2017 Award Winners

Annemarie Connor

Annemarie Connor

Michigan State University

2017 Winner for Doctoral Student of the Year


 

Annemarie Connor is a doctoral candidate in Rehabilitation Counselor Education in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, & Special Education, at Michigan State University. Her clinical background is in occupational therapy, and her research and teaching interests focus on evidence-based, interdisciplinary assessment and intervention, and the biopsychosocial aspects of disability. Her topical area is neurodevelopmental disabilities, with an emphasis on transition-age youth. Annemarie’s dissertation examines the social, self-efficacy, and psychological wellness outcomes of a group intervention targeting work-related social functioning among young adults with autism. Annemarie’s research and teaching experience includes instruction and supervision at the undergraduate and master’s levels, program evaluation for the state of Michigan’s department of vocational rehabilitation, and curriculum development. Annemarie has published six peer reviewed articles and one book chapter in the areas of pre-service counselor development, vocational rehabilitation, clinical supervision, and emerging practice areas. Annemarie’s service commitments include serving as student representative for the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, a reviewer for the American Occupational Therapy Association’s evidence exchange, and a university writing fellow. She will transition to a faculty position as an assistant professor of Rehabilitation Science at Florida Gulf Coast University in May, where she will teach and continue her interdisciplinary research. Annemarie has an incredibly supportive husband and two adventurous children who have rearranged their lives to facilitate her development as an educator, scholar, and researcher.
Kara Moroni

Kara Moroni

Northern Illinois University

2017 Winner for Master’s Student of the Year


 

Kara Moroni is currently a second year in the Rehabilitation Counseling program at Northern Illinois University and will be graduating in May. She has been a Graduate Research Assistant for her entire program focusing on stigma and disability, sexism in vocational rehabilitation, and clinical supervision and job satisfaction. Ms. Moroni is the past President of the Rehabilitation Counseling Student Association (RCSA) at NIU. She worked to develop the Constitution and Bylaws for RCSA which lead the organization to become recognized as an official NIU student organization. RCSA’s mission is to advocate for individuals with disabilities and educate the community about Rehabilitation Counseling. Ms. Moroni is currently working at two internship sites, The Eval Center in Westchester, IL and Independent Rehabilitation Services, Inc. in Naperville, IL. At The Eval Center she has been conducting vocational testing with a wide population of clients to help them learn more about themselves through assessment and reach their educational and vocational goals. Her other internship site, Independent Rehabilitation Services, Inc., is a private sector company where she helps Workers Compensation claimants find alternative employment that fits their physical restrictions. Ms. Moroni’s interests are vast and growing continually, she is excited to continue to advocate and empower people with disabilities in the field of Rehabilitation Counseling.
Kathleen Locmelis

Kathleen Locmelis

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

2017 Winner for Rehabilitation Counselor of the Year


 

Kathleen Locmelis wants to live in a community that acknowledges and values the worth of all people. She loves being a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor because it gives her the opportunity to support individuals with disabilities in exploring their skills and strengths to find employment and meet other goals and because she can advocate for and work to help communities become more accessible. Her colleagues describe her as having a deep commitment to improving the lives of others and willing to challenge the status quo to improve the delivery of disability services, even if it may be met with resistance.  She credits her education, a Masters of Health Sciences in Rehabilitation Counseling from Louisiana State University, for fueling her drive to support equal rights and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Ms. Locmelis has worked in homes, institutions, disaster zones, day programs, a community mental health center, and currently part of a team in an innovative program with Pittsburgh Public Schools providing services to help prepare students with disabilities-and their families- for post-graduation success.
Alicia Heim

Alicia Heim

University of Pittsburgh

2017 Winner for the Vision Award


Alicia Heim is a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to her academic pursuits, Ms. Heim is helping to promote the profession of counseling by serving as the Business Manager for the Pitt Counseling Student Organization. Ms. Heim has worked with young adults at a cognitive rehabilitation program providing clients with assistance in developing and pursing cognitive goals. Ms. Heim has recently begun her internship with Pittsburgh Public Schools where she is working with the school’s transition counselors as well as independently providing psychoeducation on work readiness to students with cognitive disabilities. Ms. Heim enjoys working with adolescents and young adults with cognitive disabilities and hopes to continue working in this area upon graduation. In her free time, Ms. Heim enjoys traveling, cooking and reading crime novels.
Timothy Tansey, Ph.D., CRC

