Made possible by a generous gift from the Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation, the Shapiro Family Scholarship will support one or more students in the Disability Studies minor, to be selected annually based on strong academic achievement and commitment both to the field of disability studies and to working as an advocate on issues of importance to the disability community.


The Shapiro Family Charitable Foundation was founded in 1984 by Ralph and Shirley Shapiro and their children, Alison and Peter, and Peter serves as foundation president. Through their foundation, the Shapiro family has generously supported medical and environmental research, as well as education, arts and children’s welfare programs, including initiatives that serve children with developmental disabilities and their families. The Shapiro Family are legendary leaders and philanthropists to UCLA. They remain intricately involved in UCLA activities, supporting the university in a variety of capacities and maintaining a lifelong commitment to helping the Bruin family. Their contributions have helped to make UCLA a world-class institution, accessible to students in current and future generations.




Award Amount: $7750 (one award or split into multiple awards)

Eligibility Criteria:
Recipients of the Disability Studies fall scholarships are selected based on (1) strong academic achievement, (2) commitment to the field of disability studies and (3) to working as an advocate on issues of importance to the disability community. To be eligible for the scholarships, students must have:

      1. A 3.0 cumulative GPA;
      2. Admittance to the UCLA Disability Studies minor;
      3. Completed or currently enrolled in Disability Studies 101W and;
      4. Completed or currently enrolled in at least one elective course for the minor.

Application instructions:
1. In a single PDF document, include the following two items:

  • An essay not to exceed 750 words (3 double-spaced pages) that describes your experience working in the disability community to date and discusses how the Disability Studies minor has influenced (or how you envision it will influence) the direction of your academic career and future plans. If applicable, please include a discussion of your internship and/or capstone research plans.
  • A current resume

Save the PDF in the following format:

  • LastName_FirstName_Application.pdf
  • Ex: Block_Gene_Application.pdf

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

  • LastName_FirstName_Transcript.pdf
  • Block_Gene_Transcript.pdf

Email both files to the Disability Studies Fall Scholarship Committee*. Your application materials will be automatically uploaded to a drive once they are received.

Confirmation email:

You will receive a confirmation email for each file when your application materials have been successfully uploaded. Important: If you do not receive a confirmation email or if you are having issues uploading your application, please send application materials to Charlotte Vo at cvo@college.ucla.edu.

*Your application materials should be sent directly to the committee via the following email address: Fall_20.6ywqkdgpjljitdsd@u.box.com

Application Deadline: Monday, November 8, 2021, at 11:59pm

Note to Non-DS Minors: Students who are not yet admitted to the minor may submit their application to the minor at the same time as their application for the scholarship—but their scholarship application will only be reviewed AFTER admission to the minor is confirmed.



Thanks to the generous support of the Shapiro Charitable Family Foundation, UCLA Disability Studies is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Fall Disability Studies Scholarships.

The Shapiro Family Scholarship  aims to celebrate the strides made by our students, who have been agents of change on this campus and beyond. Rowan O’Bryan, Katherine Chow, and Isabella Poschl were the winners of the 2021 Shapiro Family Scholarship – they will receive an award of $4,250, $3,000, and $500 respectively.

Rowan, Katherine and Isabella rose to the top of the applicant pool through the connections they drew between disability studies scholarship, their goals and advocacy efforts.

Rowan O’Bryan

Rowan O’Bryan is seen from waist up standing up against a concrete wall. She is wearing a purple tank top with the leather straps of her backpack on her shoulders. She has three layered necklaces, dangly earrings, and her nasal cannula secured around her face.

Rowan O’Bryan is a 4th-year undergraduate student majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Disability studies. Her artwork is largely centered around her identity as a Disabled individual, including her medical supplies and devices to offer an alternative and creative viewpoint on what it means to be chronically ill. She is a co-leader of a student group pushing for American Sign Language to be recognized as a major. Her group has successfully presented their project to UCLA’s Dean of Humanities, Disability Studies department, Linguistics department, and the committee of Disability and are now waiting for next steps to be taken by UCLA administration. In the meantime they are working on fundraising campaigns to support the growth of the ASL program. In December 2021 they created a scholarship fund for the ASL summer intensive and
raised $6,500 to allow students to have the opportunity to take ASL without financial barriers. Rowan is also co-signatory of the Disabled Student Union where she works alongside other Disabled students to fight for UCLA to become a more accessible university. Currently, with 28,600 signatures on their petition, they are advocating for hybrid learning to be permanently implemented into UCLA’s curriculum. As a chronically ill individual herself, she experienced the ways remote learning let her thrive in the classroom and believes it should be a necessary accommodation that disabled students should always have the right to use.

Katherine Chow

Image of Katherine Chow smiling in a well-lit, outdoor corridor of brick arches. She is an Asian woman with brown eyes, and her long, straight brown hair is draped in front of her right shoulder. She is wearing a black blazer and a small silver necklace.

Katherine Chow is a graduating senior majoring in Human Biology and Society and minoring in Disability Studies. She is active in the UCLA community, currently serving as co-chair of UCLA’s Students for Community Outreach, Promotion, and Education (SCOPE) and as a third year peer counselor for College Academic Counseling. Additionally, through her leadership and participation in UCLA’s All Brains, Katherine works to educate the wider UCLA population on neurodiversity and inclusion. This has been an extremely rewarding experience for her, as it allows her to share her knowledge and passion for disability studies with her peers. Katherine is interning at UCLA’s Center for Autism Research and Treatment in the Jeste Lab, where she is
studying the benefits of early autism intervention. Her primary focus is on increasing treatment accessibility to reduce disparities in the resources available to neurodiverse children. Outside of UCLA, Katherine interned at the University of Washington’s Autism Center this past summer and worked directly with children with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. She collaborated with prominent autism experts to develop tailored interventions based on her daily observations and interactions with the children, resulting in greater successes and long term adoption. Her favorite part of the program was the clinical journey of developing, workshopping, and executing personalized interventions. After graduation, Katherine plans to pursue medicine as a pediatric physician dedicated to serving the disability community.

Isabella Poschl

Photo of Isabella Poschl from the shoulders up. Isabella is wearing a white turtleneck and has wavy brown hair. She is pictured smiling in front of green trees.

Isabella Poschl is a graduating senior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Disability Studies. While at UCLA, Isabella’s activities centered around serving and advocating for her community. Isabella is a founding member of the Expressive Movement Initiative (EMI) at UCLA and current Program Director. As the Program Director of EMI, Isabella works to reframe the organization’s activities towards an environment that actively promotes the role of allyship in
the disability community and centers the voices of disabled individuals. After graduation, Isabella hopes to expand EMI to other universities throughout the country. Her passion for equitable access to healthcare led Isabella to initiate conversations through the Student Stroke Team surrounding disparities in stroke care and treatment for disabled patients. She is currently working with a team on a project involving the ethics of inclusion and exclusion of disabled patients in clinical trials. In addition, her capstone project will involve research into the compensation and rehabilitation models of care for patients with schizophrenia with the Aftercare Research Program. Isabella recently committed to the Teach for America Los Angeles Corps where she will teach as a Special Education Specialist. After teaching for two years, Isabella plans on pursuing a career in health care as a physician specializing in supporting the disability community.

Quinn O’Connor – 2020

Major: Theater

Nicole Jacobs – 2020

Major: Physiological Sciences

Juliette Lerner – 2020

Major: Psychology

Lily Shaw – 2019

Major: Political Science

Isita Tripati – 2019

Major: Neuroscience