Compiled by: Kristen Witucki, College Success Program Curriculum and Content Editor
The College Success Program is pleased to introduce our 27 Mentors for the 2020-2021 academic year, and what better time to do it than during Meet the Blind Month! Our Mentors represent a variety of interests, personalities, experiences, and knowledge. Read on to learn more about a few of them in Part 4 of this blog series and see if you have anything in common. You never know when or where a connection can be made!
This blog is the fourth in a 5-part series. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.
If you are a college student who is blind or low vision, and who is interested inworking with one of our Mentors, please email email@example.com to begin the process!
Maureen Hayden, AKA Maureen the Marine Biologist
Education: BS in Marine Biology from the University of Rhode Island; MS in Biology from Walawala University; currently pursuing a PhD in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University
Maureen's doctorate research focuses on learning more about the impacts of plastic pollution on Texas beaches and marine life. Maureen was born with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and has no vision in her right eye and is legally blind in her left eye.
In her free time, Maureen enjoys playing her trombone in both symphonic band and orchestra ensembles, going SCUBA diving on the weekends, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to share her experiences with blind students in higher education and to empower the next generation of blind persons pursuing STEM careers.
Education: BSW from the University of Texas at Austin
Meagan works as the assistant program coordinator at a transition program for 18-22 year old blind and visually impaired adults. Meagan is a mentor for both Learning Ally and the AFB Leadership Mentoring Program. In her free time, she likes to read, hike, camp, and spend time with friends and family.
Meagan likes to think of herself as a woman who just happens to be blind, rather than just a blind woman. Blindness has been part of her life since she was 16, but it's a very small part of who she is and she works hard to ensure that it doesn't stop her from accomplishing her goals in life. Meagan lives with her black lab, Rayven, and a roommate in Austin, Texas. One of her missions in life is to pass along valuable knowledge about living life in a sighted world as a happy, fulfilled member of society.
Education: BA in English, Spanish and French from Manhattanville College; MA in Language and Literacy from City College of New York
Megan is an advocate, a perpetual learner, teacher, cook and technology enthusiast who loves to read and write. She currently teaches adaptive technology. College is often a time of challenge, transition, and joyful exploration. Megan enjoy being a part of the College Success Program and supporting students through their journeys in higher education.
For Learning Ally, in addition to mentoring students, Megan co-facilitates one of the Mentor small groups.
Education: BA in Psychology, Education Studies and Disability Studies from UCLA; Ed.M in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University
Miso's work in mentoring students and advocating for disability policy is driven by her passion for equity and inclusion. Currently, her primary work is at the Human Services Research Institute, where she supports efforts to improve disability and aging policy across the United States. She is an aspiring educator and researcher, so she is thrilled to walk alongside blind college students through her work with Learning Ally. When she is not sitting in front of the computer screen, she can be found playing the flute, running, or going to various performing arts events.
Education: BA in Public Relations and Creative Writing from Ball State University; MA in Emerging Media Design and Development from Ball State University
Preston is a Web Accessibility Specialist at Rutgers University and a part-time lecturer in Rutgers's School of Communication & Information. Advocacy and equity are the driving passions behind his life and work. In his spare time, Preston enjoys traveling, listening to records, and playing with his Seeing Eye Dog, Burton.
To read the biographies of the rest of our mentors, click here.