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Nikki Ditchman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Illinois Institute of Technology in the Division of Counseling and Rehabilitation Science. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in the state of Illinois. She received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. She currently teaches graduate level courses in psychology, rehabilitation and mental health counseling and conducts research to understand myriad factors affecting quality of life and successful community outcomes for people with disabilities. Prior to her position at IIT, Nikki worked in a variety of counseling settings to promote well-being and successful community experiences for young adults with disabilities and their families. Nikki’s research interests include: community participation and wellness for people with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on transition-age youth, people with intellectual disabilities and people with traumatic brain injury, as well as the application of positive psychology in rehabilitation and mental health practice. Currently, her research group is focusing on examining factors impacting sense of community and social integration for people with brain injury and examining social stigma related to intellectual disability. She has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. 

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Eva Schiave has worked in a variety of professional roles focusing on early childhood intervention. As a Registered Behavioral Technician, she has conducted interventions for children with Autism across several levels of ability utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches including ABA, ACT therapy, mindfulness, as well as social group interventions. Before this, Eva worked in the United Kingdom as a support worker for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Eva holds a BA from Tulane University, an MS in Communication Sciences from Virginia Commonwealth University, and an MSc in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh where she researched the challenges that university students with learning disabilities faced in a high-pressure academic environment. Her primary area of research interest is promoting resiliency and coping skills in transition-aged youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Born in Australia, Meena completed her undergraduate studies at Monash University in Melbourne where she majored in Psychology and Management studies. Meena has worked professionally in a variety of settings supporting the wellbeing of vulnerable young people. She also has also volunteered for 4 years at a non-for-profit organisation which provides support, recovery and education services to people and families living with anxiety disorders. Meena’s research interests lie in the youth and family psychology as well as and positive psychology concepts such as wellbeing, courage and resilience. She is currently in her first year of the Clinical Psychology PhD program and when not pursuing study/career goals, Meena enjoys being out in nature, watercolour painting and spending quality time with friends and family.

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Amanda Boyd graduated from Illinois Tech's Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling master's program in 2015 and is a current doctoral student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. (CRC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Prior to her master's, she received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign while simultaneously providing direct support services to individuals with developmental disabilities in residential settings. Since receiving her master's, she has worked as a vocational counselor and clinical therapist in the therapeutic day school setting, working predominantly with transition-aged youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her research interests involve the development/adaptation of interventions designed to increase post-secondary outcomes for individuals with ASD. In her free time, Amanda enjoys sports, video gaming, and spending time with her loved ones. 


Yen Chun Tseng, graduated from Illinois Tech's Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling master's program in 2020 and is a second-year doctoral student in Rehabilitation Counseling Education. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LCPC). Before coming to the US, she received her bachelor's degree in psychology in Taiwan. 
She has experience working clinically in the past with young adolescents, substance use population, and presently in the IIT Student Health Wellness Center, with a focus on mental health, academic, and interpersonal struggles using individual, family, and group therapy modalities. She is interested in self-injurious behaviors, self-harm behaviors, and suicide-related issues. In her freetime, she enjoys cycling, running, playing basketball and reading. 

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Virakti is currently in her first year in the Ph.D. Program in Clinical Psychology (Rehabilitation track) at Illinois Institute of Technology. Her major interest area lies in working with persons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their Vocational Rehabilitation. She is interested in learning how the process could be made smoother, more structured, targeted and efficient. Virakti is an RCI-Registered Rehabilitation Psychologist in India. She pursued her Masters in Forensic Psychology from New York, where she learnt to view the topics from a legal perspective with its intricacies. Earlier as a student and later as a Rehabilitation Counselor cum Research Assistant, Virakti worked at B.M. Institute towards Vocational Rehabilitation via research, clinical work and teaching opportunities. Additionally, she is Certified as a Level 3 TEAM-CBT Therapist by Feeling Good Institute, California. She utilized the cognitive behavioral approach to deal with her clients in a clinical set-up in India. At the basis of her work approach is her belief that genuineness, warmth and positive intent do translate to the recipient and bring positive outcomes.

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