Sandra Fitzgerald is an Assistant Professor of Counseling for the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling specialization. Dr. Fitzgerald received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California Santa Cruz in Psychology with a minor in East Asian Studies, a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from San Diego State University and her doctorate in Rehabilitation Psychology with a minor in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a certified rehabilitation counselor (CRC).
Dr. Fitzgerald has a combined 14 years of clinical experience working as a mental health counselor in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Santa Cruz,) and Los Angeles County (LA skid row, Van Nuys), working for non-profits that provide mental health services to the most vulnerable population of chronically homeless persons living with serious mental illness and addictions. She has also worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Hawaii’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation with a specialty caseload of clients with psychiatric disabilities. She is a Certified Benefits Counselor (e.g., SSI, SSDI work incentive benefits) and assisted with the development of Maui Aquaponics Workforce Cooperative (MAWC), a workforce development project that aims to employ persons with the most significant disabilities living on the Hawaiian Islands. Currently, Dr. Fitzgerald is the Project Director for Northern California’s PROMISE (Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income) Internship program.
Dr. Fitzgerald conducts research on the vocational recovery process and self- determined work motivation for persons working with mental illness and investigates best practices in psychiatric vocational rehabilitation. She is interested in innovative practices such as disability owned worker’s cooperatives and supported self-employment programs that provides vocational recovery opportunities to persons with significant vocational limitations.