Skip to Main Content

DRC Staff

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  



Director Rusty Dubberly


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.


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  William Butler Yeats



Debra Lenahen

Assistant Director
University Interpreter & Coordinator
Phone (904)620-1865



Assistant Director Debbie Lenahen


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 language interpreters.


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



Andrew W. Sullivan III 

Assistive Technologist/Disability Service Specialist

Phone (904)620-2676


 Assistive Technologist Andy Sullivan


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.



Allison Austin

Staff Interpreter

Phone (904)620-5125

DRC Staff Interpreter Allison Austin


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



Office Manager

Phone (904)620-2906




Emily Peterson

Testing Coordinator

Phone (904)620-2259


Testing Coordinator Emily Peterson


Emily is the Testing Coordinator for the Disability Resource Center. She has been working with the DRC since June 2015, but is no stranger to the university. She was a student from 2009 to 2013, and graduated with her B.S. in Mathematics. Emily loves spending time with friends and family, watching movies, and going to the beach. 


“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”- J.K. Rowling



India Hamilton

Disability Service Specialist

Phone (904)620-2222


 Disability Service Specialist India Hamilton


India Hamilton is Disability Service Specialist at the Disability Resource Center. She graduated from UNF in the spring of 2017 with a degree in History and a minor in American Sign Language. India worked tirelessly as an educational aide from October of 2015 until April of 2017 and as a Testing Facilitator until January 2018 when she was promoted. In her free time she enjoys reading, visiting Disney World, and volunteering at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH).


“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” –The Lorax 



Dr. Tara Rowe

Director THRIVE Program

Phone (904) 620-2769


 THRIVE Director Tara Rowe


Dr. Tara Rowe has worked with UNF since 2009 and has co-founded the THRIVE (Transition to Health, Resources, Independence, Vocation, 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, Laos, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.  Tara’s career in exceptional student education started while overseas and has continued here at UNF.


Tara recently completed her educational leadership doctorate here at UNF and loves having the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions on supporting students with disabilities.  Tara also serves as and adjunct instructor, teaching courses for the College of Education and Human Services.  Tara is a strong believer in advocating for students with exceptionalities and centers her research on self-determination for all students.


“In order to truly learn something, you must teach it to someone else.” – Dr. Stephen Covey




Tyler Charles



 THRIVE Staff Tyler Charles


Tyler Charles has been at UNF since 2013. He began working for Dr. Tara Rowe and the THRIVE program in 2015 and continues to do so today. Tyler graduated from UNF with a B.A. in Psychology in 2017 and is currently in his Masters program in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis at UNF. Tyler is a firm believer in providing assistance to individuals belonging to underrepresented populations and assisting them in finding a voice for themselves and their needs.


 “No matter how learned and knowledgeable, how wise and how wonderful, how powerful and puissant, there is always one more sliver of power, one more bit of knowledge, one more secret to be learned….” – Medivh




Alexander Enos



 THRIVE Staff Alexander Enos


Alexander Enos manages THRIVE’s website and social media, and documents THRIVE-related events.  Alex worked briefly at FSU’s College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, doing design work and developing the foundation for an ad campaign to increase graduate student enrollment.  He joined the THRIVE Program as a student in 2016, and returned to work for the program after graduating in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Advertising.