Office of the President

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Ashley Shew

Ashley shew

Dr. Ashley Shew is Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and specializes in philosophy of technology at its intersection with animal studies, disability studies, and emerging tech. Shew is the author of Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge (2017), co-editor of three philosophy of technology volumes, and currently serves as co-editor-in-chief of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. She has published in The Chronicle for Higher Education, Catalyst, IEEE Technology & Society, Nursing Clio, and Nature.

Her current work is about technoableism, supported by NSF CAREER Award #1750260: Disability, Experience, and Technological Imagination. Technoableism is the idea that some of the ways in which we cast technologies as ’empowering’ disabled people reify ableist narratives that end up confining technological choice, feed into narrow conceptions of good disabled life, and prevent inclusion. She is interested in the different, non-dominant stories disabled people tell about their choices and relationships to technologies. Multiply disabled (and loud/proud), Shew engages in cross-disability advocacy and community through the Disability Alliance and Caucus at Virginia Tech (serving as co-chair) and her local Center for Independent Living (CIL), the New River Valley Disability Resource Center.


Dr. Angel Love Miles

Angel love miles

Dr. Angel Love Miles was born with Spina Bifida and raised in a predominately black housing complex for low-income families in Germantown, Philadelphia. She grew up playing with the neighborhood children but attended separate schools and camps for children with disabilities. Influenced by her upbringing, she soon developed an interest in exploring issues of identity and inequality as they pertain to intersecting structures of race, class, gender and disability. Following her college graduation from Penn State University in 2003, she entered graduate school and ultimately earned her PhD in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland College Park in 2016. A proud Terp, she was recognized upon graduation for her extraordinary educational, advocacy and service contributions when she was awarded the University of Maryland Graduate Student Distinguished Service Award, the University of Maryland President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues Ethnic Minority Achievement Graduate Student Award, and the University of Maryland President’s Commission on Disability Issues Graduate Student Service Award.

After completing her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Disability and Human Development and the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she became the Healthcare/Home and Community Based Services Policy Analyst at a prominent disability rights and advocacy organization in Chicago.

In multiple capacities, she continues to speak, teach, write, and advocate on issues pertaining to social justice, and inequality especially as they impact black women and other marginalized people with disabilities. Her article entitled “Strong Black Women”: African American Women with Disabilities, Intersecting Identities, and Inequality was published in the February 2019 Gender & Society special issue: Gender, Disability, and Intersectionality. In April 2020, her piece “Disability: What Have Black People Got to Do with It?” was published by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) blog Black Perspectives as part of the Blackness, Disability, & Gender Identity Series organized by Vilissa Thompson.

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Last update: Jun 08, 2021


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