Alumni Updates for 2018 disAbility Advocate

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
Alumni Updates

Linda S. Weitz
MS 1975 — Rehabilitation Psychology
For the past nine years, Linda has been the executive director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin, serving older adults and adults with disabilities in Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon and Wood counties. In March, Linda reports she retired from public service after over 40 years.

Georjean Klosinski Zilles
BS 1976 — Special Education
Georjean reports being happily retired after 30 years of teaching.

Cathy Liebman
BS 1979 — Behavioral Disabilities
Cathy’s practice involves working with families, individuals, small groups and educators in the areas of diagnosis, assessment of learning disabilities and educational intervention. Cathy also conducts after-school classes for high school students on an AP/IB track. College students also attend individual sessions concentrating on research, composition, time management, stress management and test taking. Additionally, Cathy conducts workshops and seminars for parents and educators about an array of topics, including middle school transitions, different learning styles, current brain research and its application to cognition and effective teaching methods for students with Dyslexia and ADD/ADHD.

Nancy Coan Torres
BS 1981 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Nancy runs a Montessori preschool and works part time as an attorney in the Berkeley, California, area.

Katheryn Schmitt
BS 1983, MS 1984 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Katheryn has worked as Bureau Director of the Farm and Agribusiness Services in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection since 2012. Katheryn supervises 14 people who operate a variety of services, including the Wisconsin Farm Center, which provides services to farmers in transition. Katheryn has been an AgrAbility advisory council member for around 20 years and a board member for Wisconsin Rural Women’s Initiative.

Tim Janikowski
Ph.D. 1988 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Tim is currently the director of the Counselor Education doctoral program at the University at Buffalo-SUNY and is part of the rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling program faculties. Tim is a recent co-PI of a four-year, $2 million HRSA grant funding rehabilitation counseling and mental health counseling internships in integrated behavioral health care settings. 

Amy Marie Mecikalski Kendziorski
BS 1990 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Amy has enjoyed teaching and leading schools in Hawaii, Colorado, Wyoming and California for the last 27 years. She reports that her UW–Madison experience provided a solid foundation of high-quality teaching and learning, and she is currently exploring international school options for the future.

Elias Mpofu
Ph.D. 1999 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Elias recently moved from the University of Sydney to the University of North Texas as professor of rehabilitation and health services. Elias has earned significant international recognitions, including becoming a Fellow of the Australian Society for Rehabilitation Counsellors, being the chair of the Australian Psychological Society’s Rehabilitation Psychology Interest Group and working as an examiner for the behavioral-science module of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Elias reports he is highly indebted to the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education for his very enriching doctoral education, which matured a career for the past 20 years at some of the world’s finest universities.

Deb Spencer Anderson
BS 1980, MS 2000 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Deb has been teaching for 36 years and reports that she loves it. Deb began as a teacher of students labeled as EBD and now works with school-age youth in the Dane County Jail at Metro High. Deb received a 952 certification and is now doing Breathe for Change, and also earned the March 2017 Top Notch Teacher Award from Madison’s local CBS affiliate, WISC/Ch. 3.

Emily Roth Johnson
BS 1998, MS 2001 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Emily is currently the assistant director of counseling services at Ripon College. She has been working at Ripon College for four years and enjoys developing personal, therapeutic relationships with each student during this important developmental time in their lives.

Annie Tulkin
MS 2008 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Annie launched a consulting business called Accessible College, which provides support to high school students with physical disabilities and health conditions as they transition to college. Annie is based in Silver Spring, Maryland, but is hoping to work with families, schools and organizations across the country. Contact her at:

Timothy Radke
BS 2008, MA 2011 — Rehabilitation Psychology, Special Education
Timothy currently manages RTI/MTSS for a large suburban Chicago middle school and operates its reading interventions. He is working on an Ed.S. and licensing in general, and special education administration. Timothy says he hopes to start working toward a doctorate in a year.

Ellen Merker
BS 2009, MS 2012 — Rehabilitation Psychology
After working in case management with people with developmental disabilities for a few years, Ellen was frustrated with the lack of resources available to people around safe and healthy relationships. Ellen started an educational workshop with the Dane County Rape Crisis Center for young adults with DD to address this gap in resources. They have now started an agency titled Heart Consulting, LLC. The agency provides one-to-one education to people with disabilities around healthy relationships, educational group workshops and community outreach. For many people, having meaningful relationships is an important factor in their quality of life, and Ellen hopes an education from UW–Madison and years of experience in the field will help ensure more people with disabilities have safe and healthy relationships.

Kathleen Giudice
BS 2015 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Right after graduating from UW-Madison, Kathleen moved to Chicago to get a master’s degree in occupational therapy. She graduated last fall with the Dean’s Award of Outstanding Academic Achievement and now is a licensed and registered occupational therapist practicing in Chicago in an acute and inpatient rehabilitation hospital.

Amanda MacArdy
BS 2016 — Rehabilitation Psychology
After graduating with her undergraduate degree in rehabilitation psychology, Amanda moved to Ireland for a year on a working holiday visa and worked as a live-in nanny in a small town outside of Dublin. During this year, Amanda began working on applications to occupational therapy graduate programs in the United Kingdom. She is currently in a first year for a master’s in occupational therapy at Plymouth University in England. Amanda says the education and hands-on experience she gained from the Rehabilitation Psychology program at UW–Madison has led her to this amazing opportunity.

Walter Williams
BS 2013, MS 2016 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Walter reports that the Rehabilitation Psychology program grounded him with the principles of self-care, positive psychology and obtaining a better quality of life for himself and people around him. He has served as a school counselor at Verona Area High School and says that a foundational training of rehabilitation psychology has allowed him to have a lasting impact on students. The program has also allowed Walter to continue his work with the NAACP as the secretary for the state’s Education Committee, the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – Mu Eta Lambda Chapter, the vice president for the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, and founder of his own business, Think & Grow, LLC.

Carissa Kolpek
BS 2017 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Carissa is working at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers full time and is waiting to hear back from occupational therapy schools.

Aaron Krueger
BS 2017 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Aaron is currently attending Marquette University and was admitted to the direct entry Master’s of Nursing program. Aaron is passionate about becoming a nurse and looks forward to making an immediate impact upon joining the workforce.

Emily Zall
BS 2017 — Rehabilitation Psychology
Emily is starting dental school at the Marquette School for Dentistry this upcoming fall.