

Speakers
avatar for Frank Chindamo

Frank Chindamo

Founder/CCO, LaughMD, LaughMD.com


Thursday April 4, 2019 7:45pm - 9:15pm
Grand Ballroom
 
Friday, April 5
 

8:00am

Improve Your Improv
Can you ad-lib?  Pretend?  Laugh?  Are you good thinking on your feet?  This session will orient you to the world of improv as a tool to promote healthy humor.  Come play a while!

Speakers
avatar for Todd Hart

Todd Hart

MA Human Services Conflict Resolution, Apple, Inc
Todd Hart loved improv. Then he hated improv. And then he loved improv again. After the accidental therapy he got from improv, he realized he also needed some professional help. After a few rounds of EMDR he’s back and loving himself and improv even more.Todd studies and performs... Read More →
avatar for Jim-Bob Williams

Jim-Bob Williams

Chief Executive Humorist, Jimusho LLC
Improv, Wastewater, Presbyterianism, but most importantly, tell me what makes you laugh.


Friday April 5, 2019 8:00am - 9:00am
Grand Ballroom

9:00am

Teaching Funny: How to Educate and Inspire with Humor
It is not that today's students don't want to learn; it's that today's curriculum is boring.  By adding humor lectures, assignments, and activities, you can increase student participation, understanding, and retention.  In this session, we will cover the teacher's toolkit for using humor, the persuasive benefits of using humor, and examples and activities for you to use in your next training seminar.  

Speakers
avatar for David Tarvin

David Tarvin

Lecturer, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University
David Tarvin is a lecturer at Texas A&M University in the Department of Communication where he teaches intercultural communication, leadership and conflict management, and the rhetoric of humor. His goal as an educator is to make learning a fun and worthwhile experience. His teaching... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 9:00am - 10:15am
Grand Ballroom

10:15am

Break
Friday April 5, 2019 10:15am - 10:30am

10:30am

BEE all you can BEE with AATH
Come one, come all!  Brand new members, conference first-timers, and seasoned members needing to BEE re-energized are invited to attend our fun, playful, and informative program.  Expect to BEE introduced to or reacquainted with ALL that our AATH family has to offer. Our session will help you get all you can from this year’s conference experience in Chicago PLUS you will learn the benefits and resources from AATH and the Humor Academy!
Love history and geography? We will connect you to AATH’s past and present!
Want to engage with AATH family members during and after the conference? We will show you how to connect to every member, from the Board members to members in every state and in your locale through Humor Zoomers and regional chapters!
Love having treasure trove of humor resources? We will show you all that AATH offers and where to find resources on the AATH website and the Facebook page!
AATH Membership is what you make it and we want you to “Bee all you can Bee!”
By the end of our program you will be totally steeped in AATH BEE- Attitudes!

Speakers
avatar for Deb Price

Deb Price

RN, MSN, Virginia Cancer Specialists
Deb Price is an oncology nurse and geriatric clinical specialist, currently working in the field of cancer clinical trials. Her passion for helping individuals and families achieve optimal wellness as they age and live their best life. Patty Wooten inspired Deb to become a caring... Read More →
avatar for Cheryl B Fell

Cheryl B Fell

R.N., Nurse FUNshine
Cheryl was twelve years old when she knew she wanted to become a nurse. A compassionate heart mixed with purpose validated Cheryl’s ambition to fulfill her professional dreams. Balancing a full-time job with nursing school taught her the value of hard work, simple living, and perseverance.After... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
Kent Room

10:30am

It's A Matter of "Time"-ing
In this session "tickled" with cartoons, props, videos, stories, and thought-provoking content, we will explore the "timing" of humor particularly as it relates to crisis situations.  We will examine the temporal, proximal, and emotional factors that influence one's receptivity to humor during a crisis and that impact when a humor practitioner chooses to offer therapeutic humor.  We will also explore general factors that influence the timing of therapeutic humor, as well as the timing factors that influence "human recovery' during a crisis.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Sultanoff, CHP

Steve Sultanoff, CHP

Mirthologist, HumorMatters
Steven Sultanoff, PhD is a psychologist, professor at Pepperdine University, professional speaker, past AATH president, and internationally recognized expert on therapeutic humor.   With over 30 years in the therapeutic humor field, he has written many innovative articles, including... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
York Room

10:30am

Timing in Therapeutic Humor: The Strategic Laugh
A moment of surprise is simply a neurological error signal that tells you that your understanding of the world is wrong and that it needs immediate adjustment. Surprises hijack our attention and drive a search for the reason of the surprise. This intense emotional arousal and soaring receptivity to information creates a brief window for a healing message. Using anecdotes, along with current neurological and cognitive research, I identify and map the consequences of using humor to trigger surprise as a strategic tool for healing.

