2019-Board Member Elections
Please only Vote YES on Four of the Candidates
Education: Master’s in Rehabilitation SUNY Buffalo 2006
Statement: PRA has kept me up to date with vocational rehabilitation news, laws, skills, etc. while I have been not working in the field. I feel I can bring my experiences as a VRC as well as a Clinical Coordinator, where I have worked with a large variety of populations of people with disabilities. I am always eager to learn new strategies, implementations, resources that will help people with disabilities live full productive lives. As a CRC I have been able to become part of not just helping PWD gain employment, but also live self-reliant and fulfilling lives in our communities. I believe this experience and
my passion for helping those with disabilities in any capacity will be an asset to PRA.
Employer: The Sierra Group
Education: M.A. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling
Statement: I have benefited from PRA by gaining cutting-edge knowledge in the field of rehabilitation counseling and have had opportunities to network with dedicated and caring professionals in the field. I will bring to PRA my passion for and strong belief in being a part of an association with the goal of advocating and working diligently to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. As an individual who is blind, I can relate to the needs of people with disabilities. Someone fought for me so that I could be successful, and I want to "pay it forward" for others.
PRA has recognized my dedication to working with PWD by awarding me the 2018 Student of the Year for Direct Service, Leadership, and Advocacy.
In 2014, PRA awarded me with the Graduate Student Award in the Area of Advocacy.
I was honored to receive the award and recognized the value of PRA in promoting high quality practice in the rehabilitation profession through acknowledgement and support of rehabilitation professionals. I benefited from PRA through its leadership in the field of rehabilitation and PRA’s support of me and my goal to assist individuals with disabilities in securing employment. Employment is so much more than a job. For individuals with disabilities, employment improves quality of life, not only through financial empowerment, but by breaking down stereotypes and building confidence and competencies that encourage equal treatment and opportunity for all.
As a PRA board member, I hope to bring my unique skills and experiences to provide input on topics important in the field of rehabilitation. Also, I hope I could be a support to rehabilitation professionals through leadership and mentorship by encouraging culturally-competent, ethical, evidence-based and accountable practices, as PRA envisions. At present, I am a rehabilitation professional working for the Harrisburg Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Working in the field of rehabilitation, specifically for OVR, has opened my eyes to the need for support of the profession of rehabilitation and the rehabilitation professionals who commit their lives to assisting individuals with disabilities in gaining and maintaining employment. I appreciate your consideration of my nomination.
As a newcomer to the PRA, I have benefited from the introduction to the many ways that I can continue to advocate on the behalf of PWD. Staying current on topics and practices within the disability community is imperative for the quality of life of those I aim to assist. The opportunity for continuing education, personal and professional growth, and networking possibilities, are all valuable tools that will be highly beneficial in my field of work.
I hope to bring to PRA an expansion of disability inclusive employers within my local community, as I continue my career as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the OVR. Years of life experience caring for family who have endured significant disabilities, has given me an up close and personal look into the many barriers that PWD can face, and how hopelessness can really exacerbate the disabilities. My passion is to help PWD’s, along with employers, to not only understand the limitations that exist, but to also become proactive in the quest for a better quality of life and increased independence.
I am an assistant professor of rehabilitation and human services at two branch campuses of Penn State University. I come to Pennsylvania from Wisconsin where I was born and raised. Prior to my appointment at Penn State, I worked in several clinical capacities in Wisconsin including supported housing, public and private vocational rehabilitation, assertive community treatment, and in neuropsychology.
As a professor, I strive to engage in research that has clinical relevance to the field. Currently the majority of my work focuses on improving quality of life outcomes for individuals living with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia. I also am actively involved in the alopecia areata community and a great deal of my research focuses on how to enhance the experience of this oft-marginalized population.
As a first-year member of the PRA, I look forward to gaining the same advantages from participation that I experienced as a former conference attendee and participant from 2006-2013 in Wisconsin. Specifically, these benefits included a greater connection with my colleagues through the field of rehabilitation at a more regional level which I found extremely valuable. I believe that I can offer the PRA the voice of a rehabilitation educator and serve as a conduit for clinical organizations in Pennsylvania so that their voice is heard, and needs are met by universities in this region. Furthermore, I believe my enthusiasm for our work and diverse clinical and research experiences will enable me to be a well-contributing member.