Art major with Pre-Art Therapy concentration
Member of the Ohio Air National Guard
Some would say that Toledo native Nathan Ceglio is a walking contradiction. At any given moment one can find him wading through the African terrain in military gear, or sketching with charcoal in a fine arts class. In actuality, these worlds may perfectly meet in his chosen field of study. A senior in Lourdes' Pre- Art Therapy Program, Nathan wants to use his degree to help veterans manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and combat-related mobility issues.
"I think art therapy could really help veterans. I imagine that for those who've experienced combat firsthand, there just aren't words for expressing those encounters verbally. Art can break down the barrier and help someone put the images in their feelings and memories into an observable, physical context. It can help those with disabilities too. For example, the act of drawing, or painting, develops fine motor skills and also builds confidence."
As an artist, Nathan says that creating art has been therapeutic for him personally and as a president of Lourdes' Pre-Art Therapy Association (Pre-ATA), he also witnessed it help others. "The Pre-ATA does a lot of service projects with area organizations such as Josina Lott Day Services, ProMedica's Champs Camp, and Sunshine Industries. I have seen how art can help people handle struggles, both mentally and physically."
He decided to visit Lourdes after several friends who were enrolled shared their positive experiences. "They said they really liked it and that I would too. Turns out, it was a great fit for me. The personal experience of being a student at Lourdes is one of its best qualities. You're able to build friendships with your instructors. I think that directly contributes to student success. At least, it has mine."
Following in his father's footsteps, Nathan joined the Ohio Air National Guard two years after graduating from high school. Through the GI Bill and Lourdes' Air National Guard Hero Scholarship, 100% of Nathan's tuition is covered. He is currently serving his first tour overseas.
As for his hope to use art therapy with veterans, he says that some of his fellow guardsmen approach his plans inquisitively. "I get asked about my involvement in art therapy a lot. What I tell them is that it's a great field if you are creative, but you also really want to help people. I think, being servicemen, they can really relate to that part."