Shaetonna Jackson arrived as a freshman at Ball State in August 2006. Four years later, she is preparing to don her cap and gown as a more confident and outgoing person. “I absolutely give a lot of the thanks to the DSD office and Ball State altogether,” she said, adding that coming to Ball State and working with campus personnel has and will “benefit [her] 100 percent in life.” On April 1, 2010, in front of a crowd of more than 100 people, including her friends and family, Shaetonna was honored with the Max Adamson Award—Disabled Student Development’s most prestigious student award. The award is annually presented to a student with a disability who not only excels academically, but also is involved on campus. Recipients are dedicated to promoting and creating access and opportunity for others. The award is named in honor of Max Adamson, a student who attended Ball State from 1976 to 1985. He was a key figure in getting the campus to the level of accessibility it has today. Although he died several years ago, his memory thrives on in those who knew him and through this award. This year, Associate Director Courtney Jarrett presented the award to Shaetonna Jackson, a senior social work major and president of Disabled Students in Action (DSIA). DSIA is a student group dedicated to disability education and awareness. DSIA plans and co-sponsors various events throughout the school year. This year, DSIA partnered with University Program Board and Recreation Services to bring American DanceWheels to campus as part of Disability Awareness Month. Around 30 campus and community members joined Shaetonna and members of the DSD staff to learn American style wheelchair ballroom and Latin dance. Larry Markle, director of Disabled Student Development described it as “a really neat event.” Courtney added that it “was exciting” to learn and see the people participate. Shaetonna, an accomplished student with about a 3.5 GPA, plans to continue her education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and pursue a graduate degree is Social Work. During her time at Ball State, Shaetonna has been honored with many awards:
In addition to her academic achievements and honors, she has also been actively involved on and off campus. For the past two years, she has been a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) and serves on the Diversity and Multicultural committee for SGA. Furthermore, she has served as DSIA president for two terms, and she is also a mentor in Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program. During the Spring semester, she was an intern at the Youth Opportunity Center (YOC) in Munice, Indiana.
Providing academic and support services to students is a group effort. It is a collaborative partnership between departments and across disciplines. This year DSD honored eight campus partners for their efforts. Adrienne Conley and Holly Mittlemeier are residence hall directors in the Noyer Complex where many students with disabilities live. They received the ACCESS award in recognition of their professionalism, poise, and sensitivity in handling difficult student issues. Larry Markle, director of Disabled Student Development, said although there have been large new classes of chair users over the past two years, Adrienne and Holly have done a wonderful job at integrating the new students. Lory King and Jim Mills are freshman advisors who work with students with disabilities. In addition to advising, they participate in and support the Faculty Mentor Program and attend the training lunches on a regular basis. Advising students with disabilities and scheduling classes can sometimes be challenging; however, Lory and Jim are always willing to help. “These two really exemplify an attitude of wanting to put students in a good situation,” said Larry Markle, “especially that first year.” Kent Bullis is the medical director of Ball State's Health Center. At the beginning of the Fall semester Kent contacted DSD and expressed interest in going to Noyer to provide vaccinations for students with disabilities. However, his work with students with disabilities extends beyond the Health Center. Kent is always willing to assist with reading and reviewing tricky medical documentation and is a member of a committee that determines housing accommodations. Jim Scott, Inventory Control and Moving Services Manager, is a vital resource for DSD. In addition to assisting with office relocation this past year, Jim and his crew also work with DSD to provide access in the classroom to wheelchair users. When issues arise regarding a specific classroom, Larry Markle said, Jim has made it a priority to ensure that specialized desks, appropriate for a wheelchair user, are available. Larry added that whenever DSD contacts Jim with an issue it gets taken care of almost immediately. David Adams and Shawna Hayes, graduate assistants in the Learning Center and for a federal grant for students with disabilities, have taken the lead in providing innovative programming in the Learning Center for students with disabilities. Over the past two years, they have coordinated training for tutors working with students with different types of disabilities. In addition, Larry Markle said, they have done some great research on the transition into college, tutor training, and tutoring for students with disabilities.
