2009 DO-IT Trailblazers

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

Sheryl and Trailblazer Loren Mikola.
DO-IT Trailblazer Loren Mikola with DO-IT Director Sheryl Burgstahler.

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.

Chris, Trailblazer, '02 Scholar, University of Washington graduate, and Microsoft employee, mentors two Microsoft interns, '08 Scholar Aaron Shaver and DO-IT Volunteer Travis Burgstahler.
Chris, Trailblazer, '02 Scholar, University of Washington graduate, and Microsoft employee, mentors two Microsoft interns, '08 Scholar Aaron Shaver and DO-IT Volunteer Travis Burgstahler.

Previous DO-IT Trailblazer award winners were:


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


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.


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.


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.


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.