Extending biology research opportunities to undergraduates with physical disabilities: lessons learned (the hard way)

Author: vanhoewyk

I earned a PhD in Biology in 2008, and for the past five years have recruited students with physical disabilities into my research lab at CCU. In 2013, I partnered with CCU’s Office of Accessibility to meet this goal. I have since worked with and provided accommodations or a diverse group of students, including those who are deaf, blind, use a wheel chair, and have a dexterity impairment. With funds from the National Science Foundation, I have established the summer CLIMB (Creating Leaders and Inclusion in Molecular Biology) research program to extend my efforts regionally. This program provides students with an opportunity to perform cutting-edge research in a supervised and safe environment. In addition to teaching, I routinely give national presentations that pertain to my academic research. A Fulbright Scholar Award in 2015 provided the opportunity to give 8 international presentations in Turkey. I have served on NSF panels that aim to extend diversity and inclusion in biology