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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

Office of Rehabilitation Counseling

Program Faculty


The Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies' faculty members have diverse professional experiences and interests in rehabilitation, and each is a distinguished member of the rehabilitation counseling profession. By design, the faculty to student ratio is low. Faculty members are accessible, and there is extensive interaction between individual faculty members and students.


John Kosciulek
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
John Kosciulek is a professor of rehabilitation counseling whose experience involves clinical rehabilitation counseling practice, rehabilitation counselor education, and public education and advocacy regarding brain injury rehabilitation. His research focuses on research ethics, research methodology, consumer direction in disability policy development and rehabilitation service delivery, rehabilitation and disability theory development, research methodology, vocational rehabilitation, and school-to-career transition of students with and without disabilities. He also has an extensive program of research in the area of family adaptation to having a member with a brain injury.
Michael Leahy
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Michael Leahy is a University Distinguished Professor of rehabilitation counseling and director of the Office of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. His continuing research interests include professional competency development and education, professionalization, regulation of practice, vocational assessment, disability and rehabilitation policy, case management practices, outcomes and evidenced-based practices in rehabilitation counseling. Dr. Leahy is a Past-President of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, a Past Chair of the Alliance for Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Past-President of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA). He has published more than 175 refereed journal articles, books, book chapters, and research monographs, and presented his research to a variety of rehabilitation and business audiences, including international presentations. He has also acted as the principal investigator and managed nearly 30 large-scale research, training and service delivery grant projects at the state, national and international levels, and has been the recipient of over 20 national research, teaching and service awards during his career.
Gloria Lee
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gloria Lee’s research focuses on psychosocial adjustment of people with disabilities and their caregivers, and vocational issues and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. She is investigating risk and resiliency factors associated with the psychosocial adjustment of people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain. She is also studying factors affecting the psychosocial adjustment of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the vocational challenges and needs of transition-age and college-aged students with ASD.
Andrew Nay
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Andrew Nay is an assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling. His research interests include disability policy and legislation, counseling ethics and the law, and forensic rehabilitation. He also has a graduate degree from MSU in Human Resources and Labor Relations, is a Fellow on the American Board of Vocational Experts, and is a Certified Compensation Management Specialist, Rehabilitation Counselor, and Disability Management Specialist. Dr. Nay is frequently called upon to conduct forensic rehabilitation analyses to assess the employability and ability to earn wages of individuals involved in litigation at both the state and federal level. He routinely consults with employers, forensic accountants, insurance companies, and attorneys on issues involving employability affected by occupational or personal injury, employment discrimination, divorce and wrongful discharge. In 2014, he was appointed to the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) Ethics Committee tasked with providing advisory opinions on selected situations having ethical implications to the rehabilitation counseling community, and currently serves as a Board Member at Large with the National Association of Service Providers in Private Rehabilitation (NASPPR). He continues to present at various state and national conferences on topics involving counseling ethics, forensic evaluation, vocational assessment, and conflict resolution.
Connie Sung
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Connie Sung is an associate professor of rehabilitation counseling and co- director of Spartan Project SEARCH. Her educational background includes rehabilitation counseling psychology, neuropsychology and occupational science. Her research interests focus on biopsychosocial factors associated with successful transition, psychosocial and employment outcomes as well as quality of life of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Sung is also a Mary Switzer Fellow awarded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). She has published over 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters. She is a principal investigator of several community-based participatory research projects, including evaluation of intervention strategies to improve career development and employment outcomes of transition-aged individuals with autism and/or epilepsy. As the co- director of Spartan Project SEARCH, Sung and her students provide support to students with intellectual/developmental disabilities who participate in internship experiences across the MSU campus. She also conducts research to examine the impact of the program on transition outcomes of participating students and campus climate/attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.

Research Associates - Project Excellence


Ifeoma C. Iyioke

Ph.D. Michigan State University


Ifeoma Chika Iyioke is a Research Associate of Project Excellence, a program evaluation initiative of Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). She has a strong training in statistics and measurement with specialized focus on their application to program evaluation. Her research interests include practical testing problem areas of standard setting, test validity and reliability, computerized adaptive testing (CAT), preventing and detecting cheating, and equating. For her dissertation she conceptualized, designed, and evaluated a training program on standard setting for teachers in the K-12 public school accountability context.


Sukyeong Pi

Ph.D. Michigan State University


Sukyeong Pi is the project director of Project Excellence. Prior to joining ORDS, she worked as a Research Associate in the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University and the Department of Epidemiology at Michigan State University. Her research pursuits include program evaluation, employment outcomes of people with disabilities, transition for youth with disabilities, rehabilitation issues for people with developmental disabilities, and psychosocial aspects of disabilities.


Research Associates - Hegarty Fellows


Hyun-Ju Kang, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Research is an important way to translate the knowledge. I believe that research-based knowledge and theories must be translated to inform disability policy and provide evidence-based practice. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate in MSU-DOCTRID Hegarty Fellow Program at Michigan State University. My research interests include adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, transition, post-school outcomes (i.e., employment, postsecondary education, independent living, and community involvement), assistive technology, evidence-based intervention, functional skills, school, family, and community partnerships, and multicultural education.

I have nearly 4 years of work experience in the area of disability and transition as a play therapist and teacher. I also have nearly 5 years of research experience in transition and post-school outcomes as a research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I am so excited to work with international and interdisciplinary research teams in this program. I hope to improve my research knowledge and skills as well as have grant writing, publication, teaching, and mentorship experiences in the program. I believe that this program is promising in preparing for my future career with my fellows, mentors, and international and interdisciplinary research teams.


