Dombek to present talk on therapy dogs in classrooms

Ellie in class
Ellie in the classroom

Dr. Donna Dombek, associate professor of education, will speak next week about her research on therapy dogs in elementary classrooms.

Her talk, “Therapy that Barks,” will take place at 7 p.m. May 7 in the Mukaiyama University Room in the Frame-Westerberg Commons. The Friends of Hanley Library are sponsors of the event, which is free and open to the public.

In 2018, Dombek and her certified therapy dog, Ellie, spent seven hours a week for more than four months in Greg Gleason's third grade classroom at School Street Elementary.

Dombek and Ellie's experience was designed to explore the question “Does the consistent presence of a therapy dog in a classroom have any impact on children's socio/emotional wellbeing?”

By the end of the experience, Dombek, Gleason, and the third graders in the classroom learned a lot about friendship and compassion from Ellie.

For disability needs related to the talk, contact the office of Disability Resources and Services at 814-362-7609 or