A veteran educator and advocate for persons with disabilities will be the new Executive Director of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU.
Dr. Yvette Getch, an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia, will start at WKU on May 28. She will give strategic direction to the CEC, which was established in the 2000s as a university/community partnership to provide academic opportunities and community support in a variety of areas.
The CEC includes the Linda and John M. Kelly Autism Program, the Vickie and Dan Renshaw Early Childhood Center, the Betty and Dr. Page Talley Family Counseling Center, the Preston Family Foundation Acquired Brain Injury Resource Program, the Family Resource Program and the Communication Disorders Clinic.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Getch to WKU,” Provost Gordon Emslie said. “She is keenly aware of the potential of the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex to advance its roles in education, the discovery of new knowledge, and engagement with the community. Under her leadership, I look forward to truly innovative and synergistic progress in the areas served by the CEC.”
Dr. Getch said she is excited to work with a program that incorporates six distinct programs that serve the community while providing valuable learning opportunities for students.
“The CEC’s mission to facilitate the independence and productivity of individuals and families by providing services through a university/community partnership is consistent with my beliefs about how comprehensive services should be provided,” she said.
“I am a passionate advocate for persons with disabilities and strongly believe that early intervention, interdisciplinary collaboration and community partnerships can assist individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential by removing barriers and providing supports and services necessary to promote independence, empowerment and self-advocacy.”
Barbara Burch, Chair of the CEC Board, said Dr. Getch “brings extensive experiences in vocational rehabilitation and counseling that have engaged her in assisting both families and individuals in ways that are essential to programs of the CEC. Her academic credentials are impressive and she has a genuine understanding of the unique nature of the community/university partnership that is the foundation of the CEC. With her vision, energy, understanding and commitment, she is well positioned to provide the strong and compelling leadership that will help shape the future and continuing development of the CEC.”
Dr. Getch holds a doctorate in rehabilitation education and research and a master’s degree in independent living rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arkansas and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Florida State University.
In addition to teaching at the universities of Georgia and Arkansas, she coordinated the undergraduate counseling/services courses and the rehabilitation counseling programs at Georgia, was program director for Gateway Enterprises Inc./ARC Madison-Jefferson Inc. for People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities in Monticello, Fla., and held a number of private-sector counseling positions.
Contact: Gordon Emslie, (270) 745-2297.