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Engineering team receives accessibility award for renovation efforts

Stephanie Praschan, Kathy Appuhn-Hodges, Jennifer Hollis, Jennifer Sullivan, Brad Grimes, Melanie Carraher, Jude Wawrzyniak, Kathy Weston and Robert Schwartz pose for a photo.

Stephanie Praschan, Kathy Appuhn-Hodges, Jennifer Hollis, Jennifer Sullivan, Brad Grimes, Melanie Carraher, Jude Wawrzyniak, Kathy Weston and Robert Schwartz accepted the Lee Henson Access Mizzou Award during a ceremony Oct. 12. Photo courtesy of MU Disability Center.

The coordinated effort to ensure Lafferre Hall remains accessible for persons with disabilities during the ongoing renovation process earned several staff members from the University of Missouri College of Engineering an honor from the Chancellor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

The Lee Henson Access Mizzou Awards are given annually “to members of the MU community who have improved inclusiveness of individuals with disabilities.” The award is named for the late Lee Henson, MU’s longtime former director of accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act education.

The Lafferre Hall renovation team worked to ensure proper signage was available to point to accessible entrances — including a newly-installed ramp on the building’s east side — throughout the renovation process, which began in May, and the building will have an accessible front entrance upon the renovation’s completion.

“This is an excellent example of what happens when accessibility is made a priority and immensely talented people work together to make it happen,” manager of accessibility and ADA education Amber Cheek told Mizzou News.

Jude Wawrzyniak, Jennifer Sullivan and Matt Thomas of MU Campus Facilities and Brad Grimes of Tarlton Corporation were honored alongside a group of eight from the College of Engineering. The College of Engineering honorees were:

  • Robert Schwartz, interim dean of the College of Engineering
  • Jan Wiese-Fales, head of communications
  • Whitney Hays, director of student enrichment
  • Jennifer Hollis, strategic communications associate
  • Kathy Weston, project specialist
  • Brenna Naufel, project specialist
  • Melanie Carraher, administrative associate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
  • Kathy Appuhn-Hodges, academic adviser, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department
  • Stephanie Praschan, student services advising coordinator

The awards were presented Oct. 12 during Celebrate Ability Week on campus.