Project Staff

Wendy Strobel Gower
Director, Diversity Partners

Wendy Strobel Gower serves as a project director, trainer, and content development specialist at the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell. She is the Project Director for the Diversity Partners Project. Wendy holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She started her career as a vocational counselor and job coach in the early 90’s. Since that time, Wendy has worked extensively in the application and training of issues around employment and reasonable accommodation in the workplace for people with disabilities. She has gained valuable experience in project management and project direction over the past ten years.

Ellice Switzer
Content Development Specialist

Ellice Switzer, MA, has over 20 years of university and nonprofit experience in the field of disability. She provides national level technical assistance and training on topics related to disability and employment, and US disability policy. Ms. Switzer’s areas of focus include employer practices to support workforce disability inclusion, demand-side strategies to improve employer engagement among disability service providers, and evidence-based practices to support post-school success for youth with disabilities. Her work has included various local, state and national initiatives to support and promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including: the National Employer Technical Assistance Center, the Employer Practices Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, the Diversity Partners Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project, the New York State Transition Services Professional Development Support Center, and the New York State Rehabilitation Council.

Jeffery Tamburo
Project Faculty

Jeffrey J. Tamburo, LMSW, CESP, has been an Extension Associate/Training Specialist for the Yang Tan Institute (YTI) since 2015.  Previously, he worked for the Center for Human Services Education, a division of Heritage Christian Services, as a Training and Organizational Development Specialist.  Since 2013, Jeffrey has served as lead trainer for the NYS Consortium for the Advancement of Supported Employment (NYS CASE), an YTI initiative and an ACCES-VR funded project that offers training for supported employment providers across New York State.  His employment in YTI also includes working as a training specialist for the Northeast ADA Center, where he provides training on the Americans with Disabilities Act to individuals and organizations in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Kathleen Lee
Business Outreach Consultant

Kathleen Lee is a Business Outreach Consultant at Cornell University’s ILR School and the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability. Kathleen provides technical assistance and training on the Diversity Partners project for employment service professionals representing disability organizations, workforce development systems and staffing agencies on issues related to the employment of individuals and veterans with disabilities by sharing best employment practices and resources. Her experience includes more than twenty-five years working in disability and veteran inclusion, workforce development, and human resources. Kathleen has administered federal employment and mentoring programs in multiple locations throughout the country serving individuals, veterans, dislocated workers, and youth with disabilities. Kathleen holds an Advanced Certificate of Strategic HR Management from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Rehabilitation Institute, Southern Illinois University where she received a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Administration and Job Development and Placement.

Hsiao-Ying (Vicki) Chang
Research Support Specialist

Vicki joined YTI in 2017 as a Research Support Specialist. She provides research support for Diversity Partiners. Vicki is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC). She also has over five years of experience in research and the disability field. She is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in Counselor Education and Supervision, Pennsylvania State University, has a M.A. in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, University of Iowa and a B.A. in Psychology, University of Iowa. Vicki has developed two research tracks. The first track emphasizes mixed-methods research methodology and program evaluation, and the second track of research emphasizes disability education. Her research interests aim to promote awareness of disability culture, improve rehabilitation services and education, employment for people with disability, and to link research findings to counseling practices. 

Laura Nase
Project Assistant

Laura joined Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) in April 2017. She provides project support for Diversity Partners and the Just-in-Time Toolkit for Managers. Laura previously worked for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce in the greater Boston, MA area as a Membership Manager, and for Eastern Nazarene College as an Assistant Director for Marketing and Enrollment. Laura also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Eastern Nazarene College.