“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Burker’s willingness to step up again as we face another year of serious fiscal challenges,” said McLean. “The division is now well positioned and I am confident that she will be successful in charting a course forward for the program.”
Burker replaces former RCP Division Director and Professor Charlie Bernacchio, who departed UNC over the summer to accept a position as chair of Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Southern Maine. During his five-year tenure as director, Bernacchio led the RCP program through a period of growth in enrollment and national recognition, culminating in a top 25% ranking in the recent U.S. News and World Report review of graduate programs in Rehabilitation Counseling.
Burker earned a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with an emphasis in Vocational Evaluation at the University of Georgia, as well as a master’s level certificate in Gerontology. After working for three years as a rehabilitation counselor and vocational evaluater for the Savannah Pain Control and Rehabilitation Center, she returned to school at Auburn University where she earned her MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology. Burker is an associate professor in the RCP division and an adjunct associate professor for the UNC Department of Psychiatry. In addition, she serves as a clinical psychologist for the UNC Lung and Heart Transplant Teams.