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Project Partners

The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE) is a collaboration between the following partners.

Our partners are national leaders in research and training with a wide range of collective experience in identifying and sharing innovative employment practices for people with disabilities.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE) is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (CFDA H264-K200003)

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Tim Tansey, Ph.D.
Professor and Principal Investigator


Malachy Bishop, Ph.D., CRC
Norman L. and Barbara M. Berven Professor of Rehabilitation Psychology and Co-Investigator


David Rosenthal, Ph.D., CRC


Fong Chan, Ph.D., CRC
Professor and Department Chair


Jina Chun, Ph.D., CRC
Assistant Professor


Stacie Castillo
Financial Specialist and Project Manager


Emily A. Brinck , Ph.D.
Researcher and SVRA Liaison


Jessica Holton, MS, CRC
SVRA Liaison


Cayte Anderson, Ph.D., LPC, CRC
Researcher and SVRA Liaison


Natalie Meyer
Project Assistant


Jeff Meyer
Project Assistant

UW Madison QE Areas of Expertise

Outreach to Native Americans

STEM Career Pathways

Business Engagement


Health and Disability

autism workfoce logo
Autism Workforce
  • David Geslak, BS, ACSM EP-C, CSCS
    President & Founder
  • Amber Pantaleo, LBS1
    Director of Development
  • Jake Smith
    Marketing Manager
QE Areas of Expertise:


Business Engagement and Outreach

Advancing Disability Inclusion and Workforce Innovation
Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSVAR)
QE Areas of Expertise:

Business Outreach

florida atlantic university - counselor education logo
Florida Atlantic University (FAU)
  • Michael Frain, Ph.D., CRC
    Professor, Department of Counselor Education
    Director, FAU Center on Self-Employment
  • Jennifer Sánchez, Ph.D., CRC, CVE
    Associate Research Professor, Department of Counselor Education
    Research Coordinator, FAU Center on Self-Employment
QE Areas of Expertise:


Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Psychiatric Disabilities

Psychiatric Rehabilitation

S C State University established in 1896 logo
South Carolina State University (SCSU)
  • Cassandra Sligh Conway, Ph.D., CRC, GCDF, aPHR
    Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling Program
  • Jacques Days, Director, Health Ministry of the Seventh Episcopal District of the AME Church
  • Dr. Elaine Eskew, BCC, MSW
  • Vernell Wolfe
  • Nicolette M. Houston
QE Areas of Expertise:

Outreach to African Americans

Outreach to Faith-Based Communities

Disaster Preparedness

Counselor Bias

UW-Stout - Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute
Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute (SVRI) - UW Stout
QE Areas of Expertise:

Eligibility Determination

university of illinois at urbana champaign logo
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • David Strauser, Ph.D., CRC
    Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health in Rehabilitation Psychology
  • John F. Kosciulek, PhD
    Department of Kinesiology & Community Health
  • Bryan S. Austin, PhD, LPC, CRC, CVE
    Quality Employment Project Manager
    Department of Kinesiology & Community Health
  • Stuart Rumrill, PhD, LPC, CRC
    Post-Doctoral Research Associate
    Department of Kinesiology & Community Health
  • James Knauf
    SWTCIE Project Manager
    Department of Kinesiology & Community Health
QE Areas of Expertise:

Adjudicated Persons


Career Development

On-the-Job Training

Job Placement

Foster Care Youth

University of Kentucky (UK) logo
University of Kentucky
  • Phil Rumrill, Ph.D., CRC
    Director, Training and Research
    Human Development Institute
  • Christina Espinosa, MRC, CRC
    Director, Community Education
    Human Development Institute
QE Areas of Expertise:

Customized Training Program

Remote Service Provision



University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) logo
University of Texas at El Paso
  • Veronica Estala-Gutierrez, Ph.D., CRC
    Director of the Rehabilitation Service Clinical Teaching Laboratory
  • Dr. Emre Umucu, PhD, MPH
    Associate Dean for Research – College of Health Sciences (#368U)
    Associate Professor – Public Health Sciences
  • Beatrice Lee, Ph.D., CRC, NCC, LPC (WI)
    Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences
    Director of Neurological Disorders and Stress Management Lab
QE Areas of Expertise:

Outreach to Veterans

Outreach to Latin(x)

Outreach to Asian Americans

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
  • Alissa Brooke, M.S., C.R.C., PBSF
    Director of Employment Research Training
  • Kanako Iwanaga, Ph.D., CRC, LPC
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Rehabilitation Counseling
    College of Health Professions
  • Jennifer Todd McDonough, M.S., C.R.C.
    Project Director
    Associate Director of Training
    Virginia Project SEARCH Statewide Coordinator
QE Areas of Expertise:

Supported Employment

Customized Employment

Subminimum Wage

Job Coaching

YolBe: Your Life Only Better
YolBe - Your Life Only Better

A trusted community platform for building social capital, skills, and careers.

  • David Douglas
    Co-Founder & CEO
  • Andre Dolan
    Director of Strategic Initiatives
  • Sydney Gear
    Communications and Marketing Manager
QE Areas of Expertise:

Business Outreach

Business Engagement