Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Picture of Anna
1993 DO-IT Scholar, Ambassador and speaker, Anna.

I'm sad to report that Anna—'93 Scholar, Ambassador, speaker at DO-IT events, NASA Scholarship recipient, UW graduate in cell and molecular biology, artist, volunteer, businesswoman, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend-lost her battle with the cancer that took her sight as a child. Vibrant and determined, she was still attending to her Mary Kay customers and helping plan an art exhibit until her death on June 29, 2004. Her art was exhibited at the University of Washington during Summer Study, where she was honored with a DO-IT Trailblazer Award (see related article).

Those of us who had the privilege of knowing Anna will cherish memories of her academic accomplishments, business sense, artistic ability, sense of color, determination, curiosity, creativity, strong opinions about almost everything, and unique sense of humor. Our lives are richer because of her.

Anna's thoughts and suggestions about building a more accessible world will live on in DO-IT's many training videotapes in which she was featured (see Videos.) At the conclusion of Working Together: Science Teachers and Students with Disabilities, she emphatically states, "I think it's very important that science teachers understand that people with disabilities can do science. We have the intelligence and capabilities to do it, and it's important that we are exposed to science just like people without disabilities are so we can better make choices about our lives, like what career we want to go into and what we want to study."