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Pictured are faculty honorees Donna Wiencek, Catherine Moore, Glen Daugherty, Randall Sluss, Damon McArthur, Beate Wilson, Brenda Porter and Christopher Kovacs.
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DRC Holds Faculty Appreciation Luncheon

March 23, 2015

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MACOMB, IL - The Disability Resource Center (DRC) at Western Illinois University celebrated WIU faculty members' contributions to disability access in the classroom at the inaugural Faculty Appreciation Luncheon and Awards Ceremony Thursday, March 12.

According to Gretchen Steil Weiss, DRC learning specialist and coordinator of the event, the DRC wanted to find a way to honor professors who welcome diversity in the classroom.

"These faculty go above and beyond expectations; they have a great passion for learning and they recognize the importance of inclusion and dignity for a diverse student body," said Weiss. "We thank them for their commitment to students and to WIU as a whole."

Awards were given to faculty who were nominated by a student with a disability and met the following criteria:
• Set a welcoming tone in the classroom
• Display a willingness to discuss and arrange accommodations or work with the DRC to arrange accommodations
• Make the accommodation process simple
• Communicate openly and honestly with students
• Maintain the confidentiality of students
• Demonstrate flexibility
• Make themselves readily available to give guidance and answer questions

In addition to the award, recipients were given a Macomb Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificate.

Matt Lawson, WIU student and president of Students for Disability Awareness chapter, was on hand to help present the awards.

"It was an honor meeting and shaking the hands of the wonderful faculty that make this University more accessible for all students," said Lawson.

The following faculty received the award:
• Glenn Daugherty, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
• Melinda Grimm, Curriculum and Instruction
• Mary Jensen, Curriculum and Instruction
• Christopher Kovacs, Kinesiology
• Damon McArthur, Art
• Catherine Moore, Foreign Languages and Literatures
• Renee Polubinsky, Kinesiology
• Brenda Porter, English and Journalism
• Diane Sandage, Sociology and Anthropology
• Randall Sluss, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
• Donna Wiencek, Management and Marketing
• Beate Wilson, Sociology and Anthropology

Tara Buchannan, director of the Disability Resource Center, said the event was planned to honor WIU faculty for making a difference in the lives of their students and to let them know they are appreciated.

The Disability Resource Center is the campus department that consults with faculty on disability access and approves modifications and auxiliary aids that make sure students with disabilities get an equal opportunity to education. Faculty who would like consultation on accessibility in the classroom or students who experience barriers in the classroom due to disability may contact the DRC at (309) 298-2512 or email

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