VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling

VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling logo

VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling was one of the first rehabilitation counseling programs in the U.S. when established in 1955. The VCU Department of Rehabilitation Counseling is ranked 7th in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Department currently serves over 100 students, with approximately 2,000 alumni practicing in a variety of settings. The Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling program is fully accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and those graduates are immediately eligible for certification as Certified Rehabilitation Counselors. The Advanced Certificate in Professional Counseling program is designed to meet the needs of counseling professionals who wish to become licensed professional counselors or those who seek certification in a variety of specialty areas, such as vocational evaluation, life-care planning, and mental health or substance-abuse counseling, among others. The distance-learning Ph.D. in Health Related Sciences, with an emphasis in rehabilitation leadership, is designed to train and mentor future rehabilitation researchers, educators or high-level administrators.

Drs. Amy Armstrong and Carolyn Hawley from VCU's Department of Rehabilitation Counseling will be leading Research Study Five: An Exploration of Employment Barriers and Employment Skill Enhancement of Veterans with Traumatic Amputation.

Study Team Members

Amy ArmstrongDr. Amy Armstrong

Curriculum Vitae

Amy J. Armstrong is chair and associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been involved in advocacy, education and employment issues related to individuals with disabilities for over 30 years. She has extensive experience providing national personnel training on disability-related issues, employment of marginalized populations, leadership and motivational topics. Armstrong has held a variety of community agency positions including both direct service and management at the local, regional and national levels (including the National United Cerebral Palsy Association and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Supported Employment/Workplace Supports). Her interests include the employment of individuals with significant disabilities, community re-integration, resilience, leadership and personal/professional transformation. She received an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Education from VCU.

Carolyn HawleyDr. Carolyn Hawley

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Hawley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has over 13 years of experience related to counseling, training, research and education in employment and community service needs of people with disabilities. She completed a fellowship at McGill University's International Centre on Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors and has worked in programs specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. Dr. Hawley has served on state and national boards. She has experience managing grants through the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Her research interests include problem gambling, disability management in the workplace, and the community re-integration needs of veterans. She obtained her M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee; and her Ph.D., at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ben DarterDr. Ben Darter

Curriculum Vitae

Benjamin Darter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University as well as an adjunct with the US Army-Baylor University Physical Therapy Program. His primary research and clinical interests are in the areas of rehabilitation following extremity amputation, optimization of gait performance, and overall health promotion. He teaches courses in Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy and Applied Exercise Physiology in the entry level Doctor of Physical Therapy program.