The Wright State University Office of Disability Services (ODS) celebrated the accomplishments of 20 scholarship recipients at its 2022–2023 Scholarship Awards Banquet on April 21 in the Student Union Apollo Room.
The Office of Disability Services also presented its Golden Spoke Awards, given to groups or individuals that have gone above and beyond to work with and create a better environment for students with disabilities.
Evan Mason, chair of the Disability Services Scholarship Committee, said that this was the office’s first in-person event in three years.
“2020 was canceled weeks before the event and last year was virtual. It was really nice to get back to seeing everyone in person,” said Mason.
He also said that this year ODS hit a record of 359 scholarship applicants and handed out $45,000 in scholarships, bringing the total since 2020 to $146,007.
Amelia Whorton, a neuroscience and physiology major, credits ODS with being instrumental in advocating for her and what she needs to be successful. She said that receiving these scholarships has really helped her to thrive in her academics without worrying about funding.
After graduation, Warton aspires to a career as a professor with the goal of making STEM education as a whole more accessible.
“I believe that people with disabilities are born problem solvers and if we applied our natural abilities to the scientific community, we could get a lot done more quickly and efficiently,” said Warton.
Renee Dollenmayer, a rehabilitation services major, echoed that sentiment, saying that ODS provides her with a wide range of accommodations crucial to her academic success. She said that as an active participant in multiple student organizations, the scholarship has allowed her to focus on her studies and not worry about covering the cost of school.
“Just being someone who is disabled, there are a lot of extra costs that go into just living daily life,” Dollenmayer said. “The scholarship has allowed me to do things that I would never dream of such as running for leadership positions in my student organizations on campus.”
The 2022-2023 scholarship recipients are:
- Nicolas Byrne: ACB-Ohio Scholarship, $2,000
- Jamie Naylor: Fairborn Lions Scholarship, $500
- Jamie Naylor and Sharon Dodds: Helen Keller Scholarship, $3,000 each
- Amity Pennington: Leber Family Scholarship, $2,000
- Anuj Roy: Jeffrey Vernooy Scholarship, $1,500
- Matthew Schulz: Frederick A. White Prize, $300
- Renee Dollenmayer: Frederick A. White Scholarship, $2,500
- Kaylee Raines: Jodi Pretekin Watts Leadership Assistance Scholarship, $5,000
- Lloyd Ford: Robert S. Milling, Sr. Scholarship, $1,000
- Lauren Onianwa: Michael Emrick Scholarship, $2,500
- Kayla O’Daniel: Thomas C. Fay Endowed Scholarship, $900
- Alena McCain: Samantha Laux Scholarship, $2,500
- Kya Miles: Lee R. and Mary Menke Memorial Scholarship, $4,000
- Amelia Whorton and Aubrey Weaver: M. Patrick Daniels Scholarship, $5,000 each
- Harrison Aunspaw, Lyndsey Ramsaw and Elaina Thomas: Spirit of 1970 Scholarship, $1,000 each
- Megan Miller and Morgan Robertson: B. Jean Denney Scholarship, $400 each
The 2022–2023 Golden Spoke Award recipients are Ayşe Şahin, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Ashley Mixson of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.
Şahin was honored for her work in developmental math courses, which are often a barrier for students with disabilities. Tom Webb, director of disability services, said that Şahin never hesitates to seek advice from ODS to problem-solve complex situations.
“ (Dr. Şahin) has been very creative with her approach and is quick to step in and help find solutions. That is refreshing,” said Webb.
Mixson was awarded the Golden Spoke for her work connecting students with job resources that will help prepare them for their careers. This includes connecting students with internships as well her work with the Workforce Recruitment Program.