John Daley is a university professor and retired Navy submarine lieutenant commander. He has taught at universities and colleges including postgraduate education at the Naval Postgraduate School, where he was invited to join the faculty after completing his M.S. in computer science work; University of St. Thomas, and Herzing University (online campus). He has served as Academic Dean of West Virginia Northern Community College, as Executive Program Chair for Information Technology at Globe University, and as Vice President of Software Development for Laminar Software.
John’s Navy career included completion of seven submarine strategic deterrent patrols as he served as weapons officer with multiple achievement and commendation medals. He helped to found a veterans resource center at the University of St. Thomas, works as a volunteer for New Life Family Services, and is Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee for the Adjunct Faculty Council at St. Thomas. He and his wife Vicki live in Chaska.
Niles Thornburg,retired sergeant first class in the United States Army, served in combat through four deployments with the 3rd Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, affectionately known as the Rakkasans. Awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge for his selfless service in Afghanistan and Iraq, Niles believes being an infantry platoon sergeant is the greatest position in the Army: still close to the troops, but in a position where he can make decisions that could potentially save lives.
His dedication to the soldiers he serves with is mirrored in his family life. Niles has been married to his wife Kate for more twenty years and through all the ups and downs of military life. They have five beautiful children together. Niles and his family reside in his hometownof Winchester, Indiana .
A Buckeye by birth, Kate Thornburg has jokingly been called Dragon Lady for her fierce devotion to helping military families and refusal to let a little thing like rank stop her from speaking her mind. The nickname was given by the Army wives and parents she came to know and love over her many years of volunteer work with Army Family Readiness Groups. She is the proud survivor of twenty-three years of marriage to Ars Bellum Co-Founder Niles Thornburg, four deployments which saw her husband put in harm's way, and five children aged 22, 21, 12, 8, and 4. Her life is a beautiful chaotic mess, which is exactly the way she likes it.
Bridget Cronin comes from a family of combat veterans who have served in nearly every war from the American Revolution to our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her own career in organizational management, fundraising and marketing spans 28 years in the private sector, non-profit world and in local elected office for ISD 199. In 2001, she became the advocacy and fundraising leader for a parent group called Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) and successfully won state recognition and funding for intensive early intervention behavior therapy for young children with autism. FEAT went on to become the Minnesota Autism Center, which is now one of the largest providers of autism therapies in the Midwest.
“Relentless” is practically her middle name, and it has to be. In addition to her work with Ars Bellum, Bridget is also the mother of three daughters and a son with autism. Her diverse professional experience, knowledge of mental health issues and understanding of both government processes and military culture make her uniquely suited to the task of fulfilling Ars Bellum Foundation's mission.
Craig Balfany is the Director of the Art Therapy Program at Adler Graduate School, our program development partner. He is a licensed professional counselor with 25 years of clinical art therapy experience with adults, adolescents, and children with a full range of mental health issues in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He engages the process of creativity through the use of painting, sculpting, clay work, mask making and photography to respond to the integration of internal experience to external stimuli. The creative interaction allows for personal expression, insight and healing.
His breadth and depth of experience, and his position as the Director of the Art Therapy Program made him a perfect partner to develop our art therapy programs, help us find qualified staff to run them, and assist us in planning long term for growth and further development.
Juliana received her Masters in Professional Studies in Creative Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked in a variety of facilities, including Adult Inpatient Mental Health, free programs for children with Autism, and group homes for adults with disabilities in Brooklyn, NY before moving to Minnesota. Juliana serves as the Treasurer of the Minnesota Art Therapy Association, where she helps develop fundraising opportunities, community education, and art therapy awareness in Minnesota.Juliana is a Registered Art Therapist with five years of clinical experience. Currently, Juliana works full time as an Art Therapist at Clara’s House which is part of the Behavioral Health Services Department at St. Cloud Hospital. In this role, Juliana facilitates group and individual art therapy sessions with adolescents who have mental health and/or chemical dependency diagnoses with a focus on trauma informed art therapy. She engages with many materials in her practice including clay, painting, drawing, printmaking, plaster work, and fiber arts.
Robyn Alliah is a board certified Art Therapist with ten years of experience. She graduated from Florida State University and earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education with an emphasis in art therapy. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Studio Arts, with minors in psychology and photography.She has worked in school systems providing art therapy in groups for K-12, specializing in children with autism to increase social skills. Robyn currently works with severe and persistent mental illness (TBI, PTSD, anxiety, depression, borderline personality) using art therapy to help clients work through the traumas causing their symptoms and teaching them skills to generalize their progress into everyday life.