2011 DO-IT Trailblazers

The DO-IT Trailblazer award highlights DO-IT community members who forge new pathways that will benefit others. Through their work and accomplishments they have changed the way the world views people with disabilities and have increased the potential of people with disabilities to succeed in college, careers, and community life. Congratulations to this year's honorees!

Laura Bersos, DO-IT Ambassador and '04 Scholar, for developing community among DO-IT Scholars and participants. Laura has attended Summer Study every year since she became involved with DO-IT.

Kayla Brown, DO-IT Ambassador, '05 Scholar, and DO-IT student staff member, has been involved in advocacy work at Bellevue College along with other non-profit work. She advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in Seattle and has traveled to New Orleans to help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. Kayla has participated in City Year where she worked with teenage students, and has served on the A-Team leadership group for DO-IT's AccessSTEM project.

E.A. Draffin, research staff in the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science in the United Kingdom, is a Trailblazer for promoting accessibility in e-learning, the web, and mobile devices; providing an international database of accessible technology; and supporting students with disabilities through her efforts to increase accessibility in education, employment, and daily life.

[Picture of Laura.]

Laura Bersos, DO-IT Trailblazer

[Picture of Kayla.]

Kayla Brown, DO-IT Trailblazer

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E. A. Draffin, DO-IT Trailblazer

Previous DO-IT Trailblazer award winners:

2010

Dr. Martha Bosma, Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Washington, for her leadership in the inclusion of people with disabilities in science education and careers, outreach to ensure accessible science labs, and mentoring of DO-IT Scholars in their transition to postsecondary education.

Corinna (Lang) Fale, DO-IT Ambassador and '00 Scholar, for her work promoting self-advocacy for people with disabilities through her position as co-coordinator of the L.E.A.D. Coalition at the Arc of Snohomish County and as a representative for People First of Washington.

Dr. Sang-Mook Lee, Professor of Geophysics at Seoul National University, for promoting access to technology, education, and employment for people with disabilities in South Korea.

Noah Seidel, DO-IT Ambassador, '05 Scholar, UW student, and DO-IT student staff, for his disability advocacy and leadership on the University of Washington Seattle campus and in the Seattle community. He has organized disability awareness events and has spoken on numerous panels regarding inclusion, access, and transition to college and careers.

Priscilla Wong, DO-IT Ambassador and '95 Scholar, for her volunteer work serving people with disabilities at the Ronald McDonald House and Children's Hospital and ongoing dedication to advocating for accessible programs and environments.

2009

Kim Borowicz, disability rights lawyer at Access Living and DO-IT Mentor, for contributions on a national level to the field of disability law and a commitment to tackling issues of access to transportation, media, and education for people with disabilities.

Loren Mikola, disability inclusion program manager at Microsoft and AccessSTEM team member, for contributions in making Microsoft an inclusive environment for employees with a wide variety of abilities and disabilities and for promoting the design of accessible technology.

Kris Rosenberg, DO-IT Ambassador and '94 Scholar, for contributing to the long-term success of DO-IT's college preview and technology program at Camp Courage by volunteering his time to provide lab set-up, technology support, instruction, and mentoring.

Jessie Sandoval, DO-IT Ambassador and '98 Scholar, for academic achievement and pursuit of a career in disability law.

Chris Schlechty, DO-IT Ambassador and '02 Scholar, for academic achievement, pursuit of a career in computing, and mentoring interns with disabilities nationwide in the workplace.

2008

Daman Wandke, DO-IT Ambassador and '7 Scholar Sam, a Summer Study Intern, works in the lab on his computer. Phase II Scholars Brianna, Aaron, and Collin with Intern and 05 Scholar, for leadership in organizing disability awareness activities on a postsecondary campus.

Al Souma, Coordinator of Disability Support Services at Seattle Central Community College and AccessCollege team member, for responding to emerging issues of students with disabilities, including those related to people with mental health impairments and to veterans with disabilities.

Dr. Mamoru Iwabuchi, Associate Professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo and Assistant Director of DO-IT Japan, for promoting DO-IT practices internationally. b

2007

Dennis Lang, an Associate Director of the Disability Studies program at the University of Washington, persevered in promoting the adoption of a disability studies program at the University, which now resides in the School of Law. He has also mentored dozens of students pursuing the disability studies minor.

Anthony Arnold, a DO-IT Ambasssador and '94 Scholar, has made significant contributions to the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) through his advocacy and career. He has served as a powerful role model for the employment of individuals with disabilities that affect both mobility and speech.

Dr. Ray Bowen, when Dean of the UW College of Engineering, made contacts at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1992 that led to DO-IT's first grant funding. He mentored Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, Director of DO-IT, and facilitated collaborations with the College's award-winning programs for women and minorities. This created an expanded view of diversity that became a model for other departments and institutions.

2006

Imke Durre, DO-IT Mentor, for accomplishments in earning a Ph.D. and pursuing a career in atmospheric sciences, increasing public awareness of the positive contributions of people with disabilities in science fields, and providing strong role modeling and mentoring to students with visual impairments.

Julie Peddy, NOAA Program Manager, for accomplishments in integrating youth with disabilities in service learning programs and promoting the employment of people with disabilities in science fields.

2005

Karen Braitmayer, Architect and DO-IT Mentor, for accomplishments as a business owner and for progressing accessibility efforts within the field of architecture.

Mylene Padolina, Microsoft Senior Diversity Consultant, for accomplishments in the integration of disability in the diversity efforts of businesses and for success in programs encouraging youth to pursue high-tech career fields.

Jessie Shulman, DO-IT Ambassador, '98 Scholar, and University of Washington student, for accomplishments in increasing access and support on the University of Washington campus and providing a strong role model to students with hidden disabilities.

Suzanne Weghorst, Assistant Director for Research at the UW Human Interface Technology Lab, for accomplishments in research and for providing numerous opportunities for students with disabilities to explore the field of human interface technology.

2004

Cheri Blauwet Trek, DO-IT Ambassador, '96 Scholar, and Stanford University graduate student, for achievements in athletics and academics.

Mike Dedman, Education Specialist at the National Parks Service, for improving access in the national parks.

Charity Ranger, DO-IT student staff and University of Washington student, for improving access and support on a postsecondary campus.

Anna Schneider, DO-IT Ambassador, '93 Scholar, artist, businesswoman, and University of Washington graduate, for accomplishments in the combination of fine arts, business, and science.