Office of the President

Organizing Committee

2023 Disability Summit

Paul T. Jaeger, PhD, JD (he/him)


Professor, College of Information Studies
Director Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC)
University of Maryland, College Park

A lifelong member of the disability community, Paul has spent much of his career writing and teaching about the ways in which laws and policies shape the experiences of disabled people, as well as advocating for improvements to those laws and policies. Paul is an unshakable mentor to nontraditional students in higher education and has won multiple awards which only begin to scratch the surface of the support he offers students. Paul is also a renowned scholar in his field of Library and Information Sciences, bringing Critical Disability Studies and Accessibility to the forefront of conversations around information justice.

Paul co-founded the Disability Summit with Dr. Stephanie J. Cork.

Stephanie J. Cork, PhD (she/her) "notable alumni"


Manager, Student Accessibility Services, Ontario Tech University

An intrepid and outdoorsy Canadian with an international, interdisciplinary background. Her work complements her experiences and expertise in qualitative research, public health, community-based advocacy, and years of teaching. Stephanie is a proud co-conspirator with many across the disability community.

Stephanie co-founded the Disability Summit with Dr. Paul T. Jaeger.

Sara Olsen, MPH, PhD (she/her)

Director of Content

Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health
Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance, Co-Founder
University of Maryland, College Park

Sara Olsen grew up surrounded by people who dedicated their lives to the service of others despite the challenges or sacrifices involved. The Navy seemed a natural choice to continue the family tradition of service before self. The combination of adventure with the mission to protect personnel and property inherent in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community drew her in. After nine years of active duty as an EOD Officer, Sara transitioned to the Reserves, where she has risen to the rank of Captain having commanded three units, and served in multiple staffs. In her civilian life, she co-founded Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance, a nonprofit designed to increase inclusive fitness for all people with disabilities. Working with people with disabilities in fitness opened Sara’s eyes to all the social and environmental barriers to participation. As a result, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health.

Sara joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2018.

Ron Padrón, MS (he/him)

Director of Academic Involvement

Director of Undergraduate Operations, iSchool
Co-Chair, President's Commission on LGBTQ+ Issues
Facilitator, Words of Engagement Intergroup Dialogue Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
University of Maryland, College Park

Ron Padrón is a transplant to Maryland from the sweltering swamps of South Florida. He began working in higher education as an academic advisor serving at-risk student populations and, in his current role, centers justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI), and accessibility more broadly: from course and curriculum development to student services and shared governance. He has previously presented on advocacy in student services and diversity work in higher education, and also serves as a facilitator for social justice education programs on the UMD campus. Ron is an unwavering advocate for those with disabilities and has been a vocal supporter of disability justice and queer history in all facets of his work and life.

Ron joined the UMD Summit team in 2020.

Nedelina Tchangalova, MS, MLS, AHIP (she/her)

Director of Digital Initiatives

Public Health Librarian, STEM Library
Co-Chair, President's Commission on Disability Issues (PCDI)
University of Maryland, College Park

Nedelina Tchangalova is a librarian passionate about teaching students life-long searching skills. A strong advocate for open access research, she collaborates with faculty on public health-related issues. Her professional work surrounds the IDEA concepts of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility for all people with different abilities. Originally from Bulgaria, she immigrated to the United States with her family. She loves traveling, being in the parks, and walking in the woods. Nedelina uses her insight into the deep need for inclusive technology to facilitate open and accessible communication for the disability community. She artfully crafts into her work, weaving information, and disability justice together.

Nedelina joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2019.

Amanda Strausser, BA, MPH (she/her)

Director of Communications and Logistics

Assistant to the Dean, Graduate School
University of Maryland, College Park

Amanda Strausser is a current staff member at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a vocal advocate for the disability community, using her own experiences within higher education to mentor and support others who are pursuing their degrees. Her research focuses on health literacy and looks to establish more effective advocacy networks for those with visible and invisible disabilities within the American health care system. Amanda is one of the founding members of the UMD Disability Summit but also works with many units across the campus to help promote programming that is both inclusive and accessible for all. Amanda is also a dog lover and a passionate gardener.

Amanda joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2016.

Amanda Dennis (she/her)

Co-Director of Fundraising

Master's Student of Student Affairs, Higher Education, and International Education Policy
Graduate Assistant, Office of Orientation and Transition
University of Maryland, College Park

Amanda Dennis received her BS in Psychology from Haverford College in 2018 where she also studied disability and health from interdisciplinary perspectives. Today, as a student affairs educator and master's student, she is passionate about helping college students navigate life transitions. Through her past and present work in career services, first-year seminar programs, and post-college transition courses, she works to ensure that students develop not only personally, academically, and socially, but thrive during their time at the university and thereafter. A major component of this work entails striving towards new environments which are universally accessible and equitable for students, faculty, and staff. This has driven her to focus her research and future practice on college students with disabilities.

Amanda joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2022.

Alexander Pilon (he/him)

Artistic Director

Educational Medial Developer, Teaching and Learning Centre
Ontario Tech University

As a video and graphic design specialist, and communications strategist, Alexander has worked on Emmy, Grammy, and Juno winning productions. He has created content, and communication plans in the fields of healthcare, education, hospitality, and the arts. Alexander is passionate about storytelling, invoking emotion, and provoking discussion. Alexander joins the Summit to further his contributions to publicize efforts of patient advocates, service workers, and increase representation for the disability community.

Alex joined the UMD Disability Summit Committee in 2021.

Aleksandra Vojnov (she/her)

Co-Director of Fundraising

Assistive Technologist, Student Accessibility Services
Ontario Tech University

Aleks is passionate about providing equal access to education and an opportunity for every person to succeed. Over the last five years, Aleks has made advocating for those with disabilities a priority. She is currently working as an assistive technology specialist with previous experience as an accessibility and accommodation specialist. Aleks is currently assisting in a Canada-wide research study on the effects of COVID-19 on graduate students with disabilities. Fun fact- she is a mom to two fur babies who frequently voice their opinions during meetings.

Aleks joined the UMD Disability Summit Committee in 2022.

Alex Peterson (she/her/hers)

Co-Director of Fundraising

Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow (M.A. CF-SLP)
Ascension St. John's Hospital, Detroit, Michigan

Alex Peterson received her BA in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017, where she dabbled in research at the Center for Healthy Minds and the Learning Cognition and Development Lab. Alex is passionate about the intersection of public health, equitable education, and health care, and accessibility; which she plans to apply as a future speech-language pathologist. Alex is the Graduate Assistant for PCDI, a member of the PCDI Student Advisory Committee, and a committed disability advocate.

Alex joined the UMD Disability Summit Committee in 2020.

Honorable Mentions (past and present Summit supporters)

  • Courtney Douglass
  • Austin Ferraro
  • Katherine Grady
  • Mollie Greenberg
  • Tim Hackman
  • Kelly Hoffman
  • Sue Johnston
  • Joseph Williams

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