The staff at the DRC is available to:
- Assist students through the admissions and enrollment processes
- Provide support during a student’s academic career at UNF
- Share resources available in the UNF and the Northeast Florida community
Meet the Staff:
Dr. Rusty Dubberly
Phone (904) 620-5407
Dr. Dubberly has worked with people with disabilities since 1999. He began his career as a special education teacher with Nassau County Schools. He transitioned to Duval County Public Schools in 2003 and served in an instructional and supervisory position for middle and high school students with significant disabilities. His research focus has been on self-determination for people with disabilities and creating a positive transition to adult life for young people with disabilities.
Dr. Dubberly attended the University of North Florida to complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in disability services. Dr. Dubberly also graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a doctorate of special education in 2008 and in 2012 completed a second master’s degree in education leadership. Dr. Dubberly believes strongly in the empowerment of people with disabilities to live the fullest and most enriching life possible.
“There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.” Elbert Green Hubbard
University Interpreter & Coordinator
Phone (904) 620-1865
In addition to her duties as the Assistant Director of the DRC, Debra is also the University Sign Language Interpreter for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. Debra has received a B.A. in Elementary Education as well as a Masters of Education with her concentration in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College. Debra taught for over 13 years in state schools
for the Deaf and is currently one of the University’s nationally certified sign
After teaching at the Maryland School for the Deaf and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, Debra joined the DRC team in 1996. When she is not in classes with Deaf students,
she teaches sign language for the College of Education and Human Services as well along with providing interpreting services to the community.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck
Edward I. Zirkle
Edward Zirkle is the new addition to the Disability Resource Center Staff. He is a recent graduate from UNF with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. He left the military in 2008 after serving almost 17 years in the Navy and Army. His deployments include Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and various other regions round the world. In his off time he enjoys riding his motorcycle, playing golf, and watching football.
“I have served with some of the finest men and women ever to put on a uniform. My heroes are the ones who didn’t come home while defending our way of life. I am a survivor and will not let their sacrifices go in vain. I will live my life to the fullest for those who did not!”
Andrew W. Sullivan III
Andrew has spent many
years in the field of Post-Secondary Disability Services. Working as an
educational aide at the University of North Florida’s Disability Resource
Center as both an undergraduate and graduate student he obtained a B.A. in
Political Science and an M.A. in Public Administration from UNF. Concurrently,
he pursued and obtained his certification in Assistive Technology Applications from
California State University, Northridge.
This program required him to complete over 100
hours of combined online and in person instruction in the field. As Assistive
Technologist and Program Assistant at the UNF DRC Andrew has and continues to
work closely with UNF’s students, staff and faculty to provide high quality
service provision in the area of Assistive Technology for all registered
students at the UNF DRC.
Tara Rowe, M.Ed.
Thrive Program Coordinator
Phone (904) 620-1356
Tara Rowe has worked with UNF since 2009 and has co-founded the
THRIVE (Transition to Healthy Resources, Independent living, Viable careers,
and Education) program, which is a unique program only found at the University
of North Florida. Tara spent several years living and teaching overseas in
countries such as: Indonesia, Thailand, East Timor, Thailand, Laos, Australia,
Fiji, New Zealand, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Tara’s career in exceptional
student education stared while overseas and has continued here at UNF.
Tara has attended the University of North Florida to
complete a bachelor’s degree in exceptional student education and a master’s
degree in disability services with a concentration in applied behavior
analysis. Tara is currently working on completing her doctorate in educational
leadership here at UNF. Tara is a strong believer in advocating for students with
exceptionalities and centers her research on self-determination for all
“In order to truly
learn something, you must teach it to someone else.” – Dr. Stephen Covey
Alli is the staff sign language interpreter in the Disability Resource Center. She has been working with UNF since August 2015 and has received a B.S. in Sign Language Interpreting from Siena Heights University. She completed the interpreter training program over at Florida State College at Jacksonville in 2012 and has been interpreting in the community since. Over these years she has interpreted in a variety of settings, most of which include education in some capacity. In addition to interpreting, Alli’s interests include traveling, food, and CrossFit.
”You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky”- Michael Scott