Nicole Neil, Ph.D.

City University of New York



I received my PhD in psychology from the Graduate Center (CUNY), hold my M.A. in Applied Disability studies from Brock University, and have over nine years of professional experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. As a Hegarty Fellow, I am jointly appointed at in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, and the National University of Ireland, Galway in the School of Psychology. I also teach graduate courses in applied behavior analysis at Brock University and the University of Western Ontario

My program of research focuses on maximizing outcomes in behavioral interventions for learners with developmental disabilities. My primary research interest is in identifying ways of enhancing the effectiveness of interventions for individuals with developmental disabilities by tailoring the intensity at which intervention is provided. In a special issue in the Journal of Behavioral Education on treatment intensity, I published the results from a series of preliminary studies highlighting how the diagnosis of Down syndrome interacts with treatment intensity. I am also involved in projects investigating group cognitive behavioral therapy for children with autism and obsessive compulsive behavior and improving long-term relationships between children with autism and their typically developing siblings.


Rebecca Irvine, Ph.D.

Queen’s University, Belfast



As a Hegarty Fellow, I will be co-located at Michigan State University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the National University of Ireland - Galway.  My primary research objective during the Fellowship will be to identify ways to make the policy environment more accessible for people with intellectual disabilities and their advocates. I intend to work with self-advocates/advocates, policy-makers, and organizations in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Michigan, in order to gain a better insight into the limited inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in influencing and measuring policy outcomes.

My educational background includes a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University, an M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast, and a Ph.D. in Social Policy, also from Queen’s University Belfast. My doctoral thesis, ‘The Other Minority: Disability Policy in the Post-Civil Conflict Environment’, was an international comparative project that considered the involvement of people with disabilities in post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building, in addition to the social, economic, and political factors that affect policy development and implementation during conflict transformation.  Other projects and publications have included:

‘Shortfalls in Public Policy and Programme Delivery in Northern Ireland Relative to the UNCRPD’ (with Dr Bronagh Byrne & Dr Colin Harper); ‘Inquiry into Post Special Education Need Provision in Education, Employment & Training for People with Intellectual Disabilities’ (on behalf of the Committee for Employment and Learning in the Northern Ireland Assembly); ‘Getting Disability on the Post-Conflict Agenda: the Role of a Disability Movement’ published in D Mitchell and V Karr (2014) Conflict, Disaster and Disability: Ensuring Equality; and ‘Prioritizing the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Post-Conflict Education Reform’ in Child Care in Practice special edition on children with disabilities (January 2015).

Prior to undertaking my Ph.D., I also worked for Mencap in Northern Ireland, coordinating numerous campaigns and establishing the All-Party Group on Intellectual Disability in the Northern Ireland Assembly.



June Chen

Ph.D. East China Normal University

Lianjun (June) Chen is a Hegarty Fellow in the MSU-DOCTRID program. Her educational background includes special education, laws and policies in special education, and psycho-counseling. Her primary research interest is the development and sustainment of community-based services for supporting people with neurological disabilities to improve their quality of life. June started working for people with disabilities in different settings since 2005. She was closely involved in several community-based projects funded by local government in Shanghai China, to promote social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. As a Hegarty fellow, June is under the mentorship of both Dr. Connie Sung from Michigan State University and Dr. Geraldine Leader from National University of Ireland, Galway. Now she is working on several projects under the cross-cultural perspective.

Clifford Stacy Anne Clifford

Ph.D. Vanderbilt University

Stacy Clifford is a Hegarty Fellow in the MSU-DOCTRID program whose educational background bridges political science and disability studies. Her primary research interest is the development of normative theories that increase the community inclusion and political empowerment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Areas of research include deliberative democratic theory, feminist care ethics, critical disability studies, liberal theories of justice, and qualitative research methods. Her publications appear in Contemporary Political Theory and Disability Studies Quarterly.

Carolyn Shivers

Ph.D. Vanderbuilt University

Carolyn Shivers is a Hegarty Fellow in the MSU-DOCTRID program. Her background includes direct care service for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as education in developmental psychology and quantitative methods. Her past research experience includes physical and psychological development in individuals with genetic disorders and life course outcomes among siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Current research interests focus on processes among families of individuals with IDD and mutually-beneficial interventions for siblings and children with IDD.



Affiliated/Adjunct Faculty and Instructors


David Campbell, MA, CRC

Interest areas: private sector rehabilitation, workers compensation, disability management, school to work transition

Richard Coelho, Ph.D., L.P.C., C.R.C.
Interest areas: applied methodology research, program evaluation, aging, mental health, developmental disabilities

Robert Fabiano, Ph.D., C.R.C., Licensed Psychologist
Interest areas: traumatic brain injury, neuropsychology and vocational assessment.

Steven Geiger, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Interest areas: substance abuse and psychological assessment

Geraldine Leader, Ph.D
Interest areas: Autism and other neurodevelopment disabilities, and applied behavior analysis (ABA)

Robert McConnell, D.P.A.
Interest areas: multicultural counseling and diversity issues, organizational theory and administration

Andrew Nay, PhD, CRC

Interest areas: counseling ethics, forensic rehabilitation, rehabilitation outcomes

Tawa Sina, Ph.D.
Interest areas: multicultural counseling, counseling supervision

John Victory, M.Ed.
Interest areas: independent living, assistive technology, strategic planning and leadership development

Duncan Wyeth
Interest areas: independent living, athletics