The 2010 DSD Awards Program marked the second year students were recognized for campus involvement and academic achievement in honor of alumnus Greg Fehribach. Greg, a prominent Indianapolis attorney and national expert on ADA and accessibility issues, has been a long time supporter of DSD. While attending Ball State, he was student body president; he is also a former Board of Trustee member. This year, Greg and his wife Mary Beth attended the ceremony to present the awards. In selecting students to receive the Fehribach Awards, Larry Markle said, “we look for students who have done well in the classroom and who have furthered the cause of access and opportunity.” Samantha Cook, a senior speech pathology major with a 3.0 GPA, was among this year’s recipients. During her time at Ball State, Samantha has studied abroad in Australia and has been a member of the National Student Speech Language Association. Her future plans include graduate school and possibly more study abroad opportunities. Patrick Mautner is a junior history major, with more than a 3.1 GPA. Pat is involved in a number of campus organizations including the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the College Republicans. In addition to being a member, he has held positions within each group. It has “really been a pleasure for me to get to know Pat over the last few years,” Larry Markle said. “I think we are going to see this guy in the political arena at some point.” Laura Medcalf is a junior elementary education major with more than a 3.0 GPA. She is one of the original, founding members of the Ball State Power Soccer team. In addition to Power Soccer, she is involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and Student Voluntary Services, and she has spent time tutoring and mentoring elementary students. Josh Mitchell is a graduate student in the student affairs program with more than a 3.8 GPA. In addition to his work with DSD, he has worked in Recreation Services and Academic Advising. He will continue working with students with disabilities in the Learning Center during the 2010-2011 academic year. Jennifer Vetor is a senior general studies major with more than a 2.7 GPA. For the last few years, she has been a student worker in the Adaptive Technology Lab on campus and vice president of Disabled Student In Action. “I have been so impressed the last couple of years with the programming that she and Shaetonna [Jackson] have put together for Disability Awareness Month,” Larry Markle said.
After many years of deserving service, Robin Rufatto, an instructor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and member of the Faculty Mentorship Program, received the 2010 Accessible Teacher Award. “I am so pleased we were able to give the award to her this year,” said Larry Markle, director of Disabled Student Development. Each year students are encouraged to nominate an instructor who has gone above and beyond in an attempt to make their class more accessible for a student with a disability. The nominations are then reviewed and winner is selected. Jenny Vetor, who submitted the nomination and presented the award, said, “I nominated Robin for this award because she made math accessible to me.” She added that Robin spent countless hours with her to ensure she could understand and learn the material. “Every time I have a student with unique needs,” Robin said, “I have to learn how to teach better.” She said prior to working with Jenny she didn’t realize how challenging it was to teach a student with a visual impairment and for a student with a visual impairment to learn math. She added that working with Jenny taught her many new and useful tools to use. “She introduced me to wiki sticks and all kinds of things to help students feel the graphs in front of them,” Robin said, “and now I poke holes in paper cardboard for students to feel scatter plots.” Robin also took the time to recognize the work of many others on campus including facilities, residence life, and academic advising, stating that what she does inside the classroom is just a small part of making learning accessible. “I am just a success because of my students and the people that do everything else” she said. “I am just there 50 minutes, and if there are other people who are willing to put in the work, I will work with them.”
