Staff Mentors


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 IV Scholar). I have a Masters 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 2001 DO-IT staff mentor James O'Connor

Hi. My name is James O'Connor. I have worked in DO-IT Summer Study programs for six years. I grew up in Ontario, California, the youngest of four kids. Throughout my life I've struggled with Dyslexia. I received a B.A. of Education from Central Washington University. In the fall of 1998, I began my teaching career at Juanita High School in Kirkland, WA.


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

I'm Dan Comden. When not serving as the head technical nerd for DO-IT, 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. Apart from work and family, any 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 Dan and Doug out with technical support, work on the DO-IT World Wide Web home page, and work in the UW Adaptive Technology Lab.


Photo portrait of DO-IT technology specialist Doug Hayman

My name is Doug Hayman. I'm the technology specialist working with 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 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 Master's degree in Developmental Psychology. I have a husband, Shawn, and a son, Joshua.


Photo portrait of DO-IT Program Manager Sara Lopez

My name is Sara Lopez, and I am a Project Manager for DO-IT. Originally from southern California, I attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington and never went back! My academic background is in education. Most of my time outside of work revolves around family activities and rowing events. After rowing competitively in college, I have been very 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 coordinate the DO-IT CAREERS K-12 project. The emphasis in this project is to get high school students with disabilities involved in work-based learning experiences, so they can enhance their potential for higher education and career success. This also includes providing 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 2001 DO-IT staff mentor 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 2001 DO-IT staff mentor Tracy Jirikowic

Hi. My name is Tracy Jirikowic. I started working for the DO-IT program in October 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'm currently working on my doctorate in the College of Education here at the University of Washington. In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors, photography, travelling anywhere I can, and reading fiction. I live in Seattle with my husband, Michel.