Message from the Chair

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

2009 Message from the Chair

David RosenthalDear alumni and friends,

I hope you enjoy the first publication of “The disABILITY Advocate,” a newsletter that will become an annual staple of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education.

We hope it will inform students and alumni about new initiatives within the department, provide updates on alumni accomplishments, help with student recruitment efforts, and demonstrate how donations to the department have benefited students and faculty.

Some of the donations to the RPSE general fund will be used this year to support our department’s sponsorship of a strand of disability-themed films at the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.

Thanks to those who sent us email updates on your activities – please continue to stay in touch. Everyone else, please make sure we have your current email or drop a note in the mail – we’d love to hear from you!

I would also like to encourage you to “spread the word” about our department to individuals who might have an interest in a career working with children and adults with disabilities. Some of the best recommendations we receive are from our current students and alumni.

As always, our faculty are extremely active in research and publications. Please refer to our website,, for a list of recent faculty publications and presentations.

Some faculty also have been busy traveling and sharing their research abroad. For example, Professor Fong Chan recently returned from a trip to Taiwan and China where he was honored by students, administrators and scholars for his considerable research achievements. Professor Bob Gervey recently returned from South Korea where he was invited to speak to the South Korean National Congress regarding disability legislation and advocacy.

I am proud to report that Asst. Professor Erik Carter recently received two highly prestigious awards: a 2009 Distinguished Early Career Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children’s research division, and an American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 2009 Early Career Award. Both of these awards are tremendous honors and we are proud that Professor Carter’s significant achievements and contributions to the field of developmental disabilities are being nationally and internationally recognized.

The department continues to offer a full array of courses using traditional classroom formats, blended formats (with classroom and online components), and fully online courses. We will be offering two elective “Special Topics” courses this summer: Asst. Professor Audrey Trainor’s “Using NVIVO in qualitative data analysis” and Professor Ruth Lynch’s online course, “Health promotion for disability and health promotion.” Please contact the professors for more information.

I am very pleased to announce the following new faculty hires in Special Education for fall 2009: Aydin Bal, Melinda Leko and Wendy Machalicek.

Finally, let me say how privileged I am to be serving as chair of the department. RPSE is my alma mater so I am honored to represent the department’s rich history of teaching, research, service and advocacy for persons with disabilities.

Thank you all for your continued representation and support of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education!

David Rosenthal
Professor & Chair