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Disability Studies Minor Graduates

Congratulations to the class of 2021!

Carson Asher, McKenna Aullman, Mikayla Benson, Emily Brophy, Chloe Crosby, Nicole Culver, Ellie Dahill, Erin Decker, Michaella Dukart, Brayden Gaston, Katroina Graefenhain, Jade Gordon, Krista Heikes, Nicole Horblit, Riley LilJesstrom, Lindsay McCauley, Marley Newton




  • Carson Asher

    Hello! I am receiving my Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology along with a minor in Disability Studies. The Disability Studies minor has been a major influence in both my academic and professional life. In the past two years I have worked as a service provider for those who might have cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, or both. My goal as a service provider is always to make sure these individuals have access to all of the opportunities life has to offer. The disability studies minor has given me much insight into invisible disabilities such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. I wish to pursue more in-depth research of these conditions. My plan is to attend Pharmacy School in the Fall of 2022 to achieve this goal.

  • McKenna Aullman

    I am graduating with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Disability Studies. I completed my studies with a research and focus of inclusion within the classroom. One of my goals for the future is to create a safe and welcoming learning environment where all students can succeed. I am beyond excited to have accepted a position teaching first grade in Thayne, Wyoming for the upcoming school year.
  • Mikayla Benson

    My name is Mikayla Benson, and I’m majoring in Speech-Language Pathology, with a minor in Disability Studies and a certificate in American-Sign Language. I am graduating this May and will be continuing my education in the SLP Master’s program here at the University of Wyoming. Throughout my undergraduate work in the minor, I have critically analyzed disciplinary perspectives regarding disability and work on challenging the preconceived notions, system inequality, and stigmas that continue to permeate society. I am so grateful to have been a part of the Disability Studies Minor. I will continue involvement in disability studies-related work in my graduate career and as a future speech-language pathologist. I can't wait!

  • Emily Brophy

    Major: Psychology; Minors: Disability studies, honors, and early childhood education; Certifications: American Sign Language 

    My disability studies minor furthers my drive to become an advocate for students with disabilities. My plan is to become a school counselor. I am pursuing a master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of Wyoming starting this coming summer 2021. My goal is to share my knowledge of disability studies practice and theory. My immediate goal is to become a school counselor and continue my training in disability studies and relevant fields. My long-term goal is to support rural communities in education and acquisition of trained professionals to support the disability community. Disability studies is near and dear to my heart, and I understand the importance of support and access. I hope to spread and support the implementation of accessibility technology for individuals across rural communities.

  • Chloe Crosby

    Hello! I am the youngest of five children and will be the first-generation college graduate in my immediate family. My major is in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and I could not be more thankful for my minor in Disability Studies. Something that has followed my experience as the youngest is being an aunt to many nieces and nephews, including identical twin girls with autism. The opportunity to be their aunt has fundamentally altered my life and who I see myself becoming. I desire to work with individuals with autism in the future and my Disability Studies Minor has been the perfect way to gain more insights for when I achieve this goal. Having a disability within my own family has enabled me to see the transformations that can occur in family members and parents of children with a disability. I believe this experience will heavily aid in supporting the families of my future clients. My minor in Disability Studies has driven me to ponder the complex theories surrounding disability and has ultimately empowered me to become an advocate for this community. I will be attending the University of Wyoming Speech-Language Pathology program this Fall 2021 where I will receive my master's degree and begin to assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults!

  • Ellie Dahill

    I am graduating with a major in Speech, Language, and Hearing Science and a minor in Disability Studies. Next year, I am going to continue my education here at the University of Wyoming to earn my master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. Earning my minor in disability studies has sparked my interest in working with the disability community as an SLP. Completing my practicum at the Head Start in Laramie has given me a insight into the many different opportunities that I will have to work with individuals with disabilities. Completing all of the requirements for the disability studies minor will help me be a more well-rounded and knowledgeable SLP in the future. I’m looking forward to taking all that I have learned about disability and helping the disability community here in Wyoming.

