Distance Learning Faculty



Ann HowieAnn Howie, LICSW, ACSW

Ann has enjoyed and learned from animals in her life since birth. Ann began integrating animals into her counseling practice in 1987 and has worked with animals in (human) healthcare ever since. She founded and coordinated a hospital animal-assisted activities and therapy program from 1990-1997. She has written two textbooks for animal-program coordinators and contributes to internationally recognized training books on handler skills, animal-handler evaluation, and Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) techniques.

Ann also provides therapy dog training and screening of animal-handler teams for appropriateness for animal-assisted interactions programs. She emphasizes animal well being in her work. Ann was Delta Society®’s Director of AAT Services from 1995-2000, and she is an Eden Associate. Ann is an adjunct faculty member at University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work in the on-line Animals in Human Health certificate.

Ann consults nationally and internationally through her business, Human-Animal Solutions. Ann shares her life with her husband Doug and (currently) a Standard Poodle, a Wheaten Terrier, and multitudes of wild birds and squirrels.


Alison Leslie, MSW, LCSW




Jen PearsonJen Pearson, MSW, MSc

Jen Pearson entered the social work profession after years of working as a riding instructor and dog handler. Her clinical work has focused on utilizing animal-assisted interventions with at-risk youth in settings such as Green Chimneys Children's Services, the Griffith Centers for Children and The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, as well as Pet Partners and PATH International. In addition to her MSW and Animal-Assisted Social Work certificate from the University of Denver, Jen earned a Master of Science (MSc) degree from the University of Edinburgh's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in the United Kingdom in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare.

For her doctoral work, Jen's research interests include the human-animal bond and related psychopathologies from an attachment theory perspective, animal and object hoarding, the development of international ethical standards for animal-assisted interventions, and welfare assessment for animal participants in therapeutic activities. 

Jen is connected with several local dog training facilities and conducts intensive canine behavioral rehabilitation on a private basis. She enjoys working dogs in obedience, agility, tracking and protection sports.


Sheryl PipeSheryl Pipe, Ph.D.

Sheryl Pipe has been combining her career interests in psychology, education and animal-animal interactions for over 15 years.  In addition to teaching in the Animals in Human Health Certificate Program, she is an Adjunct Professor and Internship Coordinator at the Anthrozoology Master of Arts program at Canisius College.  Sheryl earned a Ph.D. in clinical and school psychology before serving as Director, then Senior Director, of Humane Education at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  Sheryl was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE) four times by the organization’s membership and was elected to the offices of President and Treasurer by members of the board.  She is also a board member of Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART) and the New Jersey Psychological Association’s Early Career Psychologists Special Interest Group.  Sheryl shares her home with her husband, son, five cats and one dog…none of whom would make appropriate therapy animals. 

Sue TeumerSue Teumer, MSW

An educator by training, Sue has taught at all levels – graduate-level courses down through preschool and even parent/infant programs.  Her 25+ years of teaching have run the gamut from special education to gifted education as well as a stint in “regular education.”  She insists her most meaningful teaching experiences, though, are those she has shared with a variety of animals.

Sue has extensive experience in the field of animal-assisted interactions. She has developed and led animal-assisted education, activity and therapy programs for individuals of all ages, employing several models of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) and including animals of many different species.  What started by bringing her trained pot-bellied pig into schools to motivate increased language in young children grew into an opportunity to develop and run a therapeutic farm providing services for dozens of students each week.  She has served as a volunteer, trainer, evaluator and national board member for the Delta Society's Pet Partner program.  She has also worked as program coordinator, volunteer, instructor and Executive Committee member for HABIC, Human-Animal Bond in Colorado.  With Dr. Aaron Katcher, she co-authored a chapter for Aubrey Fine's Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy, (Second Edition).