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University of Iowa News Release

March 23, 2004

EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that someone from your coverage area has been recognized at the University of Iowa.

Orange City Native Helps Launch ARCA Chapter

University of Iowa student Stacia Wissink, an Orange City, Iowa native, was instrumental in establishing a student chapter of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA) on the UI campus.

In large part through the efforts of Wissink, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counselor Education, the UI College of Education's Rehabilitation Counseling program has become the first such program in the nation to start a student chapter of ARCA. Wissink is the daughter of Milton and Mary Wissink of Orange City.

ARCA is a professional organization of rehabilitation counseling practitioners, educators and students concerned with improving the lives of people with disabilities. Its mission is to enhance the development of people with disabilities throughout their life span and to promote excellence in the rehabilitation counseling profession.

"Students like Stacia Wissink are the future of the profession, so getting them involved while they're on campus allows them to better understand the issues and to network with professionals," said UI Rehabilitation Counseling Professor Dennis R. Maki, Ph.D. "We're very proud of our students and their work leading other students in the field."

Maki said the student chapter also serves to enhance the UI's already strong reputation in the national rehabilitation counseling community. The program has been named third in the nation for several years running by U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of graduate programs.

Wissink, who expects to graduate in 2006, said she hopes to become a professor or faculty member in a graduate-level counseling program. She and other representatives from the UI ARCA chapter -- as well as some from Florida State University, which was the second school to have a student chapter -- will instruct other schools on how to start their own chapters at the American Counseling Association conference in Kansas City March 31 to April 4.

"Starting a student chapter of a national professional organization at Iowa is exciting because it allows students in counseling to get involved professionally at a local level," Wissink said. "It will give students hands-on opportunities to participate in the development of their professional identity, and in the development of the profession as a whole. It will also provide students a chance to contribute to the larger voice of rehabilitation counseling nationally."

More information about ARCA is available online at http://www.nchrtm.okstate.edu/arca/

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A photo of Wissink is available at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2004/march/images/032304wissink-hirez.jpg