Faculty & Staff

Faculty and Staff

Paul WehmanDr. Paul Wehman, Ph.D. , Principal Investigator


Dr. Wehman speaks about the employment of people with physical and intellectual disabilities

Paul Wehman, Ph.D. is the Principal Investigator. Dr. Wehman has been a Professor of Physical Medicine with joint appointments in the Departments of Rehabilitation Counseling and Special Education / Disability Policy at VCU for over 30 years. He serves as Chairman for the Division of Rehabilitation Research in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has managed NIDILRR funded RRTCs and DRRPs. He was one of the pioneers in the development of supported employment in the early 1980s and has published over 200 articles and authored/edited 40 books and has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation,(JVR) since 1991. Dr. Wehman has three adult children with disabilities to include congenital heart disease, severe rheumatoid arthritis and ADHD/LD and brings a strong parental perspective to the project. He has been recognized as one of the 50 most influential people in special education for the millennium and on a daily basis works with PWD, communicates regularly with VA DARS and other VR Directors, policy makers, and professionals related to disability and diversity. Dr. Wehman is active in teaching and mentoring undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

Valerie Brooke, M.Ed., Project Director
Valerie Brooke, M.Ed., has been with VCU since 1979 earning a M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis on employment for people with disabilities. She was one of the original job coaches, has served as the Center's Director of Training for over 20 years, has served as Project Director of multiple Federal grant, and in the last several years has managed a medium sized CARF accredited employment services program as an employment vendor with VA DARS. In these capacities she has gained close working relationships with VR counselors/manager and community businesses both through the vendorship and as a Board member of the Virginia Business Leadership Network. Ms. Brooke has served on the editorial board for JVR since 2000 and is interested in all issues and concerns which impacts the employment rate and advancement of people with disabilities.

 Carolyn GrahamCarolyn Graham, Ph.D., Director of Research
Carolyn Graham, Ph.D., is the Director of Research. Dr. Graham has been a research methodologist at VCU since 2010. She has worked as a Research Methodologist with expertise in Quantitative Research including: Non-parametric tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Multiple Regression, Discriminate Analysis, Factor Analysis, Growth Curve Modeling, and Structural Equation Modeling. Research Designs: Experimental-RCT, Quasi-Experimental, Survey, and Mixed Methodology. Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory, Content analysis, Transcendental Phenomenology, and Case Study. Most recently she co-authored a research instrument for VR Counselors "Making Research Work for VR Agencies" through a subcontract with SEDL for NIDILRR's Employment Knowledge Translation Center.

Jennifer McDonough, M.S.Jennifer McDonough, Senior Research Associate
Jennifer Todd McDonough has been a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and working in the field of employment for people with disabilities for over 10 years. She earned her M.S. from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Rehabilitation Counseling.  Ms. McDonough is the Associate Director of Training at VCU-RRTC.  She is also the Project Coordinator for the Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders DRRP. Additionally, Ms. McDonough provides technical assistance and disseminates resources nationally to individuals interested in pursuing self-employment.  Ms. McDonough is a national expert on Social Security Disability Benefits and Work Incentives.  Throughout her career with VCU-RRTC, Ms. McDonough has worked directly with individuals with disabilities assisting them in locating employment and determining accommodation needs.

Katherine IngeDr. Katherine Inge, Ph.D., OT.R., Director of Training
kinge@vcu.edu | Curriculum Vitae
Katherine Inge, Ph.D., OT.R., is the Director of the RRTC. Dr. Inge has been with VCU-RRTC since 1982 and holds degrees in occupational therapy, and special education. She has co-authored books, book chapters, journal articles, newsletters, and produced numerous other training materials on employment for individuals with disabilities. She has been the Director of Instructional Technology at VCU for over 15 years and has served as PI or Project Director for projects on employment including START-UP-USA, DOL ODEP; the Region III Community Rehabilitation Providers continuing education program (CRP-RCEP), RSA; Training And Technical Assistance For Providers (T-TAP), DOL ODEP; TechLink, an online project offering course work on transition and employment US Dept of Education; Project Access for people with physical disabilities, RSA; and other transition-age youth demonstration projects.

Adam SimaAdam Sima, Ph.D.
Dr. Sima is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at VCU. His current methodologic interests are in the areas of adaptive clinical trial development and the art of statistical consulting and collaborates almost exclusively within the rehabilitation field. The majority of his collaborations are with researchers focusing on brain injuries, although he has worked with researchers focusing on a diverse area of patient needs, including, but not limited to, autism, spinal cord injuries, and cancer rehabilitation.

Hannah Seward, M.A., Research Associate
Hannah Seward is a Maryland native who received her BA in Sociology and Political Science from Salisbury University and her Masters of Science in Sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating  both Summa Cum Laude.  Hannah was named as Outstanding Sociology Graduate Student at VCU 2013-2014, where she was also a teaching assistant.  She began working  part time at the VCU- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in 2012 as an administrative assistant and  became a full time Research Associate in 2014.   Hannah’s meticulous attention to detail and excellent writing and communication skills have  been an asset in her work as editorial assistant on the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation  as well as in her research work and academic writing.  She has written literature reviews and contributes to numerous publications and online course materials.  In addition, Hannah conducts  data collection interviews,  including the Supports Intensity Scale and the ARC Self-Determination Scale.

Alissa BrookeAlissa Brooke, M.S., Research Associate
Alissa has been with VCU-RRTC since 2008. Alissa earned her ACRE certification for community rehabilitation and began working as an Employment Specialist. She earned her MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from VCU in 2012 and became a CRC, and also completed training to become a Positive Behavior Support Facilitator. In 2013 she began to serve as the Center’s Transition Coordinator. Alissa has experience working with individuals across disabilities and in the last four years has provided leadership for our Project SEARCH site at St Mary’s Hospital, working exclusively with youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is focused on supporting choice, customized employment, job retention, and using assistive technology and positive behavioral supports.

Whitney HamWhitney Ham, M.S., Research Associate
Whitney graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology. She has been with the VCU- RRTC since 2010. She began as an intern for her graduate school program supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the St. Mary’s Project SEARCH site. She earned her M.S in Rehabilitation Counseling from VCU in 2011 and became a CRC. Whitney has worked with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders for the past three years and in 2012 began to serve as the Autism Coordinator for the Project SEARCH St. Mary’s site. Whitney focuses on providing customized employment and behavioral supports to the individuals that she serves as well as focusing on increased community integration and education on working and supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Colin Yantis, B.S., Technology Manager