Speakers
avatar for Michael Rousell, PhD

Michael Rousell, PhD

Associate Professor of Education, Southern Oregon University
Mike studies formative personal events and how Surprise Moments Secretly Change Your Beliefs


Friday April 5, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
Hunt Room

11:45am

12:00pm

AATH Research Showcase
Friday April 5, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Grand Ballroom

1:00pm

Break
Friday April 5, 2019 1:00pm - 1:15pm

1:15pm

Humor, Health & Aging Activities
Somehow we always find time to work, and time to cry. You can work alone and may often be alone when you cry, but when you laugh the world laughs with you. To really be happy you have to make time to laugh. Humor is the most powerful healer and creator of happiness. Humor therapy can take many forms, but generally it is simply the recognition by physicians, nurses, and other health care practitioners the value of mixing humor and laughter with medication and treatment. Please join us in this provocative, inspiring and entertaining program that will give you new and exciting tools for your laughter workshops.
Amira will present easy to understand techniques that will enhance your activities program. Learn why they work, and what they can do for you and the person in your care. She will present activities that are specialized to meet the needs every individual. Any stage of dementia can benefit from the many activities included in this program.

Speakers
avatar for Amira Choukair Tame

Amira Choukair Tame

BA, ACC, CDP, ADS, CLL, Author, Your Wellness Center, LLC
Amira is a Certified Activities Consultant (NCCAP) with over 18 years of experience promoting advancement of non-drug therapy for persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia disorders. Also, Amira is a Certified Laughter Leader for the World Laughter Tour Inc., President of... Read More →


A HUG jpg

Friday April 5, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
York Room

1:15pm

STOP in the Name of Humor - Social Media and Humor from Trooper Tracy
Social Media helps humanize the police departments by allowing the police force to connect and converse with the general public, but more importantly, it provides a platform for police officers to share multiple types of information quickly and respond to tips from civilians.  Trooper Tracy Lillard will show several ways she utilizes Social Media in Law Enforcement with the most effective one being humor.  Tracy was the high school class clown that became a state trooper.  Her use of photos, quick wit, ridiculous hashtags, and interesting conversation starters have grown her social media following to several hundred thousand.  Her innovation and use of humor within the Illinois State Police social media has created a new understanding from the community about what police officers are about.  She is humanizing the badge by entertaining, educating the public, and sprinkling a bit of humor everywhere.

Speakers
avatar for Tracy Lillard

Tracy Lillard

Statewide Social Media Coordinator, Illinois State Police
Trooper Tracy Lillard is the Illinois State Police Statewide Social Media Coordinator.  She received her Bachelors from Illinois State University in Criminal Justice.  Tracy graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy in 2001, a dream of hers since 5th grade.  She spent 12... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Kent Room

1:15pm

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? Examining the Intersection of Humor & Creativity
Businesses seek ways to foster innovation. Creativity has been christened as a 21st century skill. Collaboration has taken its place at the top of the list of current buzzwords. Yet, the cycle of acceptance of new still begins with rejection. People still identify as “not creative,” believing that creativity is a gift they did not receive or a trait they do not possess. And collaborators are still subject to an unspoken hierarchy that often inhibits people from sharing their perspectives.  Humor and improv are tools that can be leveraged to create an equal playing field for idea generation and innovation across.

