Our Staff


Robert Fraser, PhD, Director of NVSU

is 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.





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 Program and inpatient unit within Harborview Medical Center.


Dora Fung, M.A., CRC, Rehabilitation Counselor

has experience providing vocational and therapeutic services to children and adults with disabilities. For the past eight years, she worked as a job coach, employment specialist and a listening therapist for individuals with neurological disorders and developmental delays. Dora obtained her Bachelor’s degrees in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Sociology from University of Washington and has completed her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She provides Job Placement services, Community Based Assessments, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations and specializes in Job Retention services. In addition to NVSU, she is also the vocational counselor in Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program and inpatient unit within Harborview Medical Center.

Erica K. Johnson, Ph.D., FAES

is 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.

Roy Kristiansen, Office Assistant

came to NVSU from an extensive background in classical music and theater to include 13 years with Seattle Opera as a member of the Resident Chorus, and 6 years as its assistant chorus master. This was followed by 3 years as music director and conductor of the Gilbert & Sullivan operas with the New Savoy Opera in Wallingford.

Steven Lashley, MHA, Research Associate

began in 2008 as an Intern and worked as an employment specialist for several years for NVSU. Steven has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Human Resource Management from the University of Washington and completed his Masters of Health Administration from the University of Washington. Steven is very experienced in the area of Epilepsy and is involved with our NVSU epilepsy research groups.





Louie Lopez, NVSU Job Developer/ Employment Training Specialist

has worked within Vocational Services for over 26 yrs with adults with developmental disabilities and neurological disorders. He is integrally involved in the Latino Business Community and is Bilingual in Spanish and English. Louie has been with NVSU since 2005 and continues to find and secure positions well suited for clients with exceptional devotion to his job and his goal to find clients the right Job Placement.

Eleanor Pawley, BFA, Community Liaison
has been with NVSU since 2016. 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.

David Strand, Ph.D., CRC, Rehabilitation Counselor

obtained his doctorate in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and participated in a pre-doctoral internship in Neuropsychology at the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Washington and focuses on providing vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with neurological diagnoses. At NVSU, he is active in providing clinical services for clients, to include Counseling, Neuropsychological Assessment, Comprehensive Vocational Evaluations, Community Based Assessments, Job Placement, and Job Retention services.






Ben Foster, Intern

is a native of Alaska, and completed his education at Whitman College and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in Philosophy and Biology before re-entering the University of Washington in Neuroscience.  Ben is currently applying for a master’s degree in Medical Ethics, which will be followed by medical school.  He is currently interviewing at Northwestern, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and Albert Einstein.  Ben is fearless and creative in his job placement approaches and is our only intern who played professional soccer in the Netherlands.





Terry Garfield, Intern

graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in English. Terry started working at NVSU in June, 2019. She hopes to go to medical school and in her free time she volunteers at Seattle Children’s Hospital.





Tessa Warheit-Niemi, Intern

is a junior in the Neurobiology Major at the University of Washington. Tessa started working at NVSU in April, 2018. Tessa wants to continue her education in psychology/neurobiology and obtain a degree to allow her practice counseling and be involved in research studies related to neurological disabilities and mental health disorders.