McBurney Center forward in Access Awards

For the second year in a row, the McBurney Disability Resource Center took time this spring to recognize some of the critical campus partners that contribute to an inclusive campus community for students with disabilities. Members of the campus community were presented with Access Awards to recognize their efforts in supporting students with disabilities. Making the University accessible is a shared responsibility, and the McBurney Center relies on all members of the campus community to contribute to those efforts.

“There are so many wonderful faculty and staff on campus, who contribute to a welcoming and inclusive environment for students,” Magler said. “We wanted to take some time to recognize the good work people are doing, often without being asked to, because it’s just good practice.”

Check out this year’s recognized individuals below:


Photo of Peggy Weaver, Kate Doran, Caelyn Randall, and Amy Free standing in front of the McBurney Disability Resource Center wall sign
ASL Interpreter Peggy Weaver, Access Consultant Kate Doran, Communication Arts Lecturer Caelyn Randall, and ASL Interpreter Amy Free.

Caelyn Randall has gone out of the way to create an inclusive and welcoming environment in the classroom, resulting in a positive experience for both Deaf students and ASL interpreters. They set an example of how to easily, yet thoughtfully, include all students. Randall also took the initiative to make the experience welcoming from the beginning, says an ASL interpreter.

“As a service provider working on this campus for so long, it was refreshing to have it be so ‘normal’ from the get-go! Without any prompt or request from us, Caelyn has made effort to provide the Deaf student with lyrics to songs that are played at the beginning of class, provides printed copies of PowerPoints to us and the student, and has always addressed the Deaf student directly – making eye contact, calling on them by name during class discussion, being comfortable with the “lag” time it might take for the interpreting process. They have made a learning environment that is just so easy,” the interpreter said.


Carrie Niziolek holding award
Carrie Niziolek, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Professor Niziolek has worked to ensure an accessible classroom by utilizing Universal Design in unique and effective ways. Notably, Professor Niziolek took the effort to transcribe an audio podcast into text, then included that text in PowerPoint slides that followed the narrative. This made the podcast more accessible and enhanced the experience for all students with or without a hearing loss.

“Niziolek went above and beyond in providing materials to the captioner and applied effective accommodations for a class that was inherently challenging for hard of hearing students,” the nominators said.


Photo of Tony Utrie holding award standing in front of Dean of Students wall logo
Tony Utrie, Case Manager in the Dean of Students Office.

Tony Utrie provides support and care for students at UW-Madison managing symptoms of significant mental health conditions. Students with psychiatric disabilities make up over one-third of those affiliated with the McBurney Center, and staff often refer students to Utrie due to his respect and kindness to each student and his connections to local mental health resources.

“When McBurney Center staff refer a student to Tony, that student receives timely and thoughtful communication from him. His tireless work helps to break the stigma of mental health, something that is so immensely needed. Tony is a reminder of what it looks like to be a fierce and devoted advocate for students,” the nominators said.


Photo of Left to Right: Front DesPhoto of Ryan Keegan, Mike Mohr, Kris Wurgler, and Dr. Matt Bowman in an office setting
Left to Right: Front Desk Administrator Ryan Keegan, Access Consultant Mike Mohr, CART Captioner Kris Wurgler, and Dr. Matt Bowman, professor in the Chemistry Department.

Dr. Bowman works closely with CART captioners and students to ensure a high level of accuracy in classroom accommodations. He ensures that all equipment is operating properly and provides captions for all of his online classes.

“I feel that there is no need to explain the benefits of a CART accommodation to a professor such as Dr. Bowman. He just gets it. I have the impression that inclusion is really important to him and that he will work his hardest to create equal access for all. In addition, he is one of the humblest people I have met on this campus,” said one of the nominators.


Photo of Mike Mohr, Tim Gattenby, Ruben Mota, Heather Stelljes
Left to Right: Access Consultant Mike Mohr, Distinguished Faculty Associate in the Department of Kinesiology Tim Gattenby, Associate Director Ruben Mota, Access Consultant Heather Stelljes.

Tim Gattenby has fostered inclusivity at UW-Madison throughout his career by developing and maintaining the Adapted Fitness and Personal Training Classes for students and community members with disabilities. Adapted Fitness gives students with disabilities access to both recreational activities and wellness opportunities, expanding their independence in their daily life. Read more about Adapted Fitness here.

Gattenby has also helped create an initiative that looks at disability as a culture, with a focus on bringing more students with disabilities to UW-Madison. By bringing disability as diversity to the forefront, and creating an environment of belonging, participation, and growth for disabled students, Tim is setting up the campus to be more inclusive for years to come.


Photo of Karla Weber and Heidi Johnson holding their award
Karla Weber and Heidi Johnson.

The Office of Student Financial Aid, and specifically Heidi Johnson and Karla Weber, serve as advisors to McBurney students and contribute many hours of service to the scholarship committee. They review over 100 applications each year and score them based on financial need, taking into account any financial impact associated with each student’s disclosed disability. Their work helps ease the significant financial burden that some students with a disability face.


Photo of Brad Schenkel and 14 colleagues from the Campus Services team within the Physical Plant department
Brad Schenkel and the Campus Services team from the Physical Plant department.

Brad Schenkel and the Campus Services team have been instrumental in the provision of classroom furniture accommodations for students. Campus Services schedules and delivers furniture to various classrooms and labs across campus. Campus Service’s timeliness and flexibility is indispensable, and their work helps to create and inclusive environment for students with disabilities.

When the campus experienced building closures due to flooding from frozen pipes in February 2019, Campus Services delivered furniture on short notice to buildings where relocations had occurred so that students had the necessary accommodations for their new classrooms without delay.


Photo of Mike Kedzie holding his award
Mike Kedzie.

Mike Kedzie and EMS help provide access for students through their support of remote live captioning and their work making media accessible. Mike works to set up the technology in the Engineering podiums that delivers high-quality audio remotely to captioners so they can, in turn, provide high quality captioning to students. When time-sensitive technical issues occur, Mike and his team knowledgeably and enthusiastically provide support and troubleshooting.

“The McBurney Center works to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for student accommodations and access. However, it takes partners like EMS to approve, implement, and support portions of these solutions in the classrooms and in the online environments to make those solutions practical and a reality. Without those partnerships, the McBurney Center would have to resort to other, less innovative options that would not provide the same level of quality or inclusivity,” the nominators said.


Photo of the 7 person Undergraduate Academic Deans Services Team in the College of Letters and Science.
Undergraduate Academic Deans Services Team in the College of Letters and Science.

The team of L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans Services work to support students across campus. They listen to each student’s situation and concern, and help the student determine the clearest path forward, recognizing that situations change as disability symptoms fluctuate or health conditions change.

“McBurney Access Consultants feel assured in knowing that there are caring, understanding, and knowledgeable Academic Deans for consultation and referral when complex disability or sensitive situations arise. The L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans Services Team’s sure guidance, combined with their attention to each student’s individual situation, moves UW further forward in access for students with disabilities,” the nominators said.