ATLANTA – Mercer’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Scholars were recognized at a luncheon held in their honor Feb. 14 on the University’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta.
In October 2015, Mercer was awarded a five-year, $956,956 U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration grant supporting three semesters of tuition, a stipend for books and living expenses and professional travel for future cohorts of RSA Scholars at the University. In return, upon graduation, the scholars commit to two years of service in state vocational rehabilitation agencies.
During the recent luncheon, current RSA Scholars presented posters summarizing research presented at a variety of conferences, including the National Council on Rehabilitation Education and Georgia Rehabilitation Association conferences.
Sean Casey, former executive director of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, met with the scholars and presented a keynote address, titled “The Imperative of Public Service Working in VR.”
Kellie Appel, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Mercer, Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of Penfield College, and Dr. Karen Rowland, chair of the Department of Counseling, welcomed scholars and counseling faculty members, and RSA Scholar John Mark Parker spoke about his experience in the program and his aspirations upon completing his degree.
“The RSA Scholars have exceeded our expectations, enthusiastically engaging in research and promoting advocacy for persons with disabilities, both inside and outside the classroom. I’m honored to work with them,” said Dr. Kristina Henderson, assistant professor of counseling and coordinator for the Master of Science program in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling.
“As a project director, I am very proud of our scholars’ accomplishments. I am privileged to manage this grant and feel gratified to be part of their professional journey as future clinical rehabilitation counselors,” added Dr. Suneetha Manyam, associate professor of counseling and project director for the RSA grant.
Mercer’s M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling prepares candidates to provide rehabilitation services aimed at helping individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential. This program empowers individuals to make informed choices, to help individuals achieve positive mental health, and to maximize opportunities for economic independence.
About Penfield College
Mercer University’s Penfield College, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving post-traditional learners. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Penfield’s programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary experiences that integrate theory and practice. In addition to providing general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer, Penfield offers degree programs in areas including technology, public safety, public and human services, leadership and administration, healthcare and liberal arts. Programs are offered on Mercer’s campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as Regional Academic Centers in Douglas County and Henry County, and online. To learn more, visit penfield.mercer.edu.