Speakers
avatar for Betsy Tuma

Betsy Tuma

MFA Candidate, Radford University
Betsy Tuma spends most of her time on her favorite soap-box encouraging everyone to view themselves as the creative being they are and empowering people to tap in to their best creative selves.  She believes that humor is the key to unlocking this creative potential.  When she’s... Read More →
avatar for Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan

Assistant Professor, Design Thinking, Radford University



Friday April 5, 2019 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Hunt Room

2:30pm

Scholarship Presentations
Friday April 5, 2019 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Grand Ballroom

3:00pm

Mental With Benefits, the Evolutionary Advantages of Mental Illness; There are Two Kinds of Comedians, Diagnosed and Undiagnosed
What would be the impact if we reframed mental illness as a combination of mental illness and mental able-ness?  What if in addition to counseling and medication to treat a disability, we showed people ways to embrace, utilize, and celebrate their extraordinary ability?  I believe the positive impact would be incalculable.  People would learn that they are not broken, they were made this way.  So, for me it comes down to the question; if this, then that, what is the connection?  If this, my mental illness, give me that, my mental able-ness, what is the connection?  I believe the connection is the why, and I believe the why is found in evolution.

Speakers
avatar for Frank King

Frank King

Suicide Prevention Speaker, Mental Health Comedian
Frank King, Suicide Prevention Speaker, was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years, is a Corporate Comedian, and podcast personality, who was featured on CNN’s Business Unusual.Depression and suicide run his family. He’s thought about killing himself more times than he can... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Grand Ballroom

4:00pm

Dinner On Your Own
Friday April 5, 2019 4:00pm - 7:00pm

7:00pm

Comedy For Caregivers
As part of our annual conference, the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor is providing an opportunity for caregivers, first responders, military service professionals and their families in the Chicago area to enjoy an evening of healthy humor, along with our conference attendees.

The event features an evening of comedy and mirth with presenters sharing their personal stories of resilience to help inspire those facing the challenges of providing care to those they serve.

There is no cost to attend Comedy for Caregivers, but reservations are required as seating may be limited.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/comedy-for-caregivers-2019-tickets-52870068799

Thank you to our sponsors!
RK PR Solutions and ComedyCures

Speakers
avatar for Cole Thomas

Cole Thomas

An in-depth look into what recovery looks like through a patient's eyes and how your ability to adjust to a patients' attitudes, demeanors, and humorous (sometimes inappropriate) comments, can allow a patient to flourish and make their work towards recovery just a little easier knowing... Read More →
avatar for Joyce Saltman, CHP

Joyce Saltman, CHP

Ed.D - Professor Emeritus - Special Education, Southern CT State University
Joyce Saltman, CHP, is a professor Emeritus of Special Education at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. Joyce’s innovative teaching style has led to the development of a graduate course entitled The Enhancement of Learning Through Humor, as well as a summer... Read More →
avatar for The Therapy Players

The Therapy Players

How many psychotherapists does it take to make a crowd laugh?  Come find out when the Therapy Players take the stage!  Professional psychotherapists by day, they've been performing together as a comedy improv troupe since 2013, and were the winners of the 2015 Chicago Collider Improv... Read More →
avatar for Comedy Dance Chicago

Comedy Dance Chicago

SKETCH COMEDY. SKETCHIER DANCING.
Comedy Dance Chicago (AKA CDC*) is a group of current, former, and almost dancers. They combine sketch comedy, improvisation, physical comedy, and dance to tell stories in feel-good and visually-hilarious ways. From TRexes to tutus, CDC* will delight you with their goofiness!The goal... Read More →


Friday April 5, 2019 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Grand Ballroom
 
Saturday, April 6
 

8:00am

Mindfulness, Meditation and Mirth
This presentation will affirm whatever mindfulness practice you have been doing so far (even on an irregular basis) and encourage you to continue and grow. One size of mindfulness and meditation does not fit all and Debra Joy Hart understands that! We will be discussing all sorts of practices and helping to incorporate at least a little bit. It’s the small steps we take that add up. Feel free to stop by in for a quick mindful breath to re-energize . Or stay longer for a dose of calm.

Everyone talks about mindfulness these days to relieve stress. Many talk about meditation as if you have to sit still, probably cross legged (Who can do that all the time?) and stare at the tip of your nose or say one syllable as long as you can hold your breath.


