President’s November 2017 Message

Dear NCRE Community,

Welcome to the website of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE)!

Thank you for your support as I move into the role of NCRE President. I have some big shoes to fill as I follow an impressive list of past presidents – admittedly it is both exhilarating as well as a bit intimidating. Fortunately, I have available to me the wisdom and experience of our Board of Directors, our Executive Director, our Past Presidents, and, our NCRE members, who will always be the source of our success as an organization. We travel this road together.

This is a perfect segue to welcome the newest members of the NCRE Board of Directors, starting with David Rosenthal, our newly elected 2nd Vice President, our new Regional Representatives, James Soldner (Region I), Suneetha Manyam (Region IV), Michelle McKnight – Lizotte (Region X), and our new Student Representative, Toni Saia. They join an outstanding group of individuals on our Board to serve in the interests of our members and the NCRE organization.

Our focus as the Board of Directors is on advancing NCRE’s mission, which is to promote the equity and inclusion of individuals with disabilities through rehabilitation education, research, service, and advocacy. To advance that mission, my own goal as President is to achieve the following:

  • increase communication with NCRE members;
  • increase engagement of NCRE members in the operation of the NCRE organization; and
  • increase communication and collaboration with other professional organizations whose interests and missions align with those of NCRE.

In that spirit, I want to update you on some current activities and events:

Spring 2018 Conference in Anaheim, CA (March 14 – 16, 2018)

The title of the conference is “Imagine the Possibilities: Reinventing Rehabilitation Counseling in the 21st Century” – a fitting title not only because rehabilitation counseling seems to be constantly evolving, but also since we are meeting next to a destination where imagination thrives –Disneyland! We are currently in the process of reviewing all of the submitted proposals (my thanks to our team of reviewers!) so information about the conference schedule, registration for the conference, and hotel information will be available soon. Please continue to pay attention to the information the Executive Director sends out through our listserv as well what is posted on our website I know we all look forward to the Spring conference so that we can be inspired by each other’s work, share our own ideas, and reunite and network with our colleagues – I look forward to seeing you all there!

Member Engagement

I’ve had many members ask me if there was some way they could get involved with NCRE. One of my goals is to increase the engagement of NCRE members in the organization. So, what can you do? You can choose to join one of our committees! Currently, we have vacancies on our Membership and Communications committees. Please contact me or any of the members of the Board, such as your Regional Representative if you would like more information.

Final thoughts – Helping our fellow citizens

To those who have been affected by the brutal devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate, on behalf of the NCRE Board, and Administrative Office, our thoughts and well-wishes go out to you. Our fellow citizens in areas hit by those storms are struggling to recover and need our help, especially those with a chronic health condition or disability. You can contact many organizations to make a donation and I have no doubt our members have already contributed. Some may be wondering, however, how they can help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico where 20% of the population is still without water and 57% without electricity. Dr. Yancy Cruz-Virella, NCRE member, shared with me there are still people in need of assistance – the list of people and entities needing help is extensive.  Dr. Cruz-Virella is facilitating NCRE efforts to connect with people in real need. Please contact Dr. Cruz-Virella at or (787) 372-4808 if you want to contribute in some way. She will be happy to provide additional information.

In closing, remember the NCRE Board is here to respond to your needs and concerns throughout the year and we appreciate hearing from you. Please contact your Regional (or Student or International) Representatives, our Executive Committee, or me, to ask questions, talk about ways to get involved, make suggestions or share the innovative work you are doing in your programs to further the education of future rehabilitation counselors. I look forward to hearing from you and wish you well!

Warm regards,

Denise Catalano, Ph.D., CRC

National Council on Rehabilitation Education, President

October 2017 – October 2018