Virtual Trainee

Elaine Eisenbaum, MSW

Elaine Eisenbaum, MSW
2013-2014 Virtual Trainee

Elaine Eisenbaum is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas and a third-year UCEDD trainee at Texas Center for Disability Studies. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Elaine received her undergraduate degree in special education at the University of Texas and her Master's in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. After receiving her MSW, Elaine worked as a Program Director at L'Arche Greater Washington, DC, and as the Director of Advocacy and Operations at The Arc of Northern Virginia.

Over the past two years as a trainee at Texas Center for Disability Studies, Elaine has implemented person-directed plans while working with military families, run the Center's social media, and worked as a teaching assistant for the Center's online disability studies courses. This past summer Elaine was the course instructor in the School of Social Work for her own new course, "Attitudes, Power, and Oppression: Introduction to Disability Studies." In her doctoral program, Elaine has a dual research focus on disability history and disability policy. More specifically, her research area is the intersection of eugenics and policies that affect access to full inclusion in the community.

Outside of her studies, Elaine enjoys going to the movies, spending time with her dog, Dolly, and enjoying the company of family and friends. Additionally, for the past nine years Elaine has participated in Special Olympics as a player on unified teams.


What is the AUCD Virtual Trainee?

With AUCD member programs in every US state and territory as well as internationally, our trainees exist all across the world. The Virtual Trainee is an AUCD trainee who works to build a virtual network among these trainees at AUCD member programs.

This individual works remotely from his/her home Center/Program for one academic year to build and enhance a network among trainees at AUCD's UCEDD Centers and LEND Programs. Candidates should be a trainee in the coming year, have previously acquired knowledge of their Center or Program, and be interested in learning about the entire network of centers as well as national issues related to persons with disabilities and special health care needs. The person selected works with AUCD National Office staff, via electronic means, to build communications and information exchange among trainees throughout the network.

Duties of the Virtual Trainee include:

  • Utilizing avenues such as Facebook, listserves, websites, blogs, webinars, email and newsletters to generate communication among trainees
  • Assisting with trainee portions of AUCD face-to-face meetings; co-organizing formal and informal trainee activities at AUCD conferences
  • Attending the fall AUCD Conference and the spring Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC, as well as other events or opportunities of relevance
  • Working with AUCD leaders at Board, Directors, and Council meetings
  • Generating new ideas for effective communication and connections among the network
  • Working with Trainee Liaisons (trainee representatives from Centers) to enhance the communication and networking of trainees
  • Spending approximately 4-5 hours per week on Virtual Trainee tasks, not including event travel

AUCD National Office staff will work with the virtual trainee providing support and suggestions. AUCD will also support the virtual trainee to attend the Fall AUCD Annual Meeting and Conference in Washington, D.C. and the Spring Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., paying transportation, lodging and registration costs. The Virtual Trainee will receive a stipend per semester from AUCD, with an option to extend through the summer. This position is expected to take approximately 4 hours per week.


  • Be a 2nd year AUCD trainee (LEND or UCEDD) in the coming academic year
  • Work remotely from your home UCEDD/LEND
  • Have knowledge of AUCD network
  • Desire to learn about the AUCD network
  • Interest in national issues related to leadership and persons with disabilities
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Knowledge of virtual communication technologies and social networking
  • Ability to work independently with distance supervision with weekly availability during daytime business hours

Are you interested in applying to be the next Virtual Trainee?

Interested candidates should submit their applications by visiting the application webpage, creating an account, and submitting the following:

  1. your resume or vita
  2. a letter of interest
  3. a statement of support from your Director

Please contact Rebecca Carman or Crystal Pariseau at AUCD with questions.

Apply to be the Virtual Trainee here.

This is an exciting opportunity for a current trainee with experience to increase his/her knowledge of the national network and learn more about national level activities and initiatives. It is also an opportunity to exercise leadership within the AUCD network. Directors and Faculty are urged to encourage trainees to apply for this opportunity and to allow the selected trainee to use this internship as his/her leadership activity for the coming year.

Recent AUCD Virtual Trainees

Elaine Eisenbaum, MSW
2013-2014 Virtual Trainee

Jody Pirtle, PhD (Council Chair: CTIIS)
Arizona UCEDD Institute for Human Development, Northern Arizona University

Stephanie Weber, PsyD (Trainee Representative to the Board)
University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Suzanne Engel
2010-2011 Virtual Trainee

Lisa Jacola
2009-2010 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Liz Terelle
2008-2009 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Terri Abrams
2007-2008 AUCD Virtual Trainee

Rene Jamison
2006-2007 AUCD Virtual Trainee