Speaker Biographies

Jamie Axelrod

Jamie Axelrod, M.S. is the Director of Disability Resources at Northern Arizona University and a past-president of AHEAD. Jamie presents regularly on topics related to disability access and higher education, having expertise in disability law and policy, communication and information technology (ICT) access, and the reasonable accommodation process. Jamie is a respected contributor to professional listservs, having received the Fink-Ryan Award for the quality of his guidance, and a go-to consultant for complex issues. He has worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s athletic department, as a mental health therapist, and for Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc., a disability rights advocacy law firm where he served as an advocate for individuals with disabilities who were claiming that their civil rights had been violated. Jamie has served as co-chair of Northern Arizona University’s Commission on Disability Access and Design, AHEAD’s Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Disability Access in Heath Science Education. 

Lawrence Berger

Lawrence “Larry” D. Berger is Of Counsel to Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP. The primary focus of his practice is representing people with disabilities, including medical students and law students, obtaining fairness in professional licensing, testing accommodations for “high stakes” exams including the United States Medical Licensing Examination (“USMLE”) and other licensing exams, and the right of people with disabilities to live and work in the community. Previously, Larry practiced for more than 35 years as a partner in two Philadelphia law firms specializing in commercial litigation including class actions (both plaintiffs and defendants), antitrust and securities law, contract law, mortgage lending and other secured transactions. Larry currently serves as an Arbitrator on commercial matters for the American Arbitration Association.

Laura Yvonne Bulk

Laura Yvonne Bulk, PhD, OT (Reg. BC), BSW is a scholar, advocate, friend, learner, woman, teacher, mentor, daughter, accessibility advisor, mentee, disabled person, occupational therapist (OT), Christian, artist, and activist. Her heart for hospitality and belonging is reflected in her work with the disability, higher education, and health professional communities. As the Accessibility Advisor for students in health professional programs at The University of British Columbia (UBC), she has the privilege of coming alongside learners and programs to make health professions education more hospitable to learners with disabilities. 

She obtained a Bachelor's of anti-oppressive Social Work from the University of Victoria, and Masters of Occupational Therapy from UBC. Her doctorate focused on sense of belonging in higher education – for Disabled and non-disabled staff, faculty, and students. Since 2012 she has been involved in scholarship focused on Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) in health professions. Her scholarly work incorporates elements of public scholarship, including research-based theatre and workshops. Laura is grateful to the Indigenous Peoples who have cared for the lands on which much of her living and working happens, including the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations. Some keywords that describe her work include belonging, #HigherEd, health professions education, teaching and learning, accessibility, palliative care, occupational science, #DisabilityAsDiversity, and solidarity. 

Diana M. Cejas

Diana M. Cejas, MD, MPH is a pediatric neurologist and faculty of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through her clinical work, she cares for youth with a broad spectrum of developmental disabilities with complex neurological and psychiatric comorbidities. She seeks to improve health outcomes in this population as they transition to adulthood and serves as Principal Investigator of studies that explore their unique experiences. 

Since surviving cancer and a stroke during her residency, Dr. Cejas has devoted much of her career to patient advocacy and improving communication between healthcare providers and the disability community, particularly young disabled patients of color. She shares her own story and other commentary on disability and health via essays and other nonfiction. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in medical journals including The Journal of the American Medical Association and Neurology; literary magazines including The Iowa Review, Ecotone, and Catapult; and anthologies including Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century and A Measure of Belonging: Twenty-One Writers of Color on the New American South. She is currently working on a collection of essays that describes her life as both physician and patient.

Grace Clifford

Grace Clifford, MEd is the Director for Disability Services at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Born and raised in Cleveland, Grace is a double alumnus of Baldwin Wallace University where she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology (’09) and a Master’s in Leadership in Higher Education (’11). She has authored and co-authored several publications and pending publications regarding disability accommodation determination and disability access; including chapters in: Principles and Practice of College Health (Vaughn, Viera 2020), Equal Access for Students with Disabilities: The Guide for Health Science and Professional Education, Second Edition (Meeks, Jain, Laird 2020), and Disability as Diversity (Meeks, Neal-Boylan, 2020).

Her current research focuses on developing group models to support students with executive functioning and psychological based disabilities, barriers to seeking accommodations for under-resourced students, and improving disability access in health science and professional education.

