New RCP Faculty Member: Enikõ Rák

New RCP Faculty Member: Enikõ Rák click to enlarge Enikõ Rák, PhD

It is with great pleasure that I assume the assistant professor position in RCP here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  I am originally from Transylvania, Romania.  As an undergrad, I studied Psychology at Babes-Bolyai University.  Upon graduation, I became employed at the School for Children with Disabilities in Cluj, where I worked with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities.  The time I spent in this school had a profound influence on my career.

In the U.S. I have studied at Western Michigan University, in the Rehabilitation Counseling and Teaching program.  While in this program, I worked in the Vision Rehabilitation Clinic doing intakes and assessments.  I also became involved with research, and had the great opportunity to be part of a study evaluating the adaptability of GPS technology in the independent travel of persons with visual impairments.

I acquired my doctoral degree in December 2011 from Michigan State University specializing in Rehabilitation Counselor Education.  While pursuing my PhD, I worked on several research and program evaluation projects and completed clinical work at public VR.  My primary research looks at the construct of health literacy in relation to quality of life outcomes in the population of persons with chronic illness and disability (CID).  In my dissertation research I studied the effects of health literacy, self-efficacy, and knowledge of CID on different quality of life outcomes among individuals with diabetes.

My plan is to continue this research in the years to come.  I am also working on two projects that I started as a doctoral student, one on international rehabilitation and service delivery models in other countries and another on professional identity development in graduate students in rehabilitation counseling programs.  More recently, in 2012 I became involved with a statewide community needs assessment study with the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living. I am very much excited about this position and look forward to working with RCP students to help them attain their professional goals.