Thursday, June 25, 2015

BW Alumna Helps Break Barriers; Honored with CWRU Award

A grad who helps break down roadblocks for students with disabilities is shining at Case Western Reserve University. Alumna Grace Clifford has been named CWRU's Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Professional Staff Member of the Year. A two time BW graduate, Clifford earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2009 and is a 2011 graduate of the Leadership in Higher Education master's program.

As the Associate Director of Disability Resources, Clifford is in charge of policy and program development, evaluating student documentation, determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities and helping to implement those accommodations. For some students, college is the first time that their disability has been pushed to the point of becoming a barrier.

"I help students understand that having a disability doesn't have to be a burden or a permanent roadblock." Clifford explained, "I am fortunate to work with some hardworking, driven and exceptionally bright individuals." Working with students one-on-one is Clifford's favorite part about her job. She recently became the faculty advisor to a new student group at CWRU that promotes awareness of disability related issues.

Nominated by colleagues, the recipient of the award is someone who exemplifies the Division of Student Affairs values, which include community involvement, diversity, justice and civic engagement.