 

Jennifer Gossett

Jennifer E. Gossett, M.S. began her career in Higher Education working with new student orientation programs, then went on to the Peace Corps, served in Americorps, and worked in Wilderness Therapy before coming back to Higher Education to work in Disability Services. She received a Master of Science focused in Educational Leadership and Policy and a Graduate Certificate in Student Affairs Administration from Portland State University in 2010. She has over 10 years’ experience working in disability services including work in policy development, training, and accessibility assessments for both the digital and physical environment.

 

Sarah Hein

Sarah Hein, RN, NP graduated from the University of Michigan with her master’s in nursing and family nurse practitioner certification. While attending Loyola University of Chicago, she finished with a master’s degree in Neuroscience. Previously, she attended the University of Michigan where she was awarded a bachelor’s in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Sciences. She further rounded out her education by obtaining her bachelor’s in nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy. She was previously a registered nurse at Henry Ford Health System in the Metro Detroit area, adept in areas such as acute care nursing, community health and employee health nursing. Currently, she is working as a primary care nurse practitioner resident at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan. Her ultimate career goals include setting up a fully accessible health clinic for those with disabilities, as well as participating in medical volunteer programs abroad to help other cultures understand how to provide fully accessible healthcare to Deaf, Deaf blind and hard of hearing individuals.

 

Neera Jain

Neera Jain, PhD, CRC  is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Health Education Scholarship at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine. Formerly a disability services leader in health science education, Neera’s research brings disability studies theory to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion-related research in medical education. 

 

Maria Keller

Maria Keller, PhD currently serves as the Associate Director of the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) at the University of California Riverside, providing disability services to students in high stakes programs across various disciplines, leading the Disability Specialist team, informs on best practices and provides trainings to faculty and staff in matters of accessibility and inclusion.  Dr. Keller has over 20 years of combined experience as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in academic and community settings, providing mental health services, LD testing, counseling, clinical supervision, program development and oversight.

Areas of specific interest include program oversight, advising, training/teaching, integrative health, trauma, neurological and psychological disabilities, the impact on learning and disability management, specifically as it relates to accessible educational opportunities in high stakes programs.



Christine Low

Christine Low, LCSW-R is the Director of Disability Services for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and has served on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education since 2016. Christine has co-authored several publications and has presented nationally on topics such as: Professional Communication Around Disability Status and Utilizing the ADA and Case Law in Determining Reasonable Accommodations.


Marie Lusk

Marie Lusk, MSW serves as the Director for the Office of Student Accessibility Services at Rush University in Chicago. Marie has opened and built up an accessibility office for a private health science institution in Chicago and has contributed to several publications, such as a contributing author for one chapter in Disability as Diversity and an article in Disability Compliance for Higher Education regarding Technical Standards and has presented at national symposiums on the following topics, Opening and Operating a new Health Science Accessibility Office and the use of a Diagnostic OSCE to  discern deficit from disability.

Emily Magee

Emily Magee, MS has over 5 years of experience as a disability resource professional. She received her Bachelors of Science and Master's of Science in Exceptional Student Education from Florida State University. Emily previously served as an Access Specialist at Eastern Florida State College where she developed a passion for Allied Health. She further developed her skills in health science disability access as an Access Coordinator at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and currently serves as the Director of Student Disability Services at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Emily has contributed to the field through her work with students, trainings with AHEAD and the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science Education and through the academic literature. 

 

Lisa M. Meeks

Lisa M. Meeks, PhD is the lead investigator of the Meeks Research Group and is passionate about equal access to education and healthcare for persons with disabilities. She holds an appointment in Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, and appointments in Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Colorado Medical School. Meeks has co-authored several articles and books on the subject of disability in medical and professional education, helping to inform policy and best practice in disability inclusion. She also consults with leading health science programs on a myriad of disability-related issues.

Her work has been featured on NPR, the Washington Post, CNBC, Bloomberg Law, the Chicago Tribune, and in The New Physician magazine from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). She is the co-creator of the social media campaign #DocsWithDisabilities on twitter and co-host of the Docs with Disabilities Podcast. In addition, she co-founded the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education, co-developed of both the AAMC Disability Webinar Series and the UCSF Disability Training Series for Faculty and Administrators, served as the co-PI and lead author of the AAMC Special Report: Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians with Disabilities, and currently serves as a contributing author to the ACGME Equity Matters Initiative.

