David L. Westling, Ed.D., UP Program director
David is the Adelaide Worth Daniels Distinguished Professor of Special Education at Western Carolina University and serves as the University Participant Program director. He received his Ed.D. in special education from the University of Florida as well as his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His current responsibilities include implementing best practices with the University Participant Program and directing operations of the project. His research interests include areas of severe disabilities, teacher education and teacher practices. He has published in more than 50 refereed journals and co-authored several textbooks, including Teaching Students with Severe Disabilities.
Kelly R. Kelley, Ph.D., UP Program consultant
Kelly received her bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from Western Carolina University. She received her Ph.D. in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with her dissertation research on using technology to teach pedestrian navigation skills to young adults with intellectual disabilities. Her responsibilities include coordination of day-to-day supports and research with college-age individuals with intellectual disabilities participating in a fully inclusive on-campus college learning experience. Her research interests include secondary transition relating to assistive technology, independent living andinclusive postsecondary opportunities for individuals with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.
Rebekah Norris, UP Program Coordinator
Rebekah received her bachelor's degree in communication sciences and disorders with a minor in special education from Western Carolina University. She is currently pursuing her master's degree in communication sciences and disorders from Western Carolina University. Her responsibilities include coordination of day-to-day operations for the UP Program, including interacting with local schools, parents, and potential applicants with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, developing Individual Plans for College Participation for participants, recruiting and supervising undergraduate students as natural supports, coordinating weekly schedules for participants, and collaborating with various communityand state agencies.
Seb Prohn, Ph.D., UP faculty liaison/outreach coordinator
Seb received his bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Ph.D in psychology from North Carolina State University. For his thesis Seb created a context specific measure for psychological sense of community. While completing course work for his doctorate in psychology, Seb taught several psychology courses and served as the primary evaluator for two action research based grants. His UP responsibilities include collaborating with WCU faculty and satellite programs to maximize students’ meaningful participation. Seb’s research interests include participatory evaluation, social inclusion, and self-determination for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the postsecondary environment.
Hannah Summerlin, UP career development coordinator
Hannah earned her bachelor's degree in communication sciences & disorders with a concentration in special education at Western Carolina University. She is pursuing her master's degree in communication sciences and disorders and is projected to graduate in spring 2015. As the UP graduate assistant, she primarily assists the UP career development coordinator, Cassie Coco, and works directly with the UP participants and their jobs here on campus. In addition, she manages the UP participants work cards, coordinates and observes the participants at work, supports UP participants, and communicates with participants to support employment goals.
Susan K. Buchanan, UP administrative support associate
Susan has worked in public schools as a teaching assistant for more than eight years, drove a bus and was employed at a local regional hospital business office and medical records department for more than 10 years. She enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband, two sons and twin daughters; gardening; and camping. Her responsibilities include management of travel, budgets, answering the phone, and day-to-day clerical operations with the UP Program.