Professional Development and Event Coordination

September 16, 2020 Disability and Intersectionality Speaker Series with Steve Way

WSU and Pullman Community

Disability and Intersectionality Fall Speaker Series

As the Awareness Coordinator for the WSU Access Center, I created the Disability and Intersectionality Speaker Series. This series is intended to provide a platform for the underrepresented voices within the disability community. This series will address the intersection of disability and race, sexuality, sexual orientation, religion, and socio-economic status. We are excited to tell you about our Fall 2021 Disability and Intersectionality Speaker Series. We invite you to attend and share this opportunity with your peers, staff, and students. We ask interested parties to register for the presentations below and they will be emailed a Zoom link the day before the event.


Schedule of Events

Presenter Presentation Title Date and Time (Pacific) Registration Link

Dr. Joseph Stramondo

The Ethics of Passing and Disability Disclosure in Higher Education

September 15, 2021

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Register for Dr. Stramondo’s Presentation

Dustin Reischman, MBA

(Dis)Ability in the Workplace – Ten Years Ago to Now, Where Do We Go From Here?

September 22, 2021

11:00am – 12:30pm

Register for Dustin’s Presentation

Sophie Poost

The Privilege of Passing: Always Proud but Tired of Being Loud

October 6, 2021

12:30pm – 2:00pm

Register for Sophie’s Presentation

Rain Dove & Kelsey Ellison

Disability and Relationships

October 20, 2021

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Registration coming soon.

Reyma McCoy McDeid

Asserting Beyond Assumption: Confronting Racism in Disability Organizations

November 03, 2021

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Register for Reyma’s Presentation

Mia Ives-Rublee

Details coming soon…

November 17, 2021


Registration coming soon.

Dr. Joseph Stramondo & Leah Smith

Finding Yourself by Finding Community: Reflections on Growing Up Far From the Tree

December 01, 2021

10:00am – 1:30pm

Register for Dr. Stramondo and Leah’s Presentation

This series is free to everyone. You do not need to be a part of WSU to attend these presentations All presentations are offered via zoom and will include live captioning or Zoom ASR. This series is hosted by the WSU Access Center and the Disabled Students and Allies Club (DSAAC).

Disability and Intersectionality Virtual Book Club

Join the Access Center for the Disability and Intersectionality Book Club! The Disability and Intersectionality Book Club is an online community that empowers the WSU students, faculty, and staff to support and advocate for disability issues through thought provoking discussions centered around disability literature. This club creates a space for discussion, live chats, author Q&As and more. Every semester (excluding the summer months) the club will focus on one book discussing disability issues that can be easily accessible to all readers. A set amount of digital copies of each book will be available to registered Access Center students based on financial need and their interest in the book.

The club generally meets the first Thursday of each month through zoom and each discussion is hosted by WSU faculty, staff, or students. 

The Fall 2021 book is Sick: A Memoir by Porochista Khakpour and the Spring 2022 book is Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. You can register for these events on the Access Center Website

2021 – 2022 Schedule

Schedule – Fall 2021

Thursday, September 9th 4:00 pm 

Thursday, October 14th 4:00 pm 

Thursday, November 18th 4:00 pm 

Thursday, December 9th 4:00 pm  

Schedule – Spring 2022

Thursday, January 20th at 4:00 pm  

Thursday, February 17th at 4:00 pm 

Thursday, March 24th at 4:00 pm 

Thursday, April 14th at 4:00 pm  


Disability Awareness Symposium: Fitness for All (2021)

As an Access Advisor and the Awareness Coordinator for the Access Center, I coordinated the 2021 Disability Awareness Symposium. The theme of last year’s symposium is Fitness for All: Inclusive Fitness and Sport. The symposium was a week long (March 29-April 2, 2021) and looked at “fitness” from a holistic lens and included both mental and physical fitness. With help from our partners (University Recreation, GPSA, ASWSU, ADVANCE at WSU, WSU Graduate School, and Outreach and Education) we hosted over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff over the one week period.

We held a series of workshops and presentations focused on mindfulness, mental health, physical health, and nutrition. We also offered a series of adaptive workout classes over Zoom. These adaptive fitness classes will include: yoga, Pink Glove Boxing, cycling, Zumba, Weight lifting, and rock climbing.

We brought in Wesley Hamilton as the keynote for this event. Wesley is the Executive Director of the organization, Disabled But Not Really (DBNR). DBNR advocates for the disabled community by raising awareness about Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), promoting mental and physical wellness, and engaging diverse audiences through local and national events. Wesley was also a featured hero on Netflix’s Queer Eye Season 4, episode 2.

Wesley Hamilton Video

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Post-Tenure Pathfinders (2019)

Presentation by: Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles, NC State University

This workshop was designed for newly tenured Associate Professors to identify the challenges associated with post-tenure life and to better understand the diverse pathways that faculty members can take after winning tenure. In this workshop, we create a space where newly tenured faculty members can pause and intentionally reflect on future possibilities.

Participants learned:

  • The most common mistakes new faculty members make in their first post-tenure year
  • The NCFDD process for choosing their post-tenure pathway
  • How to create a new mentoring network and support system to ensure success in the next chapter of their career

PowerPlay Bias Awareness and Intervention Lab (2018)

This event was coordinated by ADVANCE at WSU and the Carson College of Business. We hosted over 150 faculty and staff from all WSU Campus sites.

