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Disability Studies|Wyoming Institute for Disabilities

Past Disability Studies Graduates


Sean Miller photo

Sean Miller

  • 2013 Graduate-Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Plans to fulfill ten months of service with City Year and then graduate school for Education, Social Work, or Counseling
Sean Miller knew the Minor in Disability Studies was a perfect fit after signing up for the course Gender and Disability Studies. “The readings Michelle gave us were making connections not only to my personal life but also to my academic life,” said Miller. “While I was enrolled in the course I decided to become a minor added to my Gender and Women's Studies major. During my entire time at UW, they both have really complemented each other. It was the perfect fit.”

Miller did his practicum at the UW Lab School. The practicum experience was so influential, Miller completely changed his future plans. He said, “I was originally planning on attending graduate school to receive an MA in Gender and Women's Studies. However being in the Lab School every day changed my career plans to City Year and to go into an education career. When I told Michelle, she was not at all surprised that I was following this path. I am now excited for my new plans to be a future education staff member, and I that hope to use inclusion and social justice in my career.”

Ashley Eller

  • 2013 Graduate-Speech Language Pathology
  • Attending graduate school in Speech Language Pathology in Boise, Idaho

Ashley Eller’s major in speech language pathology led her to taking classes in disability studies. “I took class as an elective, and I really enjoyed it. It fit so well, so I just kept taking classes!” For her practicum experience, Eller worked at Spring Wind, an adult care center in Laramie in the Memory Care Unit. “I shadowed many occupational and physically therapists and even took part in come evaluations. At first, I felt uncomfortable in the Memory Care Unit, but I learned that everyone is really the same, and I grew to love working there. As a speech language pathologist, your relationship and trust between you and the client is huge,” said Eller.

As a result of her practicum, Eller developed an interest in dementia and dementia care.


Jordan Purdy headshot

Jordan Purdy

  • 2012 graduate
  • Attending The University of Nebraska Kearney for graduate studies in speech language pathology

Jordan Purdy saw Introduction to Disabilities Studies in the class registration booklet while looking for a diversity credit and immediately wanted to sign up for the course. Her advisor recommended that she focus on other areas instead. However, Purdy decided to take the intro course anyway—and she believes it was one of the best choices she made in her undergraduate coursework in speech pathology.

“I was immediately interested taking the course because I have two siblings with disabilities. Also, as a speech pathology student, I saw disability from a medical standpoint. The minor introduced me to more views, aspects, laws, and a wider look at the field,” said Purdy.

After the taking the intro course, Purdy enrolled in the full minor, which requires a practicum experience. Purdy’s practicum was at the Cathedral Home for Children in Laramie, Wyoming where she helped teach science to the special education class. The experience, she said, was great for learning to work with adolescents and younger children.

“The minor is great. The stories you hear in Michelle’s classes really change people’s attitudes. Lots of people sign up for the course to earn a diversity credit, and most end up surprised with everything they learn. The minor helped change my point of view and learn how large disability culture is. I feel as if now I can be a better advocate for my family and my future clients,” concluded Purdy.

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