The 2014 Spirit of Ability Award, Student Leadership and Service Award and Outstanding Alumnus Award were given out by RCPD.

The MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) recently held its annual Awards and Appreciation Reception where they announced the winners of the 2014 Spirit of Ability Award, Student Leadership and Service Award and Outstanding Alumnus Award.

For over 40 years, RCPD has championed the abilities of people with disabilities, subsequently connecting thousands to the lifelong benefits of an MSU education. This event honored the outstanding achievements of scholarship recipients, exceptional faculty and staff, generous donors who have supported RCPD over the years and furthered the MSU tradition of opportunity for persons with disabilities.

The winners of this year’s Spirit of Ability Award are Dr. Nathan Moore, assistant professor of Geography and Vi’Nessa Webster, information technologist for IT Services Teaching and Learning. This award commemorates the empowering heritage of the founders who saw beyond disabilities. They opened higher education to people whose disabilities were commonly perceived to preclude excellence. Moore and Webster were chosen to receive this award because they continue the MSU tradition of creating vibrant environments that welcome, fortify, and compassionately challenge each person to reach their fullest ability.

Catherine Feirer, an advertising junior at MSU, was presented with the 2014 Student Leadership and Service Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership within the RCPD as well as the broader community. Feirer was chosen to receive this award because she upholds MSU’s core values of quality, inclusiveness and connectivity.

The 2014 Outstanding Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Daehee Lee. Lee is an accomplished engineer and leader within the community of people with disabilities. Lee’s career was forged with a sense of purpose and a decisive choice to pursue and complete three advanced degrees at MSU. As a person who is blind, Lee identified MSU as uniquely prepared with a rigorous academic program backed by Tower Guard and RCPD traditions centered on ability and quality services ready to meet his unique needs. His professional accomplishments span multiple sectors beginning with creation of innovative assistive technologies for people with disabilities through leadership today driving some of the most technically advanced concepts. Lee currently works for Nuance Communications, Inc. as a principal NLP research engineer at their Natural Language Understanding Lab in Sunnyvale, Calif. This award recognizes the accomplishments, leadership and dedication of MSU graduates who have made significant contributions to their field.

You can find more information about RCPD at their website.