  • Erin Decker

    BM – Music Education, String Emphasis

    Disability Studies Minor

    Hometown: Laramie, WY

    Going through the Disability Studies program opened my eyes to a variety of ways that my field of study can positively impact the students that I teach in the future. I already had an appreciation for music; it is a way to connect to others and share experiences that no other form of expression can. Through my time with WIND, this appreciation grew as I was exposed to more perspectives, pedagogy, and history related to the field of disability studies. The ideal of inclusion in the classroom that I had previously held has now grown and been given a foundation of knowledge that will dramatically impact the way I will teach. My classroom will be a space where all students learn to create, explore, express themselves, and ultimately, be human.

  • Michaella Dukart

    My name is Michaella Dukart and I am a Music Education Major with a minor in Disability Studies. I am finishing up my student teaching up in Sheridan, Wyoming. I used my minor in my core music classes to help shape lessons and think about assistive technology that could be used in music programs. My big research project was about assistive technology that was specific to music or adapting other technology to use in music. My next step is to teach music in Wyoming. I will be teaching high school and middle school music in Greybull, Wyoming next school year.

  • Brayden Gaston

    I graduated magna cum laude last fall with a BS in Physiology. I am currently working as a client intake and patient care Americorps Member at the Downtown Clinic. I also work as a Medicaid waiver provider for clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Albany County. Both of my jobs are consistently influenced by what I have learned in my studies at the University of Wyoming, especially in the disability studies department. I am applying to medical schools this summer and plan to matriculate in 2022 with hopes of becoming a patient-centered physician. I plan to use my leadership and agency to advocate for persons with disabilities and create a more inclusive future in our healthcare system.

  • Jade Gordon

    I have spent my time at the University of Wyoming pursuing a degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Disability Studies and a certification in American Sign Language Studies. My minor in Disability Studies has influenced many of my academic and professional decisions, as it has helped me to become a more active listener, as well as taught me strategies to create inclusive environments in many different settings. Through the courses offered by WIND, I was able to complete a practicum placement in a Special Education setting and was asked later to come back as a paid employee. After graduation, I will be attending the University of Montana's Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program and hope to not only become a board-certified Speech-Language Pathologist, but to work with members of the disability community in K-8 education. This minor has fostered in me a keen interest in Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices and learning more about Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.

  • Katroina Graefenhain

  • Krista Heikes

    My major is social work, I have been doing my practicum at Greener Paths inc. My practicum field works with individuals with identified disabilities and with brain injuries. We also work with clients with long term health issues. My minor helped me to focus on where I wanted to work and do my practicum. I started to work at Greener Paths inc. the August after I finished my minor. Then when it came to finding a practicum placement, they offered for me to do it here with them and I accepted. I get to see the case management side and not just the direct support staff side. It has all been a huge learning experience and my minor has helped me along the way with some of the things I have learned at my placement. After graduation I will be working to become a case manager at Greener Paths Inc.

  • Nicole Horblit

    My name is Nicole Horblit and I am majoring in Social Work with a minor in Disabilities. I am currently finishing my practicum for Social Work at the University of Wyoming Family Medicine in Cheyenne. My minor in disabilities has helped me with my current placement at the UWFM Clinic by helping me remember to use people-first language when talking to someone as well as using resources I have learned during my minor completion. My plan for after graduation is to attend the University of Utah Social Work Advanced Standing Program that starts in May. After that I plan to get my license and become a LCSW where I hope to work with families and those with trauma. I am excited to use both my social work and disability knowledge throughout my whole career.

  • Riley Liljesstrom

    Riley graduates this Spring 2021 with majors in English Literature and Art History. Along with Disability Studies, she minored in Creative Writing and graduated in the Honors program. Driven by her passions for learning and art, Riley fulfilled her Honors Capstone project through a short video series of Instagram “Art Talks.” There, she provides a brief overview of useful information to consider when viewing art in order to help everyone feel welcome in artistic spaces. This summer, she will complete her Disability Studies practicum with Vertical Harvest in Jackson, Wyoming. They operate from an inclusive business model by cultivating a supportive community that celebrates individual difference and empowers each employee. She is excited for the opportunity to work with their team. The Disability Studies minor has fundamentally changed the way Riley interacts with the world, attempting to bring awareness to inaccessibility and ableism while encouraging universal design. By reevaluating the way we understand ability, she believes we can better support people with and without disabilities. Post graduation, Riley will return to work in her hometown and hopes travel opportunities will be viable again very soon. She would like to express her sincere gratitude to the many, many people that provided her support, insight, and encouragement throughout undergrad.

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