 

Gregory A. Moorehead

Gregory A. Moorehead, Ed.D. has served as director of the Center for Students with Disabilities at DePaul University in Chicago, the nation’s largest Catholic University, where he is responsible for the accommodations of more than 1,200 students.  DePaul was recently ranked #11 in Petersen’s Guide for Top Universities for students with learning disabilities. Prior to DePaul, Moorehead served as the first director of disability services at the University of Chicago. Prior to the University of Chicago, Moorehead served as the director of disability services at Rutgers University where he centralized services, developed a full-time staff, and secured expanded and renovated facilities for the department’s growing needs.  

Prior to disability services Moorehead worked with a number of grant funded programs at Western Michigan University to support underrepresented populations.  Since 2019 he has served on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Disability Services Advisory Committee. He is one of the founding members of the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science, and is one of the contributing authors to the book, Equal Access for Students with Disabilities. 

He holds Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Ed.D. all from Western Michigan University.

 

Kristina H. Petersen

Dr. Kristina H. Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department and the Assistant Dean of Academic Support Programs at New York Medical College. Since arriving at NYMC in 2014, she received two Student Senate Awards for enhancement of student life, six mentoring/teaching awards, and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. In 2021, the NYMC AOA Chapter nominated her for the Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Petersen leads a team that focuses on all aspects of academic support, including supporting students who receive accommodations. Kristina is a Co-PI on two IRB-approved research projects with Dr. Lisa Meeks, and is a co-author on two chapters in Disability as Diversity: A Guidebook for Inclusion in Medicine, Nursing, and the Health Professions. She served as Board Member At Large in 2019 and was appointed President-Elect in 2020. 

Jan Serrantino

Jan Serrantino Ed.D. retired from her role as Director of the Disability Services Center at the University of California, Irvine. She worked directly with students with disabilities in the Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Medicine.

Jan has over 30 years of experience and presents regularly at professional conferences on best practices when serving Health Science students in Higher Education. Jan is the past President of the Coalition on Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education and co-author of two chapters in The Guide to Assisting Students with Disabilities: Equal Access in Health Science and Professional Education (Springer Publishing).

Currently Jan is an Independent Consultant assisting universities with health science programs and individual students. Jan’s career includes working in the field of disability resources as a K-12 teacher, administrator, university faculty member, and student advocacy consultant.

Erene Stergiopoulos

Erene Stergiopoulos MD is a fourth year resident in psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Her research explores the experiences of medical students and doctors with disabilities, and the hidden curriculum around disability and wellness in medical training. She completed her BSc in Psychology, MA in History and Philosophy of Science, and MD at the University of Toronto. She also works as a freelance journalist, with bylines in STAT News, Nautilus Magazine, and VICE magazine.



Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan, PhD has worked in the field of disability services for the past 11 years and has worked directly with Health Sciences programs at both private universities and community colleges. In his student affairs roles, Matt has experience providing leadership and direction for a variety of programs and services in the areas of disability, testing, tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and academic coaching. Matt currently serves as the Assistant Director of Disability Resources at Washington University in St. Louis, where he works closely with students, faculty and staff to create an accessible and inclusive educational environments for disabled students pursuing their degrees within Health Sciences and Medicine.

Charles Weiner

Charles Weiner, JD is a Pennsylvania attorney whose private practice is focused on Civil Rights Disability Rights. His practice includes representing students with disabilities in education matters from Pre-Kindergarten through college and graduate school. He represents clients not only throughout Pennsylvania involving special education and school discipline but he also represents individuals with disabilities throughout the nation in obtaining accommodations in post-secondary entrance exams and professional licensing and certification examinations such as the SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, bar exams and the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) and  COMLEX. He recently successfully tried cases against the National Board of Medical Examiners in Berger v. National Board of Medical Examiners and Hartman v. National Board of Medical Examiners. 

Weiner has conducted numerous seminars and workshops on topics involving the Americans With Disabilities Act, Individual with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Weiner served as a Commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights from 2014 to 2017 and continues to be and active contributor on the Commission. Weiner received his J.D. in 1988 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New York and has been admitted pro hac in Federal District Courts in several states.