Minneapolis, MN, January 4, 2006 – Capella University PhD graduate Kristine Haertl has received the 2005 Minnesota Occupational Therapy Research Award for “Excellence in Clinical Work, Teaching, and Research in Mental Health.” Capella University is an accredited online university headquartered in Minneapolis. More than 13,000 learners are enrolled in Capella’s undergraduate, master’s and PhD online degree programs. Haertl earned her PhD from Capella’s Harold Abel School of Psychology.

The award in part recognizes the research Haertl conducted for her Capella PhD dissertation, which was titled “Factors Influencing Success in a Fairweather Mental Health Model.” The study focused on factors that contribute to success, satisfaction, and retention in the Fairweather model, a peer-supported housing model in which four or five people with mental illness live together and provide support to each other in order to empower themselves to take charge of their recovery.

Haertl’s dissertation research influenced the Minnesota Legislature’s decision to include Fairweather mental health lodges in the definition of “evidenced-based practices,” and the Pennsylvania Legislature to fund new initiatives for more Fairweather lodges in Pennsylvania.

“I am honored to have received this award, and to know that my research has made a positive impact on the field of mental health,“ Haertl said. “This experience has inspired me to continue conducting research and promote findings that improve mental health opportunities and outcomes for all members of our society.”

Haertl is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn.

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited* online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Science online degree program with 10 specializations in business and information technology. The online university currently serves more than 13,000 enrolled learners from all 50 states and 55 countries. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis . For more information, visit www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.