For many years, Disabled Student Development has recognized a Ball State alumnus with a disability for the work that he or she has done after graduating. A few years ago, the award was renamed the Richard Harris Outstanding Alumnus Award in honor of the man who is most responsible for the good reputation that Ball State has in serving students with disabilities. Two years ago, upon Richard’s request, Bruce Rose’s name was added to the award. Bruce was an alumnus who, like Max Adamson, worked to create access on campus for students with disabilities. This year the Harris-Rose Outstanding Alumnus Award was presented to Danny Taylor. Danny graduated in 1969, about four years before a disability services office was established at Ball State. Richard Harris, who presented the award to Danny, said that while “there were a lot of individuals that helped students with disabilities” nothing was officially organized. “So Danny did a lot of it, not a lot—did all of it on his own.” After graduation, Danny began working at the Ball State library. He recalled the days when the library was in North Quad, before Bracken Library was built. He admitted that it was challenging, but the move to Bracken was a welcomed change. It has now been almost 40 years since he began working in the library, and he plans to retire in March 2011. Over the years, Danny has received numerous awards recognizing his service and volunteerism. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Jane Morton Award, given in recognition of a continual demonstration of outstanding efforts of one person to all segments of the university community. In addition to his work at the Ball State library, Danny has spoken to classes and groups about disability, been an active volunteer, an avid sportsman, and involved with Camp Isanogel, a camp for children and adults with disabilities. In the more than 50 years Danny has been connected to Isanogel, he has not only been a camper, but also he has been a volunteer and a board member. Bracken Library Periodical Reserve Supervisor Jan Vance, a friend and colleague of Danny’s, said “he has been a wonderful example to both disabled and non-disabled persons alike.”
More than 500 people participated in Ball State’s contributions to Indiana’s annual Disability Awareness Month. Every March, the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities celebrates disability, promotes awareness, and invites the community to get involved. Disabled Student Development (DSD) and Disabled Student in Action (DSIA) partnered with members of the campus community to promote awareness and understanding. The month of events commenced with a screening of Including Samuel. The film chronicled a family’s efforts to include their son Samuel in every facet of their lives as well as the experiences of four other individuals with disabilities and their families. DSD hosted a number of events including a one-hour panel discussion about service animals in an attempt to educate people about the experiences of those who use service animals, an awareness table in the Student Center, and a co-sponsored musical performance by the Marcus Roberts Trio. The Trio was lead by Marcus Roberts, a jazz musician who is blind, and played all of their music from memory, which allowed them to focus strictly and exclusively on jazz improvisation. Director Emeritus Richard Harris discussed Franklin D. Roosevelt's splendid deception and told the story of how a nation and its president dealt with his severe disability. DSIA collaborated with various campus partners to screen Doin’ It, a film investigating the truth about sex and women with disabilities and to bring American DanceWheels to campus to demonstrate American style wheelchair ballroom and Latin dance. The month of events concluded with a quad rugby demonstration from the Indy Brawlers in Worthen Arena and the 30th annual Disabled Student Development Awards Ceremony.
As the Student Center renovations neared completion this past February, Disabled Student Development moved into its new location on the first floor (Student Center room 116). The staff said the move was a welcomed change. Not only is it easily accessible for students with disabilities because it is now on the first floor, but also it is a more open, friendly-feeling space.
Both Ball State power soccer teams qualified for the national championships to be held June 17-19 at the Fieldhouse in Fishers, IN. The Ball State Cardinals team competes at the top level (Division 1) and finished fourth at nationals in 2009. The Ball State Fury, a new team this year, competes at the Division 2 level. If you are in the Indianapolis area June 17-19, you are invited to come to the nationals to cheer on the Ball State teams. More information can be found online at Power Soccer USA’s website - www.powersoccerusa.net.
Chris Bankowski - It is with regret that we note the death of Chris Bankowski on January 5, 2010. Chris was a graduate student in Journalism who had planned to earn his master’s degree this academic year. Chris received his undergraduate degree at Indiana University-South Bend and came to Ball State in 2008 for his graduate work. In his time here, Chris wrote for the Daily News and was a strong supporter of the Power Soccer team. Cassie Enyart – 2009 Ball State graduate Cassie Enyart passed away on April 22, 2010. Cassie earned her degree in Telecommunications and was active in Disabled Students in Action while on campus. Cassie was a recipient of the 2006 Adrienne Paige Gilbert Award and scholarship.
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