Published: April 6, 2018

On April 3, several CU Boulder community members were recognized for outstanding work as part of the second annual Disability Services Awards Ceremony. The ceremony is one of many programs run by Disability Services as they shift towards a more holistic model in serving students and the campus and better promote the spirit of making excellence inclusive.

2018 winners at the Disability Services Awards Ceremony

Left to right: Kellen Story (accepting an award on behalf of Amy Sanders), Nicholas Villanueva, Toby Bollig, Allison Butler, Maddie Costello, Amelia Dickerson

While Disability Services is still in its infancy of operating under this new approach and integrating inclusive excellence in its programming, the office is committed to promoting and recognizing the good work people are doing related to disability. The ceremony is aimed to spread awareness of exceptional work and advocacy, all for the betterment of the student population.

Kellen Story, manager of program initiatives for Disability Services, stated during opening remarks, "Our students represent a strong pillar of student diversity on this campus, and our efforts to expand this awareness are not only the responsibility of us as office, but to every member of the CU community–staff, faculty, students and many other affiliates of CU."

The second annual Disability Services Awards Ceremony recognized individuals in five categories: Commitment to service, disability community involvement, outstanding alumni, outstanding staff and outstanding faculty.

Commitment to Service Award

The Commitment to Service Award is given to a Disability Services student-staff member who has excelled and contributed to the office in a meaningful way. This year, two individuals were selected to receive the award.

Amy Sanders, Student Staff

Amy works as a mentor for the Academic Skills Kit Mentorship program, otherwise known as an ASK Member. This program is specifically for students registered with Disability Services. She works one-on-one mentorship sessions with students seeking note taking skills, time management skills, study skills, etc.

Amy was nominated for her keen awareness of her students. Stated in her nomination: “Amy's greatest attributes come in the form of getting to know someone during a meeting. She doesn't only ask questions to get basic information, but she strives to find the root of the academic concern through intentional questioning and active listening.”

Maddie Costello, Student Staff

Maddie Costello, who works at the front desk for Disability Services, was nominated for her leadership and dedication towards her position. Her nomination included the following: “She is always willing to take on additional responsibilities and do what needs to get done. Her friendly personality and her positive attitude create a great environment for the people visiting and working in our office.”

Disability Community Involvement Award

The award for Disability Community Involvement is given to a CU Boulder student who is involved in disability issues, advocacy, research, general awareness and activities. 

Toby Bollig, Undergraduate Student

Toby was nominated with great support from the Chancellor’s Accessibility Committee. His nomination included the following: “Toby has served in a leadership role as a co-chair for the Chancellors Accessibility Committee for multiple semesters. As an undergraduate student, Toby has taken initiative and navigated working cooperatively with staff and faculty with respect to a variety of CAC initiatives including: the accessible transportation project, Diversity & Inclusion Summit sessions, addressing food in classrooms from Leeds faculty, sharing Sexual Misconduct and campus climate data for students with disabilities and/or academic accommodations. His work is tremendous and never goes unnoticed.”

Outstanding Alumni Award

The Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to a CU Boulder alumnus who is involved in disability issues, advocacy, research, general awareness and activities; was formally registered with Disability Services as a student at CU; and is doing well in his or her career.

Amelia Dickerson, Accessibility and Usability Lab

Ameilia was nominated for her work with the Accessibility and Usability Lab (AUL), and working as a consultant. Ameila’s nomination included the following: “Aside from working at the AUL, Amelia continues to be very effective as a consultant, advising a variety of CU Boulder units about the current state of their systems and about ways to make them more accessible. The people Amelia works for always comment on her professionalism and kindness – the feedback is always overwhelmingly positive.”

Outstanding Staff Member Award

The Outstanding Staff Member Award is given to a current CU Boulder staff member who has worked well with students and Disability Services and/or has performed disability-related research.

Allison Butler, Registered Dietician Nutritionist for Campus Dining Services

According to her nominator, Allison is “instrumental in advocating for student dietary needs, looking for ways to incorporate a sense of belonging into the dining experience, and communicating the various ways students can have their dietary needs met. She is an outstanding staff member because as a disability advocate, she is supporting needs for students with disabilities in the everyday college environment.”

Outstanding Faculty Member Award

The Outstanding Faculty Member Award is presented to a current CU Boulder faculty member who has worked well with students and Disability Services and/or has performed disability-related research.

Nicholas Villanueva, Director of Critical Sports Studies

Dr. Villanueva was nominated for his work in advocating for individuals with disabilities in and outside of the classroom. As one of his nominations stated, “In a city and university where activism, education, and outreach are the norm, Dr. Villanueva still manages to set himself apart from his colleagues and surrounding community by tirelessly promoting disability events to each of his classes and encouraging extracurricular learning and activism.”

The third Disability Services Awards Ceremony will be opening nominations in the fall of 2018 and will be conducted in the spring of 2019. Additional information on the Disability Services office can be found on their website. To learn more about CU Boulder’s progress on making excellence inclusive, please visit the Office of Diversity Equity and Community Engagement online.