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2024 Outstanding Staff Adocate Award recipients
2024 Outstanding Staff Advocate Award recipients, from left: Robby Chin, Melissa Thomas and Kelly Cowger

SU Disability Resource Center Honors 10 with 2024 Access Awards

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) recently honored 10 members of the campus community with its annual Access Awards.

Nominees have displayed outstanding support and advocacy for students with disabilities. Recipients were nominated by DRC-registered students.

Honorees included:

  • Outstanding Faculty Advocate Award – Dr. Angela Freeman, Eileen Gilheany, Dr. Dean Ravizza and Dr. Andrea Suk
  • Outstanding Staff Advocate Award – Robby Chin, Kelly Cowger and Melissa Thomas
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award: Lindsay Ray
  • Will Fried Outstanding Undergraduate Advocate Award: Wyatt Frederick
  • Delta Alpha Pi Access Champion Award: Lei Johnson
  • Judy Huemann Advocate Achievement Award: Elizabeth Wash

Freeman, assistant professor of biological sciences; Gilheany, social work lecturer; Ravizza, professor of physical education; and Suk, assistant professor of secondary education, demonstrated a strong commitment to disability-related advocacy/awareness, research and accessibility, and significantly improved or enhanced the quality of the higher educational experience in ways that have made a substantial difference for students with disabilities at SU.

Chin, Office of Diversity and Inclusion program administrative specialist; Cowger, Guerrieri University Center interim director; and Melissa Thomas, Instructional Design and Delivery manager, supported DRC efforts and its students, were involved in disability-related advocacy and general awareness, and have significantly improved or enhanced the quality of the higher educational experience in ways that have made a substantial difference in the lives of students with disabilities at SU.

Ray, an M.S.W. student and Disability Resource Center graduate assistant from Centreville, MD, has been an exemplary advocate for disability rights at SU and beyond, and has been instrumental in improving and/or enhancing disability-related awareness, access and inclusion of students with disabilities at SU.

Frederick, a B.F.A. major from Edgewater, MD, has been at the forefront of advocating for disability rights, access and inclusion at SU and beyond, demonstrated a strong commitment to disability-related advocacy/awareness and made outstanding contributions to students with disabilities and to the DRC.

Johnson, an international business major from Glenn Dale, MD, received the inaugural Delta Alpha Pi Access Champion Award. The accolade honors an exceptional member of SU’s chapter of the Delta Alpha Pi honor society for high-achieving students with disabilities who embodies unwavering dedication to disability awareness advocacy, empowerment and education in the campus community.

Wash, a biology major from Waldorf, MD, earned the inaugural Judy Huemann Advocate Achievement Award, named in honor of the internationally renowned leader in the disability community and lifelong civil rights advocate. The award recognizes members of the SU community who embody Huemann’s spirit of resilience, advocacy and commitment to social justice, demonstrating exceptional dedication, leadership and impact in the field of disability services.

Carol Beatty, Maryland Department of Disabilities secretary, keynoted the awards ceremony. She is the former executive director of The Arc of Howard County, a non-profit organization providing advocacy and support services for more than 750 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, along with their families.

For more information call 410-543-6087 or visit the DRC webpage.

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.