The University of Iowa
The Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation
Advisory Board Members
Ann Alliger is a graduate of the Rehabilitation Counseling program at the University of Iowa. Since
graduating, Ann has worked in a variety of areas, including disability policy development and Ticket to
Work, Vocational Rehabilitation for the State of Iowa, and substance abuse treatment. Currently, Ann is
Director of Outpatient Behavioral Services for Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids. She oversees
services and programs in the Family Counseling Clinic, EAP Services, and Sedlacek Treatment
Center. Ann also serves on the Boards for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Catherine McAuley, and Institution
Review Board for cancer treatment.
Dau-shen Ju, Ph.D., started his VA employment in May, 2007 as a Local Recovery Coordinator. He
works closely with community leaders, service providers and veterans to promote mental health
advocacy, and develop programs that enhance services for veterans with serious mental illness and their
families. His areas of interest include trauma recovery and disabilities. Dr. Ju received his B.A. in
psychology from the National Cheng-Chi University in Taipei, Taiwan; and completed both his M.A. in
educational psychology and Ph.D. in counseling psychology from The University of Iowa. Prior to Dr.
Ju’s VA employment, he worked at The University of Iowa for ten years, and most recently was the
Director of the Student Disability Services, and Assistant Director of the University Counseling Service.
Dr. Ju has been an active member of Asian-American communities and advocate for diversity.
Julie Fidler Dixon is the Executive Director of On With Life, a nonprofit organization headquartered in
the Des Moines area with continuum of inpatient, outpatient, and community based programs serving
persons with brain injury. Julie graduated from the University of Iowa with a double major of Sociology
and Psychology and was a member of the first class to earn a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Job
Placement/Job Development from Drake University. Julie is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, a
Certified Case Manager and a Certified Brain Injury Rehabilitation Specialist. She has also worked in the
fields of substance abuse, corrections, vocational rehabilitation, psychological rehabilitation, special
education and worker’s compensation rehabilitation.
Stephanie Beier is currently working for Marsh & McLennan Companies in Des Moines, IA as a Vice
President in Claims. She has been in the life/disability/medical insurance claims industry for 21
years. She has a Bachelor’s of Art degree from Grand View University and a Master’s of Science degree
in Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Development/Job Placement from Drake University both in Des Moines,
IA. She is also a Certified Disability Management Specialist, Certified Case Manager and Certified
Rehabilitation Counselor.
Mark M. Harris Ph.D. is the Director of Student Disability Services at the University of Iowa. Dr. Harris
is a Psychologist with over 25 years of experience in outpatient psychotherapy and behavioral healthcare
management. He is the former National Chair of the Association for the Coordination of Counseling
Center Clinical Services. He and his staff are responsible for academic accommodations for students
enrolled at the University of Iowa.
Peter R. Teahen is a Funeral Director, author and a mental health professional. In 2011 he received the
designation of Diplomate from the National Center for Crisis Management and the American Academy
of Experts in Traumatic Stress. He is president of Teahen Funeral Home, and founder of the International
Mass Fatalities Center. Peter is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Iowa. He has years of
professional, community, and volunteer experience ranging from pioneering community projects,
lecturing, developing mental health crisis management intervention programs, and lending his skills to
both the development of disaster operation protocols, as well as, extensive volunteerism in disaster
services.
Gillian Fox was graduated from the Graduate Program in Rehabilitation at the University of Iowa in
2005. Participating in the Program was an honor and I am a past Leonard Miller Scholar. She has devoted
my career advocating for individuals who have a disability and serve on two Johnson County Mental
Health and Disability Services Advisory Boards. She has been a participating member of the Graduate
Program in Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health since 2003 and she is currently Chair Elect. She
is working as an ADA Claims Specialist for Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. Participating on
this Advisory Board is very important to her as its professional function is continuous quality
improvement and accountability for the Program.
Kenda Jochimsen is the Chief of the Rehabilitation Services Bureau, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation. She
began her career in 1985 as a Placement Coordinator for a community rehabilitation program and then
was hired as a Rehabilitation Counselor in Fort Dodge in 1989. She was promoted to Transition Program
Manager, but left that position to work as the Director of Buena Vista University, Fort Dodge
Campus. Missing the work of special education and rehabilitation she returned to the field as a
Transition Coordinator and worked for AEA 267. In 2001 she accepted the position of Assistant Chief for
the Rehabilitation Services Bureau and was promoted to Chief in 2003.
Orville Townsend was employed with Iowa Division of Vocation Rehabilitation Services for 42 1/2 years
and supervisor of the Iowa City Area Office for 25 of those years. He worked closely with the University
of Iowa Rehabilitation Counseling Program to build a partnership that created an atmosphere that
allows practicum and intern students to develop skills needed to become successful counselors in the
Rehabilitation profession. He was awarded the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association's,
Rehabilitation Counselor of the Year Award in 2010.
Jean M. Rommes completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State
University with a dissertation that studied the administration of community rehabilitation facilities in
Illinois. She spent the remainder of her career (36 years) working as an administrator/manager of
community rehabilitation facilities offering vocational and residential supports to people with disabilities
in organizations in Illinois and Iowa. Throughout her career, she especially enjoyed the opportunity to
work with individuals facing unusual life challenges, providing supports that led them to greater
achievement than even they expected. Her work as a CARF surveyor has allowed her to broaden her
experience and given her new ideas about how to improve services provided by her own organization.
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Advisory Board Members