November 23, 2011

Carl Flowers named acting director of institute

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Longtime Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty member Carl R. Flowers recently became acting director of the Rehabilitation Institute.

“I am confident Dr. Flowers will do an excellent job in his role as acting director of the Rehabilitation Institute.  He has a strong reputation within the University, the Carbondale community and our professional discipline and is highly respected for his scholarly activities.    As a past president of both the National Rehabilitation Association and the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns, Dr. Flowers has a national voice and will represent the institute, the college an the University very positively on the national scene,” said John J. Benshoff, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services.  Benshoff was formerly director of the Rehabilitation Institute.

In addition to serving as acting director, Flowers is also a professor and coordinator of the Masters in Rehabilitation Administration and Services and the RA-Online programs.  He teaches rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation administration program courses.

“I am elated to have the opportunity to serve as the Rehabilitation Institute acting director.  We have a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree and service programs and I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to ensure that the Rehabilitation Institute continues to be a strong program within the college and the University.  I’ve been fortunate to have worked in a number of areas in the Rehabilitation Institute over the past 20 years and am working to keep the institute moving forward,” Flowers said.

Flowers is a triple alumnus of SIU Carbondale, arriving in 1972 as an undergraduate transfer student, graduating in 1975 and working as a retail manager for a time at Sears, Roebuck and Co. before returning to the University in 1982 to change careers.  He earned his master’s in rehabilitation two years later and completed his doctorate at the University in 1993.  He is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

Beginning in 1987, Flowers has served in various capacities at the University within Career Services and the Rehabilitation Institute.  He worked as a trainer/provocateur for more than a decade with the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest Rehabilitation Continuing Education Programs (RCEP) and was lead specialist through a multi-year federal grant providing awareness, sensitivity and diversity training for public rehabilitation agencies in the Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Minnesota region to increase equitable services for people.

For a time he was director of the Pacific Northwest Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program covering Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington and later served as director of the Western Washington University Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program in 2002.  Flowers returned to SIU Carbondale that year, joining the faculty as an associate professor in the Rehabilitation Institute.

Selected as a Switzer Scholar in 2001, Flowers also earned the Rehabilitation Institute’s Teacher of the Year award in 2006.  He has served as president of the National Rehabilitation Association as well as president and chairman of the board for the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns.  He has published more than two dozen articles, made presentations at numerous national conferences and currently serves on the editorial board for two professional journals and as a guest editor for two others.

The Rehabilitation Institute, a unit of the College of Education and Human Services, includes six academic programs preparing students for work in various rehabilitation and human services positions.  The Rehabilitation Counselor Training Program is currently ranked sixth in the nation among the 100 accredited rehabilitation counseling programs by the Council on Rehabilitation Education and the institute’s programs have earned numerous awards and recognition.