Timothy Tansey, Ph.D., CRC

University of Wisconsin-Madison

2017 Award Winner: First Place Best Paper


Dr. Tansey received his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is an associate professor in the Rehabilitation Counselor Education program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Tansey has over 20 years’ experience as a rehabilitation counselor, educator, or rehabilitation researcher. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in the areas of evidence-based practices in vocational rehabilitation, self-regulation and self-determination, and applying novel technology in vocational rehabilitation and rehabilitation counselor education. Dr. Tansey has extensive experience in adapting technology and utilizing social media for knowledge translation and dissemination activities. He is currently the principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or co-investigator on five federally-funded research or national technical assistance center grants from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Social Security Administration and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research). These current projects, totaling over $50 million dollars, seek to ascertain evidence-based practices in the vocational rehabilitation of youth with disabilities, identify employer practices in the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of persons with disabilities, and provide technical assistance to state vocational rehabilitation toward increasing competitive, integrated employment of persons with disabilities living in areas of extreme poverty. Dr. Tansey serves on the editorial boards of Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, and the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, and as an ad hoc reviewer to numerous other journals.
Jennifer Sánchez, Ph.D., CRC

Jennifer Sánchez, Ph.D., CRC

The University of Iowa

2017 Award Winner: Second Place Best Paper


Dr. Sánchez is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at The University of Iowa.  She received her PhD in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her MEd in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. Sánchez has 10 years of experience working with, serving, and conducting research with individuals with serious mental illness (SMI), cognitive impairments (e.g., TBI, IDD, Alzheimer’s), and substance use disorders (SUD), as well as co-occurring conditions.  Her specializations include rehabilitation counseling/psychology, neuropsychology, and clinical supervision.  Clinically, Dr. Sánchez has worked in settings such as, in inpatient psychiatric facilities, Veterans Administration (VA), state hospitals and agencies, schools, and community mental health centers.  Her current line of research centers on factors that promote recovery, community integration, and quality of life of individuals with neuropsychological conditions.  She has published 15 peer-reviewed articles and presented approximately 50 concurrent and poster sessions at local, national, and international conferences.  As an early career professional, Dr. Sánchez has already been awarded over $150,000 in research funding through various internal and external grants, to support her ongoing research projects.  Committed to the field of rehabilitation, Dr. Sánchez is currently the Chair of the Diversity Committee in APA’s Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology), Co-Chair of the Council on Psychiatric Rehabilitation of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for several of the leading Rehabilitation and Counseling journals.

I-Chun Huang, Ph.D., CRC

I-Chun Huang, Ph.D., CRC

National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan

2017 Award Winner: Third Place Best Paper


I-Chun Huang is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Counseling at the National Changhua University of Education in Taiwan. Dr. Huang graduated from the Leeds University in the United Kingdom, with a specialty in special educational needs and assistive technology. She teaches courses in research methods, qualitative research, vocational evaluation, assistive technology and medical rehabilitation to students pursuing Master’s level studies.

Margaret Nosek, Ph.D.

Margaret Nosek, Ph.D.

Baylor College of Medicine

2017 Award Winner: Garrett Award


Margaret (Peg) Nosek, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine, Senior Scientist at TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center (Houston, TX), and Executive Director of the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD). She is also Adjunct Professor in the College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University, Houston. She holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a doctorate in rehabilitation research from the University of Texas at Austin. Over the past three decades, Dr. Nosek has been recognized internationally as an authority on the health of women with physical disabilities. She has conducted many large, federally-funded studies, including pioneering work on disparities in health and access to healthcare experienced by women with mobility impairments, particularly in the areas of sexuality and reproductive health, mental health, abuse prevention, and weight management. Her research team is now experimenting with delivering health promoting interventions to women with disabilities in the online virtual world of Second Life. Dr. Nosek lives with spinal muscular atrophy, a severe congenital physical disability, and is a disability rights activist. She has worked closely with Justin Dart and others in the independent living movement, and has been honored as a “Disability Patriot” by the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities