Access Achievement Awards, 2011


The recipients of the Access Achievement Awards for the 2011 year were:

Tom Sullivan, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
— established the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health, charged with ”raising awareness about issues related to mental health, affecting policy change, and improving conditions on our campus for students with mental health conditions.” Since then the committee’s work has affected the core of resources and policies around student mental health and made us a leader in the United States on these issues.

Bianet Castellanos, Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department
— worked with interpreters before the class convened, making materials accessible, and having all the videos captioned, along with providing the interpreters with materials that would be used in class to prepare. She is a model faculty member who helps advance access for everyone.

Paul Siliciano, Professor and Department Chair, Biochemistry
— ensured that the very visual course materials in biochemistry were converted into accessible electronic files well in advance of each class. People like Dr. Siliciano, who take responsibility for making their courses accessible, help change the University climate and provide excellent access for hardworking students, regardless of their disabilities.

Alex Lubet, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music
— has had a career-long interest in encounters between cultures most recently in the intersection of music and disability. His “Tunes of Impairment: An Ethnomusicology of Disability, is at the top of the reading list for those interested in music and disability. He served as chair of the Faculty Senate Subcommittee on Disability from 2008-2010, has hosted the Disability colloquium two years in a row and championed the establishment of the Disability Studies minor.

Jamil Jabr, Manager, OIT Facilities
— and his team insured that all computing facilities at the University of Minnesota provide access for students with disabilities. Thanks to Jamil and his team, students with disabilities now have access to the JAWS screen reader, ZoomText screen magnifier, and Kurzweil scan and read systems on all general student use computer in all OIT computing facilities, allowing students with disabilities to work and collaborate with their peers.

Jerie Smith, Coordinator Aurora Center
— coordinated two events that were specifically geared toward facilitating conversations about disability and exploring courses of action. A Day of Exploration: Disability Obvious or Invisible, provided participants an opportunity to tell their stories and then to brainstorm work that needs to be done on campus. The Social Justice Student Leadership Retreat on Mental Health, which gave rise to the Send Silence packing backpack display in front of Coffman in April 2010.

Neil Carlson, Public Health Specialist, Environmental Health and Safety
— makes work a little more comfortable and a little more productive for all sorts of people at the university of Minnesota. He’s created a workstation self assessment tool and product guide and also worked hard to ensure that the indoor air quality meets the highest standards. Neil help s our employees with disabilities and those with conditions that don’t meet the criteria of the ADA access their work in an easier way.

Dr. Gary Christenson, Director of Boynton Mental Health
— has improved access for students with mental health disabilities at the University of Minnesota, as an active member of the Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health Dr. Christenson. He has fostered strong collaboration among committee members, led the efforts to create an online training for faculty and staff, and contributed to the development of the University of Minnesota

Victoria Nelson, Assistant Director of Parking and Transportation Services
— makes the overwhelming process of parking for people with disabilities process easier. For the past several years, Vickie has worked with Disability Resource Center to identify and secure parking spaces for disabled students and staff to make parking on campus as accessible as possible. If there is a solution to be found, Vickie will find it. Her efforts have made working and learning at the University more accessible and welcoming for many people.