Speakers
avatar for Debra Joy Hart

Debra Joy Hart

Mistress of Mirth, M.I.R.T.H.
Debra Joy Hart, RN, BFA, CT, CLL-E has been a nurse for over 27 years and is currently a nurse consultant. Her nursing and teaching experience is in alcohol/drug rehabilitation, hospice, long term care, men’s emergency and transitional shelter, and public health.She’s the creator... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 8:00am - 9:00am
Grand Ballroom

9:15am

The Mourning After: Using Humor In Grief Work
The unfortunate reality is that we will ALL grieve at some point in our lives.  It is a consequence of loving someone.  But when is our grief unhealthy?  What do we do to navigate through it?  And when is it too soon to laugh?  This presentation will explore styles of grief, tasks of grief work, and the therapeutic utility of humor and laughter in our grief.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Melissa Mork, CHP

Dr. Melissa Mork, CHP

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Northwestern - St. Paul
Melissa was orphaned when she was in college. Her best friend caused her own death by suicide. And then Melissa’s husband died of an aggressive cancer (when she was far too young and attractive to be called “widow,”) leaving her to parent their two teens alone. With an abiding... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 9:15am - 10:15am
Grand Ballroom

10:30am

Escape The Meeting
Have you ever felt trapped in a boring meeting?  Wishing you could escape?  Or worse yet, are you the one planning the meeting and realize that all your attendees wanted to escape?  Work with a team during this session to find fun and hope as you use your collaborative skills to escape together.

Speakers
avatar for Erica Swiatek

Erica Swiatek

Masters - Creative Studies
Erica Swiatek graduated from SUNY Buffalo State with a Master’s of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership.  She blends her expertise in the fields of innovation, learning and development and playfulness to create accelerated activities, courses and programs.  These courses... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
Hunt Room

10:30am

Experience Timing - Physical Experience of Timing Through Connection & Movement
A key aspect of timing as related to interaction between people is connection and sensitivity to those you are interacting with.  In this session, we will focus on the physical experience of timing.  This is an experiential workshop based on exercises and movement.  No prior experience is required and every body can participate.  The goals are to identify ways in which we connect to others, recognize the specific details we read from others to assess appropriateness of interaction, and practice different timings to experience their effect on the interaction.  These concepts will be presented and experienced on the physical level, then intellectual and other applications discussed with the group.

Speakers
avatar for Olga Karasik

Olga Karasik

Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program, University of Central Florida, College of Medicine, Orlando, FL
Ola was born in Moscow, Russia, and spend the first few years of her life in gorgeous Siberia.  When she was 9 years old, her family moved to Israel, where she grew up and completed her education and training as a physician.  In 2011, she moved to New York for her internal medicine... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
York Room

10:30am

Humor Flashpoints for PowerPoint Presentation
Do you use humor in your PowerPoint (PPT) to create sparks, flames, or explosions?  Me neither.  Kidding. Humor can pop and punch up your PPT and increase learning.  This session will synthesize the PPT literature into a state-of-the-art CliffsNotes® of 10 “evidence-based, best practices.”  The first five practices are basic design options related to verbal humor and the last five pertain to engagement and multimedia humor.  The examples will furnish you with loads of ideas to keep your audiences on the edges of their seats, laughing ‘til they emit bodily fluids.  This is a “must-attend” session.

Speakers
avatar for Ron Berk

Ron Berk

PhD, Professor Emeritus, The Johns Hopkins University
RON BERK, PhD, is Professor Emeritus, Biostatistics and Measurement, and former Assistant Dean for Teaching at The Johns Hopkins University and a Fellow in the Oxford Society of Scholars. Ron became a professor because he was too big to be a Radio City Rockette and his stint as Arnold... Read More →



Saturday April 6, 2019 10:30am - 11:30am
Kent Room

11:30am

Lunch/Networking
Announcements, Sponsors, Authors

Saturday April 6, 2019 11:30am - 12:00pm
Grand Ballroom

12:00pm

15 Minute Keynotes
Guy Giard:  "Too Soon or Too Late: Reconnecting With Your Authentic Self"
Do you feel “stuck” at work, in your relationships or with your health?  Have you tried doing "more of the same" to achieve change; but it just doesn’t cut it?  It's time to let go as I will show you that it's never too soon or too late to "Reconnect with your Authentic Self".  I will share my personal transformation story when I finally decided to "let go of my plans, my desire for control or my need to be right" by volunteering as a humanitarian clown with the real Dr. “Patch” Adams in hospitals and orphanages in Russia, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico and India.

Patrick Harris: "The Timing of Trauma: When To Laugh, When to Cry"
Whoever said trauma is no laughing matter?  Every day we are inundated with new research telling us the best new treatment for trauma, or how-to manuals on finding happiness after tragedy.  But what if laughter really is the best medicine, a panacea for even life’s most insidious of curveballs?  I will shed light on trauma through a new lens as I share my personal experience with surviving a mass shooting and subsequent PTSD suffered from the experience, and how therapeutic humor saved my life.  Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of trauma and the importance of timing when using humor as a therapeutic intervention.

