Alumni Spotlights

Medical imaging Carillon Tower Glass blowing Laptop and lecture A smiling student Sunrise over the Education Building Chairs on the Memorial Union Terrace Bascom hall staircase Graduating students in silhouette Crowd of people on Bascom Hill A student tutoring Student with diploma Dance Department performance Night view of Bascom in the winter Memorial Union Terrace in autumn Memorial Union Terrace chairs Dance department performance Bucky Badger in front of a parade float Bascom Hall in the summertime Lincoln statue Students walking in the snow University of Wisconsin - Madison Crest Lincoln statue in the snow Forward Logo Student at graduation Bicycle in the snow Rathskellar Fireplace Sailboat with Capitol Building in the background A sailboat at the Memorial Union Bascom Hill in Autumn Bucky Badger studying with a student. Students among blooming trees at UW-Madison Bucky reading a book University flag on Bascom Hill Video camera view screen Student on a frozen lake Lincoln Statue on Bascom Hill Bascom Hill in winter Students collaborating Memorial Union Terrace chairs in the snow Kohl Center logo Graduates with diplomas A hands-on project Stacked, illuminated figures View from the top of Van Hise


Main Office

Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education
School of Education
Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall, Rm. 431B
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/263.5860
Fax: 608/262.8108

or by contact form

Derman publishes therapeutic book, ‘Colors of Loss and Healing’

Deborah Derman was profiled in the Summer 2017 issue of On Wisconsin magazine, the alumni publication from the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Derman book coverDerman, who earned her master’s degree in behavioral disabilities in 1976 from the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, was featured after releasing a new book titled, “Colors of Loss and Healing: An Adult Coloring Book for Getting through Tough Times.”

Derman, who later earned a Ph.D. focused on grief and bereavement and who is a professional grief and bereavement counselor, created this adult coloring book to help people through the grieving process. Using an art-therapy approach, the book combines detailed pictures with open pages for journaling and allows people a space for focus and contemplation.

Ideas for the book were taken from Derman’s real experiences with grief, and now she uses her knowledge to counsel others. On Wisconsin magazine explains how, after college, “Derman lost a former boyfriend to suicide; 10 years later, she and her toddler son witnessed her parents’ death in a small-plane crash. She had two children under the age of four and was pregnant with a third when her husband died following a heart attack. And, a decade ago, Derman began the years-long treatment that would help her beat a rare form of breast cancer.”

“Healing from profound grief is a process that can take a lifetime,” Derman told On Wisconsin magazine. “The experience hopefully will change you for the better. We never forget who we love.”


Kim wins Outstanding Student Research Award
from AERA special education SIG

Alumna Hyejung Kim received the 2018 Outstanding Student Research Award in April from the American Educational Research Association’s special education special interest group (SIG).

Hyejung Kim
Kim earned her Ph.D. in special education from the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education in 2017. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at New York University in the Embedded Master of Arts in Teaching program.

This award is for Kim’s in-preparation paper titled, “Intersectionality of Ableism, Racism, and Linguicism: College Enrollment Process among Korean American Students with Autism.”

Kim explains that due to the rapid increase in autism prevalence in the early 1990s, many students with autism are now navigating life beyond high school. In this paper, she introduces one dimension of the postsecondary options, higher education. Although higher education is known to increase one’s chances of social mobility, the opportunities are still limited for students from non-dominant communities.

Kim’s study provides a conceptual space for how individual identities are shaped by other categories of difference, and delineate the mutually inflected sites of marginalization that adolescents with autism face during their transition to college.


Yang receives Early Career Educator Award

Radeen Yang, an alumna of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, received an Early Career Educator Award in April from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE).

Radeen Yang
Yang earned her master’s degree in special education from UW–Madison in 2015 and today is a special education teacher at West Middleton Elementary, which is part of the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District.

This honor is presented to an outstanding educator within the first three years of her/his professional career.

“Radeen Yang is an exceptional special education teacher,” writes West Middleton Elementary Principal Katrina Krych in nominating Yang for the award. “She is a fierce advocate for the students she works with and is engaging our school community in work around the inclusion of students with disabilities. She has immersed herself in equity work at a district and school level and is a leader on our schoolwide equity team. Radeen works tirelessly to find innovative ways to tap into her students’ learning potential. She puts her heart and soul into everything she does.”