SEAS AWARDS 2017
Recipients recognized May 24, 2017.
Since 2016, Student and Employee Accessibility Services has instituted a set of awards to recognize outstanding contributions in the area of accessibility at Brown University.
The SEAS Access Ambassador Award is presented annually to a faculty member who has demonstrated exceptional awareness, inclusiveness and support for students with disabilities. The 2017 recipient of this award is Chemistry Lecturer Dr. Sandra Russo-Rodriguez. Dr. Russo-Rodriguez has been an outstanding supporter of students with disabilities during her time at Brown University. Dr. Russo-Rodriguez is sensitive to the needs of students with disabilities and takes time to help them implement their accommodations and when necessary refer students to SEAS for support. Dr. Russo-Rodriguez also assists with the Campus Access Advisory Committee which provides input on physical access on the Brown University campus. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Russo-Rodriguez.
The SEAS Advocacy Award is presented annually to a student who has demonstrated strong self advocacy skills or who has effectively advocated for greater awareness and understanding of students with disabilities. The 2017 recipient of this award is Senior Sarah Libfrained. Sarah was co-leader of Brown University chapter of Eye to Eye, a national organization which connects college students with ADD or learning disabilities with elementary age students to work on art projects to develop skills and confidence for young people with disabilities. Sarah also helped SEAS to establish a support group for students with concussions. The support group will be a legacy for Sarah that will continue to provide a means for students with concussions to learn from each other and provide support and information. Please join us in congratulating Sarah Libfrained on her significant contributions at Brown University.
The SEAS Odyssey Award is presented annually to a student who has demonstrated dedication, determination and perseverance in pursuit of achieving a Brown University education. The 2017 recipient of this award is Senior Daniel Crowell. Daniel has demonstrated sincere commitment to completing his Brown University degree despite significant challenges. Daniel is a visual arts concentrator and has extensive experience working in the area of animation. Please join us in congratulating Daniel Crowell on his achievement.
The Inaugural 2017 SEAS Facilitator Award will be given annually to a Brown University administrator or staff who has demonstrated exceptional awareness, inclusiveness, and support for students with disabilities. SEAS is recognizing Gail Medbury, the retiring Director of University Auxiliary Housing, for her 45 years of service to Brown University and her support for creating an inclusive environment in auxiliary housing. Please join us in congratulating Gail for this recognition in for her many years of service to Brown University and her unfailing support for an inclusive housing environment.
2017 Seaman Lecture
Why Brown University's Commitment to Diversity
Must Include a Commitment to Disability
International Disability Rights Consultant
Judith Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She served as the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010 – 2017 under the Obama Administration. She previously served as the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia, where she was responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
From June 2002- 2006, Judith E. Heumann served as the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development. In this position, Heumann led the World Bank's disability work to expand the Bank’s knowledge and capability to work with governments and civil society on including disability in the Bank discussions with client countries; its country-based analytical work; and support for improving policies, programs, and projects that allow disabled people around the world to live and work in the economic and social mainstream of their communities. She was Lead Consultant to the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.
From 1993 to 2001, Heumann served in the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education. Heumann was responsible for the implementation of legislation at the national level for programs in special education, disability research, vocational rehabilitation and independent living, serving more than 8 million youth and adults with disabilities.
For more than 40 years, Heumann has been involved on the international front working with disabled people’s organizations and governments around the world to advance the human rights of disabled people. She represented Education Secretary, Richard Riley, at the 1995 International Congress on Disability in Mexico City. She was a US delegate to the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She has been active with Disabled Peoples’ International, Rehabilitation International and numerous Independent Living Centers throughout the world. She co-founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley California and the World Institute on Disability in Oakland California.
Heumann graduated from Long Island University in 1969 and received her Masters in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. She has received numerous awards including being the first recipient of the Henry B. Betts Award in recognition of efforts to significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Long Island University in Brooklyn, an Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of Toledo.