Speakers
avatar for Patrick Harris

Patrick Harris

Masters, Two
Patrick Harris is a skilled mental health professional residing in Austin, TX holding a BA in Psychology, MA in Counseling, and currently pursuing a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine.  Currently, Patrick provides intensive mental health services for the child and family services unit for... Read More →
avatar for Guy Giard CHP

Guy Giard CHP

Author of "Love's Healing Journey" CHP, Speaker, Coach, 3 Pillars of HAPPINESS
Guy Giard is a typical Renaissance man. Born in French speaking province of Quebec, Canada, he has lived many years in Europe and travelled on three continents. Completing university degrees in visual arts he unveiled his first public sculpture by the age of twenty, followed by a... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 12:00pm - 12:45pm
Grand Ballroom

1:00pm

Escaping Ever-Stressed Mode
All too many relate to the phrase "ever-stressed".  So, let's look at ways to take stress down a few notches as participants build their own "escape plans" from tried and true evidence-based techniques.  We'll cover tools we can use before, during and after those times when we face our stressors, as well as potential ways we can avoid stressors all together (or perhaps adjust them).  Techniques covered will draw from humor and positive psychology wherever possible.

Speakers
avatar for Jessika Jake

Jessika Jake

Wellness Instructor, Edutainer, Author, Emanant Wellness | RistRoller
Jessika is a STEM and Wellness Edutainer, author, instructional designer, coach, and consultant hanging out at the nexus of wellness and technology. Perfect is not an option, so she likes to focus on educating and inspiring people to get "better and betterer" across the 8 dimensions... Read More →



Saturday April 6, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Kent Room

1:00pm

How To Stop Freaking The %#$@ Out! By Using Humor or Whatever
Erin and Kyle will teach the audience about the human stress response while utilizing humor to help understand what happens to people when they are in distress.  With this understanding, they will then teach the importance of developing and implementing personalized skills that can help calm the human body using non-traditional, creative approaches.  They will promote the ability to teach others these skills and ultimately help people freak out a lot less in their daily lives.  

Speakers
avatar for Erin Pash

Erin Pash

MA LMFT, THERAPIST, Ellie Family Services
Erin (along with Kyle Keller) are the co-owners of a mental health agency in the Twin Cities. They like to think of themselves as “less whiney millennials” who are eager to bring humor back to mental health. They are the authors of the book “How to Stop Freaking the %@$# Out... Read More →
avatar for Kyle Keller

Kyle Keller

MSW LICSW, THERAPIST, Ellie Family Services
Kyle (along with Erin Pash) are the co-owners of a mental health agency in the Twin Cities. They like to think of themselves as “less whiney millennials” who are eager to bring humor back to mental health. They are the authors of the book “How to Stop Freaking the %@$# Out... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
York Room

1:00pm

Laughing after Loss: If Yes, When?
Is major loss ever a laughing matter, and if so, when?  It depends!  It can be, for some people, some of the time.  How can we know?  Attendees at this presentation will hear vignettes of people who experienced serious loss (e.g., cancer diagnosis, onset of a disabling condition, death of a loved one, job loss, uncomfortable aging) and who did or did not use humor to cope.  Following a brief overview of guidelines from professional literature, participants will be invited to take part in mini-role plays in which they enact either 1) a person who’s had a major loss or 2) someone having a brief encounter or serving as a primary support for the person who had that major loss. During the debriefing that follows, attendees will use their role-play experiences to bring the theoretical material to life, demonstrating how the timely and attuned use of humor can empower us to feel more solid on the inside.

Speakers
avatar for Katherine Puckett, CHP

Katherine Puckett, CHP

PhD, Solid On The Inside
Katherine Puckett is the Founder of Solid on the Inside, where she offers psychotherapy, presentations and mind-body services to enable participants to discover and build their strengths and to live as fully and wholeheartedly as possible while navigating life’s many challenges... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Hunt Room

2:00pm

Break
Saturday April 6, 2019 2:00pm - 2:15pm

2:15pm

It's Too Soon to Think It's Too Late
A retired communication teacher’s look back at his career and ahead to his future, while considering the role humor has played in his success as a teacher and public speaker.  In doing so, he will offer advice to those audience members who have desired, but feared entering the world of professional speaking.  He will discuss practical strategies for overcoming speech apprehension. and how  incorporating humor into one’s message, not only entertains but enhances the impact and retention of that message. If you have ever envision taking the stage as a presenter at AATH, then hopefully his message will inspire you to do so.  After all, it is never “too soon” to try.

