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    The Edward R. Leahy, Jr., Virtual Speaker Series, set for Wednesdays Oct. 12, 19 and 26 from 1 to 3 p.m., will examine career opportunities in the changing workplace, ways of embedding Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility in an organization and the resources available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE). Registration is required to participate in the free lecture series.

    Virtual Lecture Series Planned for October

    The Edward R. Leahy, Jr., Virtual Speaker Series, set for Wednesdays Oct. 12, 19 and 26 from 1 to 3 p.m., will examine career opportunities in the changing workplace, ways of embedding Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility in an organization and the resources available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE). Registration is required to participate in the free lecture series.
    October 4, 2022

    A virtual lecture series in October will examine career opportunities in the changing workplace, ways of embedding Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility in an organization to promote the success of the business, employees and the surrounding communities, and the resources available through the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE). The Edward R. Leahy, Jr., Virtual Speaker Series, presented by The University of Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies and the Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Endowment, is free of charge. Registration is required to participate and can be made by visiting the lecture series website.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. (E.S.T.) Kathy West-Evans, director of business relations at National Employment Team (NET), will lead a panel discussion of business partners from the private and public sector to discuss current trends shaping the workplace and ways their companies are working together with the Vocational Rehabilitation NET to ensure that their talent pipeline includes candidates with disabilities as well as supporting employees with disabilities throughout their employment life cycle.

    Panelists are Andrea Eselunas, director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for UnitedHealth Group; Ethan Idzior, software developer, for Dell Technologies; and Duronne Walker, Ph.D., departmental selective placement program manager for the U.S. Department of Transportation. Panel moderator, West-Evans, who leads the NET is a certified rehabilitation counselor. A sought-after consultant and presenter on topic areas related to serving individuals with disabilities and business through a dual-customer approach, West-Evans first started in the field of rehabilitation in 1978.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., Hattie McCarter, CEO/founder of McCarter’s Equitable and Distinctive (M.E.N.D) Consulting Solutions, L.L.C., and Stephanie Perry, a licensed social worker with a diverse educational and professional background, will discuss a human centered Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility approach that creates a safe space for individuals to be authentic and perform to their full potential. McCarter is a Certified DEI Professional, with more than 13 years of experience in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as well as more than seven years in recruitment and retention. Her company, MEND, specializes in DEI program development, employee resource groups, diversity recruitment and how to have BRAVE conversations. With more than 20 years of experience, Perry is completing the last year for a doctorate in social work. She earned her bachelor’s degree in behavioral counseling from Drexel University and a Master of Social Service Management degree from Bryn Mawr College.

    On Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. Catherine Anderson, Ph.D., director of research for the University of Wisconsin-Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute and researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) and Dr. Emily A. Brinck, Ph.D., also a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the WCER, will discuss the array of resources and training available through VRTAC-QE, as well as the types of technical assistance offered. The presenters will highlight specific examples of innovative and effective practices, opportunities to learn more and tools that can be implemented in practice.

    Dr. Anderson has more than 25 years of leadership experience with numerous research, demonstration and systems-change grants. Her research interests include: understanding and improving employment, career and financial post-secondary outcomes for youth with disabilities; transition-age youth and families; interagency collaboration between education and vocational rehabilitation; cultural responsiveness with low-income and marginalized disability populations; and use of evidence-based practices within vocational rehabilitation. Dr. Brinck’s research interests include: interagency collaboration between schools, vocational rehabilitation, and employers; transition-age youth with disabilities towards successful postsecondary outcomes; and overcoming barriers to employment for people with disabilities.

    Registration and additional information is available online or by contacting Rebecca Spirito Dalgin, Ph.D., director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program, at rebecca.dalgin@scranton.edu; or Lori Bruch, Ed.D., chair of the Counseling and Human Services Department, at lori.bruch@scranton.edu. The University’s annual U.S. Conference on DISABILITY will return next year on Oct. 4, 2023.

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