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.


Photo portrait of DO-IT director Sheryl Burgstahler

My name is Sheryl Burgstahler and I am the Director of DO-IT. I have a husband, Dave, and a son, Travis, who are both dedicated DO-IT volunteers (especially Travis, who considers himself at "Phase XI Scholar"). I have a master's degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in higher education. I am an Assistant Director within 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 barrier to success for people with disabilities, and that facing the challenges imposed by a disability can be an isolating experience. DO-IT Mentors and peers support each other on the road to success.


Photo portrait of Dan Comden of the Access Technology Lab at the University of Washington

I'm Dan Comden. I manage the Adaptive Technology Lab at the University of Washington. I have a wife, Louise, who is a pediatric intensive care nurse, and two sons, Fritz and Zane. My spare time is spent working with my search and rescue dogs.


Photo portrait of DO-IT staffer Marvin Crippen

My name is Marvin Crippen. I help with technical support, work on the DO-IT World Wide Web home page, and support the UW Adaptive Technology Lab.


Photo portrait of DO-IT technology specialist Doug Hayman

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.


Photo portrait of DO-IT counselor/coordinator Lyla Crawford

My name is Lyla Crawford. I have been a Counselor/Coordinator for DO-IT since 1997. I live and work in Eastern Washington in DO-IT's Spokane office. I have a Master's degree in Developmental Psychology. Outside of work I spend my time with my family and working in my garden.


Photo portrait of DO-IT Program Manager Sara Lopez

My name is Sara Lopez, and I am the Program Manager for DO-IT. I attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington and studied Education - specifically Special Education and Physical Education. This past spring, I completed my master's degree in Education Leadership and Policy Study at the University of Washington. This summer marks my fourth DO-IT Summer Study, my busiest but most rewarding time of the year! Most of my time outside of work revolves around family activities and rowing events. After rowing competitively in college, I have been involved ever since, coaching and managing rowing events, including the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.


Photo portrait of DO-IT staffer Michael Richardson

Hi there. My name is Michael Richardson, and I spend most of my time helping high school and college students with disabilities get involved in work-based learning experiences that enhance their potential for college and career success. I also provide support and information to parents, educators and employers. I have a severe/profound hearing loss and received a B.S. in Health Science from California State University Northridge in 1990. I have spent the last 10 years working in the field of vocational rehabilitation. I have a wife, Chris, and two young daughters, Devon and Emma. My hobbies include restoring and riding vintage British motorcycles and fly fishing for trout.


Photo portrait of DO-IT Program Coordinator and counselor Scott Bellman

I'm Scott Bellman. I work as a Counselor/Coordinator for DO-IT. I help college students find internships and jobs. I also help people with developing resumes and interviewing skills. I am involved with planning and participating in Summer Study as well. I have been doing career counseling in Western Washington for 5 years. I grew up in the Midwest, where I earned a B.A. in psychology and a master's degree in career counseling. I enjoy traveling and have been to many wonderful places.


Photo portrait of DO-IT counselor/coordinator Tracy Jirikowic

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. This year, I completed my doctorate in Special Education from the College of Education at the University of Washington. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors, photography, traveling anywhere I can, and reading fiction. I live in Seattle with my husband, Michel.


Photo portrait of DO-IT staffer Val Sundby

My name is Val Sundby. I've worked for DO-IT for the last few years on a variety of projects. I graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. Outside of work, I enjoy horseback riding and spending time with family, friends, and my dog, Cairo.


Photo portrait of DO-IT technology specialist Terry Thompson

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.