Priyanka Yalamanchili | COEHS | SIU

Southern Illinois University

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Priyanka Yalamanchili

Rehablitation Institute

Priyanka Yalamanchili

Hometown: India 
Year: Second year doctoral student
Research Interests: using social media to enhance student centred learning, multicultural issues, transition of people with disabilities from school to the world of employment, understanding the different perceptions of disability from across the globe and the legislations developed to advocate for people with disabilities.

Q:  How did you end up at SIU Carbondale and in the Department of Rehabilitation Institute?
A: After completing my master's degree from Kent State University in Ohio (M.Ed in Rehabilitation Counseling), I was looking for Ph.d programs to apply to. The director of my program at KSU; Dr. Phillip Rumrill told me about SIU Carbondale and the Rehabilitation Institute being one of the oldest in our field. So, I researched the school and the department and found that the professors and researchers whose work I have followed teach in in this university. With this in mind, I applied to the university and received admission.

Q: What do you like most about the town of Carbondale?
A: My group of friends make the city of Carbondale interesting for me. Apart from that, I like visiting the different wineries that surround the city.

Q: What do you like most about most about your department?
A: There are three things that I like about the rehabilitation institute.
First, the opportunities provided to collaborate with professors to not only teach classes but also work with them on different publications.
Second, students of this department also get an opportunity to attend a number of conferences to present their research ideas and gives them a chance to enhance their networking skills.
Third, I like the fact that the rehabilitation institute takes in students from very diverse backgrounds. When I say diverse, I mean different educational backgrounds, work experiences and most importantly individuals with different life experiences. Every individual in this department has a story to tell and how they were introduced to the world of disability and this program. These differences help me broaden my horizons and collaborate with students and professors in generating new research ideas. Even though there are so many differences, everyone shares the same goal; that is to help people with disabilities lead an empowering life.

Q: What do you like most about SIU Carbondale and Carbondale?
A: SIU Carbndale is one of the most diverse campuses that I have seen. Due to the efforts of the international students office and the different students organizations; local and international students always have some form of activity to keep them occupied. This not only gives me things to do but also allows me to meet students from different places and also makes me aware of the different degress that are offered by the university.

Q: What are your career objectives and goals?
A:  My future objectives are to go back to India and use the knowledge and skills I have obtained here to advocate for people with disabilities in my country and try to help them lead more independent lives.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A:  In my spare time, I go to the recreation center to work out, watch movies, and hang out with friends.

Q: What are some of your best memories and experiences here at Southern Illinois University Carbondale?
A:  Meeting new people, making new friends, Working with my professors, and attending different conferences are some of the great experiences I have had so far. As I still have some time until I graduate, I hope to build new memories and experiences.