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Picture of Kanako Iwanaga

Kanako Iwanaga, PhD, CRC, LPC

Assistant Professor

Email: iwanagak@vcu.edu

Iwanaga is an assistant professor of Rehabilitation Counseling. She received her Ph.D. in rehabilitation counselor education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked at Northern Illinois University as an assistant professor prior to her arrival at VCU. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor and a licensed professional counselor in Wisconsin. Dr. Iwanaga has five years of professional experience working as a rehabilitation counselor for the Japanese government, two years as a researcher at the National Institute of Vocational Rehabilitation, and three years as a lecturer at the Polytechnic University, Tokyo. 

She has published about 80 peer-reviewed articles and 7 book chapters in the last 6 years. Her research program has a focus on evidence-based rehabilitation counseling practices, demand-side employment, secondary transition, validation of psychological and vocational assessment instruments for people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, and validating psychosocial intervention strategies to improve psychosocial and vocational outcomes of people with chronic health conditions and disabilities. 

Iwanaga serves as the Associate Editor for the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, Standards and Exam Committee for Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, and an Ad Hoc Reviewer for the Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin and Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. In addition, she has received five National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) Bill Downey Student Poster awards, one NCRE Doctoral Student of the Year award (2018), two American Rehabilitation Counseling Association Research Award (2018 and 2019) and Dr. Alo Dutta Memorial Scholarship Award (Best Doctoral Dissertation of the year Award) (2019).