DO-IT Staff Mentors
Mentors encourage DO-IT Scholars, Ambassadors, and Pals as they pursue academic programs and careers. Some Mentors are still in college; others are pursuing careers in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Most have disabilities themselves. They share valuable experiences, insights, and resources with younger participants.
Hi. My name is Sheryl Burgstahler and I am the Director of DO-IT. I have a husband, Dave, and a son who are both dedicated DO-IT volunteers (especially my son, who considers himself a "Phase XII Scholar"). I have a master's degree in mathematics, with a strength in computer science and a Ph.D. in higher education. I am Director of Accessible Technology Services and Outreach with in Computing & Communications and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington. My personal and professional experiences with young people and adults with disabilities have taught me that low expectations and negative attitudes of others are the greatest barriers to success for people with disabilities. DO-IT Mentors and peers support each other on the road to success.
I'm Scott Bellman. I work as a Program Coordinator and Counselor for DO-IT. I help students find challenging internships and jobs throughout the year. My career path has been in psychology. I completed a Masters degree in 1996. I am currently a licensed mental health counselor in Washington state. My discipline is cognitive behavioral psychology. I enjoy my work at DO-IT, which includes career counseling, writing, planning events, coordinating projects, supervising interns, mentoring, and of course Summer Study! My interests include performance art, camping and hiking, carpentry, and travel. I have been to many wonderful places including Peru, Thailand, India, Jamaica, Holland, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.
I'm Dan Comden. When not serving as a technical nerd for DO-IT, I manage the Access Technology Lab (ATL) at the University of Washington. At the ATL we help students, faculty, and staff with disabilities access computing resources. I have a wife, who is a pediatric intensive care nurse, and two sons. Apart from work and family, my spare time is spent working on cars and listening to music, usually at the same time.
My name is Lyla Crawford. I am a Counselor/Coordinator for DO-IT. I help students transition from two-year to four-year colleges with DO-IT 2-4. I work in the Spokane office supporting DO-IT efforts in Eastern Washington. I have a Masters degree in Developmental Psychology. I have a husband, Shawn, and a son.
My name is Doug Hayman. I'm the technology specialist for the DO-IT Scholars, Pals, and Campers in Washington state. When not at work, I play guitar, hike, and hang out with friends.
My name is Carole Isakson. I've worked at DO-IT part-time for the past few years while I've been working on my Ph.D. in Special Education. Before I worked with DO-IT, I taught educational technology classes to pre-service teachers and I was an assistive technology specialist at a vocational school that served adults with disabilities. In my free time, I love to be out on the water. Last summer my husband, Patrick, and I sailed our boat up the inside passage to southeast Alaska. It was an awesome trip! I also love gardening, animals, and spending time with my two adult children.
Hi. My name is Tracy Jirikowic. I started working for DO-IT in 2000 as a Counselor/Coordinator. I grew up in Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Michigan. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Occupational Therapy. I also have a doctorate in Special Education from the College of Education at the University of Washington. I have a husband, Michel, and a daughter. I enjoy reading, traveling, and photography.
My name is Mike Lewis and I am part of the DO-IT summer study staff. I am finishing up my graduate degree in Special Education at the University of Washington and plan to help students with disabilities find jobs. My interests are traveling, cooking and going to sporting events.
My name is Sara Lopez, and I am the Program Manager for DO-IT. I moved to the Northwest from southern California after attending Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. More recently, I completed my Masters degree in Education at the University of Washington. This summer marks my sixth DO-IT Summer Study, my busiest but most rewarding time of the year! Outside of work my time revolves around family, boats and water. I rowed competitively in college and now coach an adult team. My favorite vacations involve going to the San Juan Islands or Lake Powell in the Southwest where we keep busy boating, water-skiing, kayaking, and fishing.
Hi. My name is Lisa Stewart and I am a Counselor/Coordiantor for DO-IT. I moved to Seattle several years ago from the Midwest where I grew up. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Psychology. I have spent the past fourteen years working in the human service field, and it has been, and continues to be, an honor and a privilege to meet and learn from all the amazing youth and young adults that I have been lucky enough to cross paths with along the way. I always enjoy a good conversation, going to see live music, traveling, and spending quality time with friends and family.
My name is Val Sundby. I work for DO-IT as a Program Coordinator/Counselor and 2005 is my 5th Summer Study. During the rest of the year, I work on a variety of projects, particularly those related to making science more accessible. I graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. Outside of work, I enjoy horseback riding, traveling, shopping, attending shows, and spending time with friends and family.
My name is Terry Thompson. I am a Technology Specialist for DO-IT. Prior to my work with DO-IT, I served as Coordinator of Assistive and Information Technology at North Carolina State University; and as Coordinator of the Computer Learning Center at Independence, Inc., the independent living center in Lawrence, Kansas. When I am not working, you can usually find me hiking in the mountains, playing my guitar, or spending quality time with my family.
Hi! My name is Tami Tidwell. I work as Program Coordinator/Counselor for DO-IT. My main role is to help students find and employers create quality work-based learning experiences. I enjoy working with the Scholars during Summer Study. I was born and raised in Cowtown (aka Ft. Worth, Texas). I have a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Psychology from Texas Christian University. Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with friends taking in live music, shopping, reading, gardening, spending time with family and relaxing.
My name is Debra Zawada. I started working at DO-IT in January 2004. My background is as a high school teacher and transition counselor. Outside of work, when not spending time with friends and family, I love to garden, create things and take my dog Lena for walks.