I was appointed to the Washington State Independent Living Council (WASILC) in May of 2017 and served as a council member and Vice Chair till Fall 2020. The WASILC supports the disability community by providing advocacy, leadership, education and collaboration, supporting cross-disability needs within statewide agencies, organizations, and service providers. Founded as part of the 1886 amendments to the Federal Rehabilitation Act and further supported by Executive Order 04-04, today WASILC is made up of an eleven person, governor-appointed council and staff.
For the past three years, I have also served as the Access Chair for the Disability Issues Caucus (DIC) in the National Communication Association. Through this position, my committee and I were able to make the physical and attitudinal space more accessible for presenters with disabilities. In November, 2019 I was elected as the Vice Chair Elect of the DIC.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 Olympia Washington
WASILC member meetings with District Representatives and Senators
Meetings with: Representative Schmick, Representative Mary Dye, and Senator Schoeslet (pictured above)
Women in Academia
I currently serve as a member of the International Women’s Day Committee. The committee is comprised of men and women at Washington State University (WSU) and we work together to develop an event to celebrate women’s achievements worldwide. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. First celebrated in 1911, honors the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.
As part of International Women’s Day in 2017, I was tasked with developing a panel to discuss Practicing Allyship in Academia: Research, Service, and Teaching.
In academia, we strive to actively acknowledge privilege and openly discuss it. In this panel discussion, WSU members discuss how allyship can be practiced through research, service, and teaching, creating an active learning community wherein current and future students, faculty, and staff can build their capacity to personally enact and support inclusivity & allyship in academic contexts.
(from left to right: Davi Kallman, Leigh Gaskin, Cassondra Yarlott, Rochelle Dach, Whitney Stefani, and Kakali Chakrabarti)
Environmental Communication Campaigns
In the Summer of 2010, I traveled to Indonesia as part of a graduate class on Environmental Communication Campaigns with Dr. Stacey Sowards from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). For six weeks, the students in the course were tasked with observed
We visited the campaign site of Indra Harwanto at Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten Province, the campaign site of Nani Saptariani at Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park in West Java Province, and the campaign site of Istiyarto Ismu in West Bali National Park. Each of the campaign managers identify key conservation threats and then develop a social marketing strategy to overcome barriers for effective conservation.
As part of the MA program, we studied communication research methods, social marketing, leadership, and conservation biology. Key aspects of our campaigns included building pride within local communities, developing community empowerment and awareness, and working with local leaders and volunteers to create social and conservation change.