19 May 2017

Back Row: Lucas Smith, Ryan Beery, Katelyn Warner, Mary Beth, Andrew Johnson
Front Row: Lizzie Ford, Anna Higgins, Greg

As commencement and another semester conclude, it is essential to celebrate the diversity, hard work, academic honesty, and social responsibility of our students.  At Ball State, students with disabilities are aware that employers are seeking highly intelligent, college educated candidates who have a varied experience. For the past nine years, Mary Beth and I have recognized students with disabilities with the Fehribach Award. This year’s honorees exemplify the self-determination and independence that Ball State University instills.

Ryan Beery, a Junior Telecommunications major from Carmel, IN, holds a 3.4 GPA and was recently named TCOM Sales and Promotions Student of the Year. Ryan worked as a resident assistant for two years, works with BSU Athletics on promotions and game-day activities, and volunteers with the BSU Dance Marathon.

Lizzie Ford, a Junior Psychology major from Fishers, IN, holds a 3.975 GPA and is a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She is President of the Alliance for Disability Awareness and was recently elected as Secretary for the Student Government Association. Lizzie was a former Senator for the SGA and former resident assistant in Noyer Complex.

Anna Higgins, a Junior Speech Language Pathology major from Claypool, IN, is a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and Rho Lambda, an academic honors society. She teaches in an off-campus program at Sutton Elementary School, leads a Bible study program, and volunteers with Girl Scout troops in Muncie while holding a 3.6 GPA.

Andrew Johnson, a Senior Exercise Science major from Fishers, IN, holds a 3.4 GPA and is an Executive Board Member of the Exercise Science Club. He works at the University Recreation Center, volunteers in the athletics strength and condition weight room, and works at Belzer Cub Scout Day Camp during the summer. Andrew is also Ball State’s very own Charlie Cardinal.

Lucas Smith, a Senior Computer Science major from Muncie, IN, is a member of the Honors College and the Ball State Digital Corps. He holds a 3.5 GPA and is a Presidential and STEM scholarship recipient. Lucas provided IT work for the BSU School of Kinesiology and presented at the recent BSU Autism Conference.

Katelyn Warner, a Senior Marketing major from Greenwood, IN, is the Founder and President of the BSU chapter of the College Diabetes Network, an Academic Peer Mentor, and a Multicultural Ambassador. Katelyn was a Global Digital Marketing intern at Roche Diabetes Care and holds a 3.94 GPA. She is a Bible study leader with BSU Navigators and spent 10 weeks in Costa Rica for a missionary internship.

In conjunction with the Office of Disability Affairs, we graciously host this award and honor these fine students. Our students are competing with their peers, and this year’s award winners will challenge today’s economy to include people with disabilities.

Ball State University has emerged as the Midwest’s cradle of equitable employment. Students with physical disabilities are transitioning from higher education to full time, sustainable, and independent employment. These students and their peers illustrate that our students are competitive and qualified leaders of the future.

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