PowerPlay’s Bias Awareness and Intervention Training Lab is focused on creating a fair and equitable workplace through building awareness of the biases that create obstacles towards that goal. The facilitated, interactive workshop allows participants to identify incidents of bias and then build the ability to address those issues in a positive and constructive way. Interaction involves witnessing brief moments of bias and experimenting with different strategies from the perspective of the bystander by suggesting intervention tactics to actors who then replay the scene. Participants get to play Director and Experimenter from the comfort of their chair. The PowerPlay team can also take “requests” on the spot: our actor-improvisers can examine incidents that are suggested from the audience that may be unique to a participant’s experience in this institution’s climate and culture.

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The Professional Development Initiative (2016-2018)

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) is organized by the WSU Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), and has received support through many partnerships and colleges across campus. This initiative provides a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success. The goal of PDI  is to ensure that all graduate and professional students have the skills, knowledge, and mindsets necessary to succeed both professionally and academically.

Through PDI, students can work on the following core competencies:

ACADEMIC  DEVELOPMENT: Research/scholarship; Effective teaching strategies; Critical thinking and problem solving; Transferable skills; Academic job strategy

CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Critical thinking and problem solving; Resumes and Transferable skills; Professional competitiveness; Career strategy; Interviewing and Negotiating

COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION: Effective communication; Mentoring relationships; Interpersonal understanding; Team-building; Networking; Conflict management

LEADERSHIP AND PROFESSIONALISM: Goal and milestone planning; Professional ethics; Leadership styles; Problem solving strategies and solutions; Evaluation and feedback; Applicable presentation skills

PERSONAL WELL-BEING: Financial planning; Mindfulness and mental health; Relationship management; Physical wellbeing

I was appointed as a graduate assistant through the PDI program from 2016-2018. In this position, I reported to the Interim Dean of the Graduate School with oversight of this Initiative, which is intended to enhance the graduate student training and facilitate a smooth transition into future careers in academia, government, or industry and the private-sector. Through my assistantship, I coordinated and implemented a total of 33 university-wide workshops and events for the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters and coordinated 45 university-wide workshops and events for the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters. We have served over 1,400 graduate and professional students, faculty, and staff.

News and Articles about PDI

Grad Cougs Get a Leg Up Through PDI

Graduate School Holds Events for Professional Development

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Regional Approaches to Women’s Leadership in STEMM Conference (2018)

As the WSU ADVANCE graduate assistant, I was tasked with coordinating many events throughout the year. One of our events was the Regional Approaches to Women’s Leadership in STEMM Conference. We hosted over 100 men and women from Washington State at WSU Spokane.

Increasing numbers of women in STEMM faculty and leadership in higher education is a challenge requiring capacity building and problem solving within and among educational institutions at all levels, involving graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty, and administrations. This regional conference built (1) competence and motivation to pursue leadership roles, and (2) organizational systemic strategies for increasing support to women in STEMM. These goals were accomplished through leadership training, gender in STEMM/academia presentations, and break-out groups aimed at enhancing capacity in grant writing and instruction, specifically addressing early career challenges.

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Wiley Research Exposition (2014-2015)

The Wiley Research Exposition was an initiative started in 2009 by the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). The Expo gave graduate and professional students a chance to share independently developed research projects, along with communicating and networking with alumni.

In 2015, we brought more than 300 graduate students to the CUB to present their research projects to alumni and their peers. During the exposition, $23,600 in scholarships were awarded to students with outstanding research projects. Exposition participants were given the opportunity to meet professionals in their field of study and gain experience with presenting their work.

In 2015, the keynote speaker Eric Nyberg, WSU alum, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. During his presentation, he shared his experience at WSU and spoke of the university’s impact on his career. He has worked for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the past 23 years.

News and Articles about the Wiley Research Expo

Student Research on Display at Wiley

Students to Show, Tell About Research 

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UTEP and El Paso Community

Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Celebrity Spaghetti Dinner (2010)

Founded in 1987, Las Americas is a homegrown non-profit dedicated to serving the legal needs of low income immigrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification. Since the beginning, Las Americas has provided representation to more than 30,000 low-income immigrants in El Paso. Las Americas’ clients come from all over the world, and our staff has helped clients from countries as far as Burma and Cameroon.

In 2010, I served as the event coordinator for the Last Americas Celebrity Waiter Dinner, which hosted over 400 people and raised a total of $16,000 for Las Americas Services.

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UTEP Homecoming Pageant (2008-2009)

As Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) at UTEP, I was tasked with coordinating the Homecoming Pageant. The Homecoming Pageant has been coordinated by SGA for over 25 years.

Homecoming is a tradition centered around bringing alumni and a new generation of students together to build camaraderie and celebrate school spirit. The weeklong festivities include tailgates, a pep rally, and other fun-filled activities that give alumni an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater.

Students take an active role in the Homecoming planning process by coming up with possible themes for the week and then voting on their favorite. The theme is incorporated into some of the events and activities throughout the week.