Director's Digressions

Sheryl Burgstahler

I am sorry to report to you that two of our DO-IT Ambassadors, Shawnna and Chris, recently passed away. They both promoted the DO-IT goal of full inclusion of people with disabilities in school and work and will be missed by all who knew them.

Picture of DO-IT Scholar Shawnna
DO-IT Ambassador, Shawnna

Shawnna attended the Phase I Summer Study in 1994. She worked at Columbia Industries in Kennewick, WA. Shawnna makes a powerful case for technology access in an early DO-IT video designed for science teachers. She says, "I have Muscular Dystrophy and I use large print books to see the print better. I can't write at all with my hands, so I use a computer to write my papers and communicate with other people." These contributions are included in the video Working Together: Science Teachers and Students with Disabilities at Through this presentation, her advice will continue to help science teachers for many years to come.



Photo portrait of DO-IT Ambassador Chris
DO-IT Ambassador, Chris

Chris passed away in his dorm room at the University of Washington on February 18, 2004. His heart simply gave out. This was his second quarter at the UW. DO-IT staff, Scholars, Ambassadors, Pals, and Mentors were all part of making his childhood dream of attending the University of Washington a reality. As Chris said in the DO-IT Snapshots publication, "My goals in life are to attend the School of Engineering at the University of Washington and become an aeronautical engineer for Boeing." He was well on his way. Besides being an enthusiastic Husky fan, Chris was always looking for ways to get involved in engineering. He took classes in CAD and designed an accessible Habitat for Humanity home.