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Faculty & Staff

The University of Texas-Pan American is proud to present the faculty and staff of the Department of Rehabilitation. You are encouraged to contact any of the faculty members below.Some faculty members have made their vitas available for you to view in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Bruce J. Reed, Ph.D., CRC
Interim Department Chair
Email: bjreed@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-5240
Vitae

Bruce J. Reed, Ph.D., CRC, is a Professor in the Department and the Interim-Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation. He enjoys teaching in the PhD program as well as in the undergraduate Addictions Program. Professional experiences include administration, grant management, assessment, supported employment, and grant writing. Dr. Reed greatest passion is mentoring students to become caring and competent practitioners and future leaders.

Bruce J. Reed
Antonio Aguirre, M.S., CRC
Email: aaguirrec@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-8701
Vitae

Mr. Antonio Aguirre is a clinical instructor in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned his master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UTPA and is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling. Before returning to school for his Ph.D., Mr. Aguirre was a special populations counselor in the Harlingen school district. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a Certified School Counselor and a Certified Special Education Teacher in the state of Texas. His professional interests include: multicultural issues in rehabilitation, bilingual counseling issues, and training qualified Bachelor's level rehabilitation practitioners.

Charlene J. Blankenship, Rh.D., CRC
Assistant Department Chair
Master Program Coordinator
Email: cblank@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-5244
Vitae

Dr. Charlene J. Blankenship, Rh.D., is an Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Services at University of Texas–Pan American where she serves as Master Program Coordinator. She received a Masters degree in Rehabilitation Administration and Services, and a Doctorate in Rehabilitation from the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Research interests include; assistive technology, attitudes toward persons with disabilities, ethics, and management issues.

Roy Chen, Ph.D., CRC
Email: rchen@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-3590
Vitae

Roy Chen, an associate professor of rehabilitation counseling, has been with the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at UTPA since the fall of 2006. He received his doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State University. His current areas of research interest include neuromuscular and neurological disorders, psychosocial aspects of disability, multicultural counseling, public health, psychology of religion, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Roy is seeking highly motivated students who plan to pursue graduate education and enjoy uncovering new knowledge about health, disability, and rehabilitation issues. To apply to be a research assistant, please contact him via e-mail.

Roy Chen, Ph.D.
Abdoulaye Diallo, Ph.D., CRC
Email: dialloa@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-3151
Vitae

Dr. Abdoulaye Diallo is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned his masters' in professional counseling and in religion from Liberty University and his doctorate in rehabilitation counseling from Michigan State University. His current areas of research interest include attitudes towards persons with disabilities, multicultural counseling, religion/spirituality and health, employment for persons with disabilities, pedagogue, and depression.

Abdoulaye Diallo, Ph.D.
Jerry Fischer, Rh.D., CRC, LPC
Ph.D. Program Coordinator
Email: jmfischer@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7038
Vitae

Jerry Fischer, Rh.D., CRC, is a Professor in the Department and the Ph.D. Program Coordinator in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned a doctorate in Rehabilitation from Southern Illinois University in 1992, a Masters of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Montana State University-Billing in 1990, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1979 from Montana Tech. Dr. Fischer is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Registered LPC Supervisor. Dr. Fischer was an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Idaho since 1993 and has held the rank of Associate Professor until 1999, and has been a full Professor since 2004. He was the Coordinator of the Counseling and School Psychology Program from 2006 to 2009 at the University of Idaho. He became Chair at the University of Texas-Pan American Department of Rehabilitation Counseling in 2009. He was a consultant for the Idaho Marriage and Family Therapist and Counseling Licensing Board, Nez Perce Vocational Rehabilitation Project Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Washington Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Disabilities Program, and University of Idaho Student Support Services.

Jerry Fischer
Lynn K. Fischer, Ph.D., CRC, CVE, LPC
Email: fischerlk@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7036
Vitae

Dr. Lynn Fischer is a lecturer with the Department of Rehabilitation and has been teaching online courses in Health Related Services at UTPA since 2009. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from Montana State University-Billings. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Certified Vocational Evaluator. She has experience in community rehabilitation programs and state agencies working with people with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Fischer's professional interests include: program evaluation, behavioral health, employment and secondary education for people with developmental disabilities, and management in not for profit community rehabilitation programs.

Lynn K. Fischer
Noreen M. Glover-Graf, Rh.D., CRC
Email: nmgraf@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7344
Vitae

Noreen M. Glover-Graf, Rh.D, is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation at The University of Texas-Pan American. She began teaching Rehabilitation Counseling in 1996 and has been at UTPA since 2003. Dr. Graf’s professional interests include research in the areas of substance abuse and sexual abuse counseling, rehabilitation education, and disability and spirituality. She has a particular interest in the development of photo-therapy for incorporation into substance abuse and other types of counseling.

Noreen M. Glover-Graf
Rene Gonzalez, Ph.D., CRC
Email: gonzalezr1@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-2672
Vitae

Dr. Rene Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned his master's degree in Rehabilitation Psychology and his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Gonzalez is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). He has undergraduate and graduate level teaching experience as well as 13 years of professional experience in the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. In addition, Dr. Gonzalez has clinical experience in assisting veterans with psychiatric disabilities and students with various disabilities attending post-secondary training. His current areas of research interest include, transition from high school to adult life, psychosocial aspects of chronic illness and disability, psychiatric rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, and employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

Rene Gonzalez
Teresa Guerra
Email: taguerra@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7036
Vitae

Ms. Teresa Guerra is an Administrative Assistant I. She has worked with the University for over 20 years.

