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Meet the 2020-2021 CSP Mentors Part 2

Categories: Blind or Visually Impaired

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 2 of this blog series and see if you have anything in common. You never know when or where a connection can be made!

To read Part 1 of this blog series, click here.

If you are a college student who is blind or low vision, and who is interested in working with one of our Mentors, please email us at csp@learningally.org.

Caitlin Mongillo
Education: BA in English and Secondary Education from Manhattanville College; MSW from Stony Brook University

Caitlin is a social worker and program director at an unemployment agency in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Currently, she works with people with disabilities and homeless families; helping them access training, resources and education in order to help them attain steady employment.

Caitlin spends her free time reading, writing, and hanging out with family and friends. She loves to travel and learn new things. She is excited to share her educational journey with the next generation of blind students and hopes that her experiences, both good and bad, will help students as they progress through higher education.

For Learning Ally, in addition to mentoring students, Caitlin facilitates one of the Mentor small groups.

Dezman Jackson
Education: BA in Psychology from Auburn University; MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a concentration in Orientation and Mobility from Louisiana Tech University

Blind from an early age due to cataracts and glaucoma, Dezman grew up in a small town near Mobile, Alabama. As a youngster, Dezman knew that he would have to overcome obstacles in life mainly imposed by those who held low expectations about blindness. He would eventually have an opportunity to raise expectations and inspire independence after gaining certification in Orientation and Mobility (O&M).

Currently, Dezman teaches O&M along with other skills at Blind Industries and Services of Maryland in Baltimore. He also enjoys the power of technology and access to information and is part of a team of digital accessibility testers at the nonprofit, My Blind Spot.

In his spare time, Dezman enjoys reading, podcasts and playing the saxophone and is active in his church. He has also become conscious of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and has a long-term goal of becoming a wellness coach. In addition, Dezman has a passion for empowering young people.

Dora Lopez
Education: BA in Psychology and MA in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Northern California

Dora currently works for the Orientation Center for the Blind in California. She became blind in 2010 due to retinal detachments and glaucoma. She is grateful because her blindness has given her numerous life-enriching opportunities. She enjoys spending her spare time with her family and being of service to others.

Emily Vasile
Education: BA in Elementary Education and Psychology and MAT in Special Education from The College of New Jersey; MS in Vision Rehabilitation from Salus University

Emily is a faculty member of the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Salus University and the Program Coordinator of the National Leadership Consortium in Sensory Disabilities at Salus University. Emily is certified in Elementary Education and Special Education in the state of New Jersey as well as a certified Teacher of Students with Visual impairments in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She is also a certified Low Vision Therapist through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP). Her areas of expertise include Low Vision Rehabilitation and Education of Students with Visual Impairments. Born with a cataract in her left eye and later on diagnosed with glaucoma, Emily never let her visual impairment define her ability to succeed. In her free time, Emily enjoys hiking, yoga and mindfulness, exploring, reading, singing and performing, and making art.

Glenn Dausch
Education: BA in Psychology from Dowling College

Glenn works as a web accessibility coordinator and lives in New York. While he doesn't see blindness as a barrier, he recognizes that no two people experience life the same way.

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and playing the guitar. He is looking forward to sharing his experiences, both as a student and as a university administrator, with students in the College Success Program.

For Learning Ally, in addition to mentoring his own students, Glenn facilitates one of the Mentor small groups and our weekly Meet Ups.

To read the biographies of the rest of our Mentors, click here.