Kelly Rouba

Kelly Rouba was only 19 years old when she was thrown into the fast-paced world of news reporting. While still in college, Ms. Rouba took a position as a stringer for the Trenton Times, marking the start of her career in professional writing.

 Ms. Rouba, who has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, recently authored Juvenile Arthritis: The Ultimate Teen Guide, which was published by Scarecrow Press. For over 12 years, she has written for numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites. In addition, she is co-producer of mobilewomen.org and she has a children’s book on disabilities that will be released soon.

 Presently, Ms. Rouba works full-time for the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities, where she is a Communications and Emergency Management Specialist/Ethics Coordinator. She is also a DAE with the Dept. of Homeland Security/FEMA Region II.

Additionally, Ms. Rouba is an Emergency Preparedness Spokesperson for the Progressive Center for Independent Living and a member of the Mercer County CERT for People with Disabilities as well as the NJ Special Needs Advisory Panel. Until recently, she was a member of the International Association for Emergency Manager’s Special Needs Caucus and Senator Tom Goodwin’s Health and Special Needs Advisory Committee. She also worked full-time for EAD & Associates, an emergency management consultancy that focuses on special needs populations, and she was a contractor for Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm.  

Previously, Ms. Rouba had the pleasure of working for Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein full-time. Additionally, she has handled public relations projects for various institutions, like Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton, on a freelance basis.

Currently, Ms. Rouba is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She was a member of the Event Media Committee for the Disability Pride & Power (Presidential) Inaugural Ball. Throughout her career, she has interviewed numerous notable personalities ranging from Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) to Elisabeth Hasselbeck (The View). In 2006, she was honored by New Jersey’s Department of Labor for her outstanding work ethic and success in the workplace as a local journalist and woman with a disability.

 Ms. Rouba is a 2008 Governor’s Volunteerism Award recipient. That same year, she was also named the first “Ag Femme” by Ag Apparel and a “Superstar” by CreakyJoints.org for her achievements. In 2009, she received a certificate of appreciation from the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Commission for her advocacy.

 In 2009, Ms. Rouba was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Statewide Independent Living Council. She is now a member of the Patient Advocacy Institute (through the Global Healthy Living Foundation), the Mercer County Disabilities Advisory Council, the Board of e-Quality Productions, Hamilton YMCA’s Advisory Board, and Hamilton Township’s Special Needs Commission and the Advisory Commission on the Status of Women.

In addition, Ms. Rouba is 2nd Vice President of the Arthritis National Research Foundation’s Board of Directors, which named their Kelly Award for Juvenile Arthritis Research grant after her. She also was publicity chair and a key organizer of the Arthritis Foundation’s Mercer County Arthritis Walk for several years. At the 2007 Walk, Assemblywoman Greenstein presented Ms. Rouba with a proclamation recognizing her community service efforts and role as a journalist.

For several years, she has been the public relations chair for the Central New Jersey Kappa Delta Alumnae Association, and she previously held the position with the Kappa Delta Chapter Advisory Board at The College of New Jersey. She also served on both Project Freedom and Enable’s Board of Trustees and was publicity chair of the Trenton St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Scholarship Committee.

From December 2006 through February 2008, Ms. Rouba proudly held the title of Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey, and she served as state program coordinator. In 2007 and 2009, she served on the planning committee for the NJ Governor’s Conference on Employment for People with Disabilities (now called DiscoverAbility).

To date, Ms. Rouba has been featured in numerous publications and television programs, from ABC’s Perspective New Jersey to the Wall Street Journal. She was also introduced on Live with Regis & Kelly. In addition, she was featured in two commercials and has modeled for Ag Apparel and WheelieChix-Chic.

Ms. Rouba earned her BA from The College of New Jersey in 2002, where she majored in Journalism/Professional Writing and minored in Communications.

Contact information:

Kelly.Rouba@dhs.state.nj.us or phone: (609) 586-1566

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