College of Engineering JEDI Hour to Feature Talk: Disability Awareness in STEM

The College of Engineering Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s October’s JEDI Hour will feature Jim Hogan, biological safety coordinator for the Research Integrity and Compliance Office, and Kadesha Treco, second-year doctoral student in the public policy at the U of A.  

The session will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26. Registration is not necessary, and all are welcome.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a history or record of such an impairment, such as cancer that is in remission; or is perceived by others as having such an impairment, such as a person with scars from a severe burn.

Not all disabilities are visible. Disabilities can include mental illness, intellectual disabilities, accessibility and mobility difficulties, as well as acute or chronic illnesses and visual and hearing impairments. The U of A provides employees and students with accommodations to make work life and school life easier. However, those who classify as being disabled often choose not to disclose their disabilities because of stigma.

The College of Engineering’s assistant director of JEDI, Patrice Storey, said she learned to embrace herself as someone with a disability after a friend said her scars were “perfect imperfections.”

“As a person with mobility challenges due to a chronic illness, I struggled with being a person who needed accommodations. I was embarrassed for someone to see me walk. After my friend’s comment, I realized it was important for me to share my story with others in hope that it would be a motivating factor not to give up on your dreams. It is most important to have a diverse workforce and community,” she said. “Diversity is key to change and technological advancements. The contributions of faculty, staff and students majoring in STEM with a visible or nonvisible disability are crucial to advancing technology. We must remove the stigma placed on those having a disability and begin to normalize disability awareness by focusing on initiatives surrounding justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.”

About the JEDI hour speakers:

Hogan spent five-plus years in environmental health and safety as the biological safety officer before joining Research Integrity and Compliance to be the biological safety coordinator. He is also president of the Disability Employee Impact Group. Prior to that, he ran his own tutoring company, and he also worked for four years at the Indiana State Department of Health Laboratories. He has his bachelor’s degrees from Villanova University and a Ph.D. in biology from University of Notre Dame. 

Jim Hogan and Kadesha Treco

Treco is a second-year student in the Public Policy doctoral program at the U of A. As a native of the Bahamas and a person with a disability, Treco recognizes that access to higher education is a privilege that is not afforded to many. As a scholar specializing in social justice, she intends to better understand the dynamics of policy formulation and analysis that contribute to access for persons with disabilities in higher education and society at large. Her current research interests center on disability studies with an emphasis on critical race and disability studies, intersectionality theory and the use of the disability justice framework.

Join Zoom meeting:

  • Meeting ID — 844 6373 4864
  • Security Passcode — mc7.FhF$