Teresa Guerra
Sandra Hansmann, Ph.D., CRC
Email: shansmann@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7041
Vitae

Dr. Sandra Hansmann is currently an Associate Professor. She earned her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and her Ph.D. in Special Education/Rehabilitation Counselor Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hansmann is the 2008 President of the Texas Rehabilitation Association (TRA) State Chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). She also serves as the College of Health Sciences & Human Services Director of On-Line Course Development and the University’s Integrative Global Knowledge and Understanding Collaboration Director of Research & Sustainability. Her current research interests include Deaf-hearing relationships and Deaf culture, emergency preparedness & disaster response competencies for professionals and consumers, use of film in counselor education, and the application of intelligence community analytical skill sets in counselor education. She is also the author of Disability Intel.

Sandra Hansmann, Ph.D.
Dr. Irmo Marini, Ph.D., CRC, CLCP
Email: imarini@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-7035
Vitae

Dr. Irmo Marin is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned his doctorate in Rehabilitation at Auburn University and a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada. Dr. Marini is former Chair of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, former President of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Career Award in Education from the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, and the 2010 recipient of the J. F. Garrett Distinguished Career Award in Research from the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

His research interests include forensic rehabilitation vocational damages and life care planning, psychosocial aspects of disability, wellness, spirituality, and spinal cord injury.

Irmo Marini
Fidencio Mercado, M.S., LCDC
Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Email: fmercado@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 655-7036
Vitae

Mr. Fidencio Mercado is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation. He earned his Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UTPA. He is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in the state of Texas. His professional interests are in substance abuse counseling, adolescent development, multicultural issues, life skills training (development) and spirituality. He has worked in the field of substance abuse treatment for over 13 years and served as a clinical supervisor in the field for 6 years. Mr. Mercado has a passion for mentoring students and preparing them to become competent and ethical professionals.

Fidencio Mercado Thumbnail
Eva Miller, Ph.D., CRC, Licensed Psychologist
Email: evamiller@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-5270
Vitae

Dr. Eva Miller is a licensed psychologist with an extensive background in the mental health field. She has been a professor at UTPA for approximately twelve years teaching with the Department of Rehabilitation. Besides teaching at the UTPA, Dr. Miller practices in the community focusing on providing clinical services to children, adolescents, and adults of all ages with mental health and substance abuse problems. Her research interests include SCI, geropsychology, phototherapy, chemical dependency, and sexuality and disability.

Dr. Miller is recognized by her students for her knowledge in counseling theories and techniques, mental health diagnostics, case management, and understanding of therapeutic modalities used in clinical settings. Students also recognize for her dedication to training students in becoming mental health care professionals in clinical settings.

Eva Miller
Chuck Reid, Ph.D., CRC
Email: creid@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-2949
Vitae

Dr. Chuck Reid is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. He has been working in the field of addictions for several years both as a clinician and as a professor. He has been a professor with this university for approximately ten years teaching in the Dept. of Rehabitation.

Dr. Reid also practices in the community providing supportive services to persons seeking recovery or seeking to maintain recovery. An area of expertise that Dr. Reid provides services in is that of working with persons with the co-occurring disorders mental health, substance abuse and multicultural issues. His working knowledge in the field of addictions is extensive and includes the area of dual diagnosis.

Belinda Rivas, Ph.D. Candidate, LPC, CRC
Email: brivas@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-3591
Vitae

Belinda Rivas MS, LPC, CRC is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation at The University of Texas–Pan American. She has a Masters of Science of Counseling from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and a Bachelors of Rehabilitative Services from The University of Texas-Pan American.

She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and a Certified Trainer of the Trainers in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Skills, Survey of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and Vocational and Community Living Skills. Her professional interest are vocational rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation, counseling techniques, clinical supervision.

Belinda Rivas
Shawn P. Saladin, Ph.D., CRC, CPM
Associate Dean of Education and Research
Email: ssaladin@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-2387
Vitae

Dr. Shawn P. Saladin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, Associate Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, and the Coordinator of the Deaf Rehabilitation Concentration. Dr. Saladin is the co-director the Valley-ICAN project. He is the 2011-2012 Chair of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, currently serving on the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities. He has six years experience on the Rehabilitation Council of Texas, and has served as former President of the Texas Rehabilitation Association. Dr. Saladin is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a Certified Public Manager, and holds a State of Texas Teaching Certificate.

His service includes past Treasurer of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, ADARA Representative to the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, Texas Rehabilitation Association President, and Chair of the Rehabilitation Council of Texas.

Shawn P. Saladin
Tom Shefcik, M.S., CRC
Email: tshefcik@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 665-2295
Vitae

Mr. Tom Shefcik is an associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation.

Denise Silcox, M.S., CRC, LPC-S
Email: dsilcox@utpa.edu
Phone: (956) 655-7036
Vitae

Ms. Denise Silcox is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation. She has a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UTPA. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Besides teaching, she practices in the community, specializing in animal assisted therarpy to children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced trauma or have substance abuse problems. Her research interests include addiction, the human-animal bond and ethics in counseling.