Our Staff

NVSU Leadership

Robert Fraser, PhD, Director of NVSU

A professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, joint with the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Neurology and consultant with Associates in Rehabilitation and Neuropsychology.  He is an active counseling and rehabilitation psychologist, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified life care planner who directs Neurological Vocational Services within Rehabilitation Medicine. Within neurological rehabilitation, he has specialized in epilepsy, brain injury, and multiple sclerosis.

Beach Barbara


Barbara Beach, M.Ed, CRC, Department Manager

Has extensive years of experience working with TBI, chronic pain, spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities in vocational 2003 rehabilitation inpatient and outpatient settings. Trained as a Rehabilitation Counselor and having worked in Administration in numerous capacities, today, Barbara functions as Department Manager of NVSU in both administrative and clinical capacities, working with a smaller caseload of clients, providing Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations, Community Based Assessments and Job Placement services. In addition to NVSU, she is also the vocational counselor in Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation.

NVSU Staff

Eleanor Pawley, BFA, Employment Specialist

Eleanor has been with NVSU since 2016, she started working at the front desk.  Eleanor currently works directly with NVSU clients on Community Based Assessments, Job Placement/ Development and Job Retention and co moderates our weekly job club with Dr. Fraser. Coming from a background in conference planning, event management and theatre production, Eleanor plays a critical role in development, fundraising events, runs the office and is Bilingual in English and Spanish. Eleanor has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design/ Technology from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, Purchase, NY.

Erica K. Johnson, Ph.D.,FAES

A rehabilitation psychologist and a certified rehabilitation counselor, as well as a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Johnson is the Co-Investigator with Dr. Fraser on PACES in Epilepsy, a CDC-funded epilepsy self-management treatment program for adults. In addition to her work on PACES, Dr. Johnson is the incoming Principal Investigator for Project UPLIFT, a program to prevent and treat depression in adults with epilepsy. Outside of her research program, Dr. Johnson is in private practice in Lynnwood, WA, where she conducts psycho social and neuropsychological assessments and therapy with individuals with various disabilities, such as traumatic brain injury, blindness and low vision, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress.


Ellie Henry, Intern

A recent graduate from the University of Washington, with a major in Psychology and a Minor in Health Education and Promotion. She is passionate about including disabled people in the workplace and has four years of experience working with clients on the autism spectrum. She plans to attend grad school in the future to become a clinical psychologist or licensed clinical social worker. In her free time, Ellie enjoys running, arts and crafts, and going to see live music.

Heather Leung, Intern

A junior with an Education, Communities, and Organization major with an Urban Ecological Design minor at the University of Washington. Heather wants to be an educator while combining her passion for marketing through Social Media Marketing. In her free time, Heather enjoys playing recreational volleyball and going to the gym.

Tessa Warheit-Niemi, Intern

Tessa Warheit-Niemi is in her first year as a Master’s of Social Work student at the University of Washington. Tessa worked for NVSU for 2.5 years during her time as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington and began working again with NVSU in October 2022. Tessa wants to obtain her MSW degree and eventually work as a School Social Worker to provide equitable access to counseling for students in K-12th grade.