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ABOUT THE PRIZE

The Jessie Alpaugh Senior Prize in Disability Studies, awarded annually, was established to recognize graduating seniors who are enrolled in the UCLA Disability Studies minor and have developed an outstanding capstone project that contributes to emerging scholarship in the field and also captures their intellectual passion.

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ABOUT JESSIE CHARLOTTE BLACKMAR ALPAUGH

Jessie AlpaughThe prize is named in honor of Jessie Charlotte Blackmar Alpaugh, an art history major at UC Berkeley who, during the last summer before her sudden death in 2002, worked at UCLA on an independent studies project that contributed to the foundation of UCLA’s Disability Studies minor.

At the age of 16, Jessie had suffered a catastrophic series of neurological illnesses that left her a quadriplegic with severe speech, hearing, and visual impairments. Despite these challenges, Jessie thrived intellectually and was admitted to UC Berkeley in 1999 as a Chancellor’s Scholar. There she found a vibrant group of scholars who were engaged in developing the interdisciplinary field of disability studies. The disability world was never a “club” that Jessie wished to join – the illness that had threatened her life and left her severely disabled deeply saddened her. However, through disability studies she discovered an amazing academic community that simultaneously challenged her mind, respected her experience, and sparked in her a sustaining passion and purpose.

Jessie would be extraordinarily proud of the UCLA Disability Studies program and would be humbled to learn about the senior prize awarded in her name.

APPLY

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Please review the Jessie Alpaugh Senior Prize 2019 Announcement to ensure eligibility BEFORE starting your application.

In a single pdf document, include the following three items:

  1. Cover page with the following information:
  • Full Name
  • Student ID Number
  • Enrolled in DIS STD 191 or DIS STD 199B
  • For Students enrolled in DIS STD 199B, list your Faculty Mentor
  • Internship Site
  1. A 1-2 page Capstone project proposal covering the following:
  • Working title
  • Brief explanation of the project
  • Impact your project will have on the field of Disability Studies
  1. A 500-word response to the following prompt:
  • Disability rights activists see Disability Studies as a dominant lens through which we understand difference in the world. Please relate your work and aspirations to this idea and articulate how you would address perceived challenges to ability justice.

Save the PDF in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Application.pdf
  • Ex: Block_Gene_Application.pdf

Obtain a copy of your unofficial transcript and save it in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Transcript.pdf
  • Ex: Block_Gene_Transcript.pdf

Email both files to the Jessie Alpaugh Senior Prize Committee

Confirmation email:

  • You will receive a confirmation email when your application has been received

Applications are due Monday, May 13, 2019 at 11:59PM

*Your application materials should be sent directly to the committee via the following email address: Jessie_.t9ti7mvoi4o8wktx@u.box.com

If you’re having issues uploading your application materials, please contact Chelsea Hackett . If you have questions about the application requirements, please contact Pia Palomo.

2018 STUDENT WINNER

JULIE KOTZ
Major: Cognitive Science
Project Title: Human Rights, Dignity and Disability Studies: An Investigation of Jail Conditions for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Photo of Julie KotzJulie is graduating with a degree in cognitive science and a minor in disability studies in June 2018. Her academic and internship experiences through disability studies has shaped her career goals and overall outlook on diversity, inclusion, and human rights. In particular, her internship experience at OPICA, a day program for older adults with dementia, inspires her to become a clinical social worker in the future. Furthermore, her disability studies capstone research allowed her to explore human rights as it currently exists for people with psychiatric disabilities in jail. Julie is grateful for being a part of the disability studies program at UCLA and hopes to use what she has learned so far to make an impact in her future career.

PAST WINNERS
Justin Kawakami – 2017 
Major: English
Project Title: “Merely more than de minimis”: Establishing Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the United States under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA)
Miso Kwak – 2017
Major: Psychology
Project Title: Relationship Between Accessibility of Music Education and Self-Esteem of Blind/Visually Impaired Students in Grades 6-12
Jaemmie Cañas – 2016
Major: Anthropology
Project Title:What Futures Await Foster Youth and Psychiatric Disabilities?
Rebecca Snyder – 2016
Major: Psychology
Project Title: Examination of Voting Restrictions for Individuals with Mental Disabilities
Dianna Padilla – 2015
Major: Anthropology
Project Title: Latino Border Town Communities and Autism: An Analysis on Access to Resources for Children with Autism in Nogales, Arizona
Nikki Reyes – 2015
Major: English Literature
Project Title: SISE – Sensory Integration Strategies for Early Educators (A proposal for Public Early Educators)
Brittany Steiminger – 2014
Major: Psychology
Project Title: Democratic Schooling: A viable alternative for autistic students?
Shayna Svihovec – 2014
Major: Human Biology and Society
Project Title: Straddling the Line Between the Deaf and Hearing Communities in a Hearing Dominated World
Hannah Warren – 2013
Major: Psychology
Project Title: Insurance and Intervention: An Evaluation of the Relationship between Service Access and Socioeconomic Status of Families with Children with Autism
Jessica Kianmahd – 2013
Major: Psychology
Project Title: Proposing a New Perspective of Disability: Approaching the Persian Jewish Community from a Jewish Lens
Paulina Ong – 2012 
Major: Physical Science
Project Title: Saying Something About Autism: An Evaluation of the Personhood Consciousness Model of Music Therapy
Sarah Baron – 2012
Major: Political Science
Project Title: Impact of Affordable Care Act for people with disabilities
Eunice Im – 2011
Major: English
Project Title: What Happened to the Clubhouse? An Investigative Study on a Program for Children with Autism in the UCLA Medical Center
Rhiannon Maycumber – 2011
Major: Psychology
Project Title: A Qualitative Comparison of Transition Practices for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in California and the United Kingdom
Shareen Nizami – 2010
Major: Political Science
Project Title: Working with the FMLA: Expanding Rights of the Workforce
Michelle Tang – 2010
Major: English
Project Title: Center Stage: How a Passion for the Performing Arts Help Deaf/hard of Hearing Individuals Find a Social Outlet and Overcome Their Disability
HONORABLE MENTION
Claudine Ignacio – 2018
Elaine Lu – 2018
Amanda Mekhail – 2017
Hayley McAvoy – 2017
Lindsey Hoffman – 2016
Vanessa Magula – 2016
Ana Zepeda – 2016
Cindy Sayani – 2015
Kristen Lee – 2015
Brianna Mitchell- 2013
James Choi – 2012
Jenna Rodman – 2012
Laura Merchant – 2010
Lillian Kong – 2010