2022 Distinguished Service Award - Dr. Michelle Marme
Dr Michelle Marme, past president of NRCA (2019-2020) has been awarded the NRCA Distinguished Service Award, for being the most significant factor in rescuing NRCA in 2019 from near extinction as an independent professional organization.
Dr. Marme has presented at conferences in the US and Europe, authored numerous book chapters and juried journal articles on issues such as social psychology of disability, counseling considerations in working with people after acquired brain injury, positive psychology, and dealing with uncertainty as a central factor in counseling. She put in hundreds of hours creating protocols, improving bylaws, and working with staff and colleagues to get us to the level of financial and programmatic independence we hold today.
Dr. Marme has held board and officer positions at the following local, state, and national levels: El Valor Corporation, Commission on Rehabilitation Education, Commission on Rehabilitation Accreditation, National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (state and national president), Coalition of Illinois Counselor Organizations (treasurer), among other leadership positions. Her resilience, experience, and dedication to NRCA make her a Distinguished Service Award nominee.
2022 National Citations Award - Dr. Tamar Heller
Dr. Tamar Heller and the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are jointly this year’s recipient of NRCA’s National Citation Award. This award was established to recognize meritorious service or significant achievement in the field of rehabilitation at a local, state, regional, or national level. Both Dr. Heller and the Department of Disability and Human Development at UIC epitomize the spirit of NRCA’s National Citation Award.
Dr. Heller is a distinguished professor and head of the Department of Disability and Human Development at UIC. The UIC department is an internationally recognized center for the interdisciplinary study of disability, conducting scholarship and community-engaged service across the spectrum of disability, including advocacy, culture, education, health promotion, history, policy, and technology.
Dr. Heller is director of UICs Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the State of Illinois and she also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health, the Institute’s Family Clinics, and the TAP autism training program. She has active projects on family support and health promotion interventions for individuals with disabilities. She is past President of the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
2022 Rank of Fellow Award - Dr. David Perry
Dr. David Perry is this year’s recipient of the Rank of Fellow Award. This award is given to individuals who have served the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association in some meaningful way. Dr. Perry has worked tirelessly as our Board President to ensure that NRCA is functioning smoothly and meeting the needs of its membership.
After completing his Master’s degree, he worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Bismarck, North Dakota. Following this he was asked to join the faculty at the University of North Dakota to teach and become the program director for a newly established (RSA-supported) undergraduate rehabilitation training program.
While at UND, Dr. Perry taught in the Rehabilitation and Human Services major, the Social Work Department, the Rehab Counseling master’s program, and the Ph.D. program in Counseling Psychology. He maintained an active research agenda in areas such as attitudes toward disability, rehab education standards, and Adlerian Psychology. Dr. Perry retired from full- time teaching in 2019 but continues to teach as an adjunct at UND.
Dr. Perry and his wife, Cathy, have three adult children and three grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing basketball, weightlifting, and music.