Office of the President

2021 PCDI Awards Ceremony and Honorees

The President’s Commission on Disability Issues (PCDI) at the University of Maryland is pleased to announce the individuals and organizations that will be honored at the 2021 PCDI Awards ceremony on April 13th at 12:45. These awards are now presented biennially as part of the Disability Summit. Please register to join us. Attendance is free!

For more than 30 years, PCDI has presented awards to members of the University of Maryland community to celebrate innovations in advocacy, research, development, and teaching that benefit disabled people at the University and beyond by undergraduate students, graduate students, staff members, faculty members, and units and organizations. Winners of these awards have dedicated themselves to the cause of disability justice in their given fields, and usually far past the boundaries of their fields.

The 2021 honorees are:

JoEllen Barnhart, College of Agriculture, will receive the Faculty Award;

Mollie Greenberg, Department of Sociology, will receive the Graduate Student Award;

Cassandra Lytle, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, will receive the John W. King Staff Award; and

Alex Peterson, Department of Hearing and Speech Services, will receive the PCDI Chairs’ Special Commendation Award.

This is the first year that the PCDI Chairs’ Special Commendation Award has been presented. It is open to all members of the campus community and, instead of being chosen through a nomination process by the Awards Committee, is selected by the Chairs of PCDI. This award honors a member of the University community who has made significant contributions to disability justice across the entire campus.

The 2021 PCDI Awards ceremony will also include the announcement that one of the PCDI awards will henceforth be named in honor of the Trace Research and Development Center, which has created accessible technologies and guidelines, as well as extensively advocated for accessibility, for 50 years. The best-known innovations of the Trace Center include many of the accessibility features on whatever device with which you are currently reading this text. The award honoring the achievements of units and organizations will henceforth be called the Trace Research and Development Center Innovative Leadership Award in their honor.

This represents only the second time in the history of the PCDI awards that an award is named after an individual or organization, joining the John W. King Staff Award. Trace Center directors Gregg Vanderheiden and Jonathan Lazar will be at the ceremony.

Please join us to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of this year’s honorees.

2019 pcdi award winners

If you have any questions, please contact the organizing committee at

Award recipients

Last update: Jun 08, 2021