Speakers
avatar for Eric Ewan

Eric Ewan

Eric grew up in southern Illinois.  He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale earning a bachelor of science degree in Speech Communication and minors in Theater and English.  His decision to teach high school theater was sidetracked a bit when he encountered the world... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 2:15pm - 3:00pm
Grand Ballroom

3:00pm

Humor Academy Level III: Humor Research Project Presentations
Celebrate and learn with the Level III class members as they summarize and share the results of their individual Humor Projects.  Be sure to listen and learn as you view their posters and hear of their accomplishments.  You're bound to be amazed!

Speakers
avatar for Megan Werner, CHP

Megan Werner, CHP

MS, LPC-S, NCC, Brain Training, LLC
Megan is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor in Clinical Mental Health, and a former Health and Wellness Coach. Her expertise stems from Positive Psychology, Strengths-based Psychology, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Humor and Laughter... Read More →


Saturday April 6, 2019 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Grand Ballroom

4:00pm

Author Book Signing
Saturday April 6, 2019 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Grand Ballroom

4:30pm

Break
Saturday April 6, 2019 4:30pm - 5:30pm

5:30pm

6:30pm

 
Sunday, April 7
 

7:30am

Magic 101: It's Always Good to Have a Trick Up Your Sleeve
Ready to amuse, dazzle and annoy your friends, patients and children?  In this session, you will develop talents that range somewhere between Bozo and Houdini!  These can be quickly pulled out of your hat for use in care centers, hospitals, schools or anywhere where people need cheering up or a good laugh.  Together we'll have fun working with cereal boxes, balloons, popsicle sticks, crayons, toothpicks, bananas and other household items.  All materials will be supplied and absolutely no talent is required.

Speakers
avatar for Linda MacNeal, CHP

Linda MacNeal, CHP

Masters Degree, Humor Solutions
For over 20 years Linda has been teaching people how to practice safe stress using humor. Here at AATH, Linda was in the first graduating class of the Humor Academy and also served as a Mentor for the first Level 1 Group. For the last few years, most of her time has been devoted to... Read More →



Sunday April 7, 2019 7:30am - 8:15am
Grand Ballroom

8:30am

Hey! You Got Chocolate on My Peanut Butter! The Science of Humor, the Humor of Science
We know that using humor relaxes and connects people. We know we remember things that make us laugh, and that jokes can often make us think of things in completely new ways and even help us reevaluate our lives. These days we also know that science has things to offer in terms of our understanding of ourselves and each other, but my goodness, it can be so dull and boring! How can anyone ever remember all those brain chemicals or which part of the brain does what?
In this lively and highly interactive session, neuroscience and human development expert Ann Betz takes you through the science behind why our brains are so attuned to humor, how it is critical to neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to learn, grow, and change), and when and how to use it in your work and life most effectively, whether you are a speaker, trainer, leader, parent, business owner, etc.
But before you start to yawn, rest assured that she does this by modeling the very thing she’s talking about, demonstrating the principles in action and “unpacking” what is happening in your brain as you participate, practice, laugh, get extremely silly, and ultimately, learn and remember.

Speakers
avatar for Ann Betz

Ann Betz

Co-Founder BEabove, Director of Research, Senior Trainer, BEabove Leadership
Ann Betz, CPCC, PCC, MNTC, is the co-founder of BEabove Leadership and an international speaker and trainer on the intersection of neuroscience, coaching and human transformation.A certified professional coach for over 15 years, Ann is a prolific writer with many articles and a couple... Read More →


Sunday April 7, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am
Grand Ballroom

9:30am

Books and Blogs, Oh My!
Imagine sitting down before the blank page and feeling complete trust in your brilliance, knowing what you want to say.  It is absolutely possible!  Discover Kelly's step-by-step process and you can write whatever you want - books, blogs, or any kind of article - with ease and grace (and perhaps even a little humor).  Bring your pen and paper.  You are going to prove to yourself in this one short session that you've got writing chops!  Come learn how to RELAX & WRITE for clients, connection, and cash.



