Tammy Day joined Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in April, 2009 as the founding director of Next Steps at Vanderbilt. Tammy began her career over 25 years ago as a special education teacher. While in undergraduate school she became interested in high school to postsecondary transition programming for her students. This interest inspired her to pursue certification as a Work-Based Learning facilitator, and the completion of a master’s degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt in 2000 with a focus on transition services. While working for Rutherford County Schools as a special education teacher and then the high school liaison and transition specialist, Tammy further developed transition services planning by designing numerous parent information events, transition in-service opportunities for teachers, and dual enrollment opportunities for students with disabilities at the Murfreesboro Tennessee Technology Center. Tammy states that she is thrilled to be in her current position, and honored to be helping to advance the opportunities for youth with disabilities in our state and region. “However, the biggest excitement comes when seeing the transformational learning that is occurring on the whole Vanderbilt University campus,” reports Tammy.
Tammy Day, Program Director
Amy Gonzalez is the Program Coordinator for Next Steps at Vanderbilt, the postsecondary education program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Gonzalez provides overall support and assistance to the mission of the Next Steps at Vanderbilt program, and her primary focus is on job development. She helps Next Steps at Vanderbilt students define their strengths and identify their career interests, and she develops internship opportunities for the students on and off campus. She also networks with employers in the Metro Nashville area to advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Gonzalez is from McAllen, Texas (Rio Grande Valley), and recently moved to Nashville. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology in December 2006, and in May 2011, she completed her Master's of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She earned both degrees from the University of Texas-Pan American located in Edinburg, Texas. She also holds a licensure as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and is fluently bilingual in Spanish.
Gonzalez has a passion for working in the field of disabilities. Her main goal is to help individuals obtain meaningful employment in order for them to live more independently and become productive members within their respective communities.
Amy Gonzalez, Program Coordinator/Job Developer
Kelly Wendel has been with the Kennedy Center since 2004. Prior to joining Next Steps, Kelly worked as an educational consultant with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). As a consultant, she provided educational and behavioral training for teachers, administrators, and parents throughout the state of Tennessee and served as Director of TRIAD Social Skills Camp. As program coordinator for Next Steps at Vanderbilt, Kelly manages and coordinates the peer mentors, drafts the individualized schedules for each student and helps identify Vanderbilt courses that match the student's interest. Kelly provides educational and behavioral support to the students in the program and co-teaches a Career Technology class to better prepare students for employment.
Kelly is originally from Chicago and received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Wake Forest University and earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.
Kelly Wendel, Program Coordinator