2021 Award Winners

Ronald E. Blosser Dedicated Service Award

Lyman Dukes

Lyman Dukes, III, University of South Florida

In the last three years, Dr. Dukes has directed a project to update the AHEAD Professional Standards and served on working groups to update the AHEAD Program Standards and the AHEAD Code of Ethics. Few others have taken such an active leadership role in modernizing and making clear all of the critical elements of our field. Dr. Dukes worked tirelessly to ensure that the foundational documents of AHEAD, documents that had not evolved for several decades, had new life breathed into them and reflected the growth and aspirations of our field.


AHEAD Honor for Meritorious Contribution Award

Carol Funckes

Carol Funckes, AHEAD

Over her career, Carol has been President of AHEAD’s Board, a senior leader at the University of Arizona Disability Resource Center, and AHEAD’s first Chief Operating Officer; in these roles and in her robust outreach and consulting, she has made significant contributions not just to AHEAD but to the entire disability resources (DR) profession. As AHEAD’s first Chief Operations Officer, Carol oversaw professional development and initiated several new programs. She also led annual conference planning as well as all other meetings. Under Carol’s leadership, she revamped the website and AHEAD’s online communication vehicles. Carol’s contributions to AHEAD and to DR is truly unmatched. In her work inside and outside AHEAD, Carol has taught countless professionals how to reframe disability in their work and build strategic partnerships on their campuses to ultimately shift the narrative on disability away from charity and compliance to equity and social justice.

Duraese Hall Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award

Andrea Neal

Andrea Neal, Goucher College

Andrea Neal Is a partnering chair for the Racial, Ethnic Diversity and Disability Knowledge & Practice (REDD K&P) Community.  Andrea has also begun working on a strategic plan for REDD K&P that will outline the community’s efforts for the next five years, and include objectives and goals outlined in AHEAD's Strategic Plan.  Andrea believes that "Advocacy is service. Your own personal experiences and motivations that inspire you to get into advocacy work will lead you to a particular issue or organization to serve...advocacy is about the people 2 that you serve. Your voice should be their voice magnified. Their issues should become important to you, but it is important to remember people are not an "issue." The group of people you serve is made up of full and complex human beings, so be mindful not to perpetuate negative stereotypes through your work. If you are part of the majority, do not take over or become the face of an existing group where a person in a minority has created a space." (from https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2020/04/27/service-is-the-rent-we-pay-for-theprivilege-of-living-on-this-earth).

JPED Reviewer of the Year Award

Nancy Resendes Chinn
Christa Bialka

Nancy Resendes Chinn, Santa Rosa Junior College and Christa Bialka,
Villanova University

Every year the Editors of AHEAD’s Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability recognize individuals from among the 60+ member Editorial Board with the JPED Reviewer of the Year Award. These recipients provide exceptional service to the Board and share knowledgeable and insightful peer review of the manuscripts submitted for publication each year.

The Editors have given the award to two members in 2021. The first is Dr. Nancy Resendes Chinn who is a faculty member in disability resources working in both sports medicine and Veterans Affairs programs at Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and conducts research on the topic of concussion education and collegiate sports. Her book The Appointment That Can't Wait, which focuses on working with students who experience concussions, is part of the new Foundations in Disability Resources Monograph Series published by AHEAD.

The other Reviewer of the Year Award recipient is Dr. Christa Bialka. She is a professor of Special Education in the Department of Education and Counseling at Villanova University, where she prepares educators to teach disabled students. Her research interests include understanding the development of teacher dispositions, preparation of teachers for inclusive classrooms and disability awareness.

All who work to publish the JPED and the members of AHEAD congratulate both of these colleagues on receiving this honor.

AHEAD Partner Recognition Award

Greg Morehead
Lisa Meeks
Tim Montgomery

The Coalition for Disability Access

Founders: Greg Morehead, Lisa Meeks, & Tim Montgomery


As an organization, The Coalition has exceeded its mission to serve as the preeminent resource regarding access for people with disabilities in health science education. The Coalition has accomplished this through intentional leadership that fosters the development and dissemination of innovative practices, scholarship, and education. This is demonstrated by the countless collaborations, including a monthly series in Disability Compliance in Higher Education called the Coalition Corner, creation of the guide (in two 2nd editions) Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education (Meeks, Jain, Laird 2020), the health professions strand curated by board members of the Coalition for AHEAD's yearly conference, the introductory and advanced management training series on disability in health professions for AHEAD and the Equal Access Book Club, a collaboration between Springer Publishing, AHEAD, and the Coalition. Furthermore, the Coalition has demonstrated a commitment to fostering and promoting health science disability 2 service providers as subject matter experts by encouraging and inviting their participation in academic scholarship that has led to multiple publications on the topic.

Student Recognition Award

Ira McKinzie
Lizzie Allen

Ira McKinzie, Portland Community College

Ira McKenzie is an outstanding student leader, who has worked hard to give students with disabilities a voice.  Ira, recognizing that although our school had services and programs to support the cultural needs of other groups, the disabled students were limited to receiving accommodations. Ira, who is a member of the LGQBT community, also experiences a disability. Through their work at the Queer Resource center (QRC), they were introduced to many others with similar intersectional connections and initiated a support group for these students to share and troubleshoot experiences at PCC.  During the pandemic Ira launched our Virtual Town Halls, a monthly zoom gathering where students with disabilities could meet and discuss topics that matter to them. These conversations connected our students in a way they hadn't been before.

Lizzie Allen, Portland State University

Lizzie Allen is a justice-centered, bright, humble, and dedicated student staff and intern at the Disability Resource Center at Portland State University. She is an advocate for disability community, a facilitator of disability pride and an activist for disability justice on our campus, in Portland, and online. Lizzie is an AHEAD member and an ORAHEAD member and engages in professional development on a regular basis.  She is an outspoken advocate for chronically ill/disabled students like herself and she not only amplifies the experiences of an entire community but also serves as a beacon to students with chronic illness who haven't thought about the benefits of connecting with the DRC or making connections with students who are having similar experiences.


Retirees 2020-2021

  • Tonya Bassé, Southwestern Community College
  • Randy Borst, University of Buffalo (SUNY)
  • Malka Edelman, Farmingdale State College (SUNY)
  • Jim Kessler, UNC-Chapel Hill, AHEAD, Salome Heyward & Associates
  • Lisa King, Catherine University
  • Carolyn Swindle, University of North Georgia
  • Sabina Vermeulen, NC State University
  • Karen Pettus, University of South Carolina
  • Elizabeth Harrison, University of Dayton
  • Carol Funkes, AHEAD

In Memorium 2020-2021

  • Dr. Susan Vogel, Feb 22, 1940 – May 4, 2021