Speakers
avatar for Kelly Simmons

Kelly Simmons

Writer/Speaker/Listener, Joyful Living Institute
Kelly (Epperson) Simmons is a writer, speaker, and mentor. Kelly has written 30+ books, some for New York Times bestselling authors, one that sold 3 million copies. She writes a weekly newspaper column (since 2001) and is a judge for the Erma Bombeck Essay Competition. As Book Coach/Editor... Read More →


Sunday April 7, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Kent Room

9:30am

Humor and Disability
Although there are many perceptions of people with disabilities that are of a negative nature; there isn’t anything about disability or having a disability that is inherently negative.  There are many examples of people with disabilities who, not only enjoy humor, but create it and share it with others.  Examples include Geri Jewell (actress and comedienne), John Calahan (cartoonist), Josh Blue (Last Comic Standing), and many others.  This presentation will highlight various types of humor that focus on disability as well as the humor that people with disabilities have created.  Points made will be based on empirical literature about humor and disability as well as writings by people with disabilities themselves.

Speakers
avatar for R. Bruce Baum

R. Bruce Baum

Ed. D., HumorCreativity.Com



Sunday April 7, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
York Room

9:30am

Trauma Panel
When someone's world comes crashing down, what do you do?  What do you say?  When do you say it?  What if it's your world?  Who will save you and how?  Needless to say, trauma is...well, it's trauma!  Difficult, sad and confusing to deal with, so what's the cure?  Humor can be therapeutic.  Join Patrick Harris and Debra Joy Hart to explore how to begin the healing process when the unexpected becomes reality. 

​​​​

Speakers
avatar for Debra Joy Hart

Debra Joy Hart

Mistress of Mirth, M.I.R.T.H.
Debra Joy Hart, RN, BFA, CT, CLL-E has been a nurse for over 27 years and is currently a nurse consultant. Her nursing and teaching experience is in alcohol/drug rehabilitation, hospice, long term care, men’s emergency and transitional shelter, and public health.She’s the creator... Read More →
avatar for Patrick Harris

Patrick Harris

Masters, Two
Patrick Harris is a skilled mental health professional residing in Austin, TX holding a BA in Psychology, MA in Counseling, and currently pursuing a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine.  Currently, Patrick provides intensive mental health services for the child and family services unit for... Read More →


Sunday April 7, 2019 9:30am - 10:30am
Hunt Room

10:30am

Good & Well Fare
Sunday April 7, 2019 10:30am - 11:00am
Grand Ballroom

11:00am

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That! A Cure For The "I'm Too Busy" Syndrome
The top status symbol for Americans today is no longer extravagant homes or even lavish vacations: it is whining about having no time and being busy, busy, busy! The promise we can get sucked into is that busyness is paving the road to success and by DOING more, one will BE more!
But did you know there is science behind not working your face off?
Could you imagine how your work will be with better decision making? With more creativity? With better epiphanies (or intuitive nudges)?
And what if we told you that taking HAPPY RESTORATIVE BREAKS at work is the most powerful business strategy on the planet, wouldn’t you want to know how to make them work FOR you instead of against your business?
Jess and Gayle will give you a rock solid “happy and restorative break” strategy that will set a powerful foundation for a happier, healthier and more connected workplace that allows you to produce (benefits) strong teams, increased productivity, make innovation soar and increase the bottom line.
Sounds like a win, win, win for everyone!

Speakers
avatar for Jess Ruggieri

Jess Ruggieri

Ambassador of Inclusion, Health & Wellness Coach, fun dept.
Jessica is an extrovert who LOVES people and has found her life’s calling as the “ambassador of inclusion” at the fun dept. Her passion is in creating space where individuals can feel safe, connected, cared for, and included. Why? Because life is short and we are all too stressed... Read More →
avatar for Gayle Cartier

Gayle Cartier

Certified Trainer Partner, Gayle Cartier
Gayle wants to live in a world where FUN and HAPPINESS MATTER in the workplace, vending machines serve up gluten-free, chocolate s’mores, and living in another country for a month happens every year. | As a commercial interior designer of corporate workplaces with over 10 years... Read More →



Sunday April 7, 2019 11:00am - 12:00pm
Grand Ballroom