DO-IT Staff and Ambassador are Honored

Monday, April 23, 2007

by Michael Richardson

Scott Bellman, DO-IT Staff, and Jessie Shulman, DO-IT Ambassador, both received awards from the Washington Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (WAPED). They were presented at WAPED's Spring 2007 Conference.

Scott Bellman won WAPED's Achievement Award. This is an award for technical and/or professional achievements in promoting awareness and development in issues of educating people with disabilities. This award is presented to someone who has contributed to increasing knowledge and awareness of disability issues in higher education or has developed techniques or methods in the application of such knowledge in higher education.

Involved with a variety of projects focused on the state of Washington, the Northwest region, and the national level, Scott works tirelessly to increase the success of students with disabilities as they progress through their academic studies and enter the workforce. Scott's extensive counseling skills and commitment to engaging students in experiences that allow them to develop workplace skills has proven to be very effective. Since 2001, Scott has developed over 80 challenging paid internships for students with disabilities, mostly in Washington State, and has helped facilitate over 400 other work based learning activities such as job shadows, speaking engagements, company tours, and volunteer jobs.

Working one-on-one with a young student or addressing a national conference audience of employers, Scott is very effective in engaging others in implementing strategies and practices to improve student success and employer satisfaction. He continues to seek new avenues to improve practices and bring additional collaborators to the table. Scott has co-authored five selected publications in peer reviewed journals and was recently appointed as the State Coordinator for National Disability Mentoring Day through the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Jessie Shulman received WAPED's Outstanding Student Award. This award recognizes a student with a disability who is currently enrolled in a postsecondary institution who has made a significant contribution to his/her institution or community or the State of Washington. Jessie's selection was based on her academic/vocational achievements, extra-curriculum involvement, community services, and demonstrated self-advocacy.

A 1998 DO-IT Scholar, Jessie is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Informatics with minors in Dance and Mathematics. She is expected to graduate in June 2007 and currently maintains a 3.85 GPA in her major. She has made the UW quarterly deans list for the last six consecutive quarters.

Prior to entering the UW, Jessie was selected to participate in the 2000 Governor's Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities in Olympia, Washington. Once she started her studies at the UW, Jessie began participating in enriching academic activities outside of the classroom. In 2002, she was a conference delegate at the Institute for Women in Technology's Virtual Development Center Conference in Palo Alto, California. Here, she presented material from her team independent study in the UW electrical engineering department's Genomation Lab. She and her team also presented at the University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium that same year. Involvement in these high-tech opportunities also led to involvement in Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), a mentoring and academic interest group designed to increase recruitment and retention of women of diverse backgrounds in science and engineering. This year, Jessie received the Boeing Informatics Diversity Scholarship from the Information School at the UW was elected the Director of Operations for the Informatics Undergraduate Association.

Aside from her academic learning, Jessie also ensured that she participated in campus disability-related activities. In 2003, she was one of the founding members of Disability Advocacy Student Alliance (DASA), a grassroots student group facilitated for and by students. The goal of DASA is to address the needs and concerns of the disability community and its allies on the University of Washington campus. Jessie has served as the DASA president and remains actively involved with the group.

Last year, Jessie was a member of the UW Training Collective. This is a group of faculty and students who gather to discuss and review training philosophies, goals, and audiences; pilot and evaluate training options, and propose an effective permanent diversity training program for students, faculty, and staff.

Congratulations to Scott and Jessie. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the community and to DO-IT.