Organizing Committee

Organizing Committee

Paul T. Jaeger, PhD (he/him) 

Co-Chair

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

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Stephanie J. Cork, PhD (she/they) “notable alumni”

Co-Chair

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 

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Sara H. Olsen, PhD (she/her)

Director of Content

Disability Rights Program Specialist

Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance, Co-Founder 

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 pursued a Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Maryland.

Sara joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2018.

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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 and Fundraising

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. 

Alexander Pilon (he/him)

Artistic Director

Educational Media 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.

Alex Peterson, MA (she/her)

Director of Logistics

Frontend Software Developer, Agilant Solutions, Inc.

Alex Peterson (she/her) is a Speech-Language Pathologist turned software developer, aiming to create accessible web platforms and inclusive digital experiences. She received her BA in communicative sciences and disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her MA in speech-language pathology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also worked as a Graduate Assistant for UMD President’s Commission on Disability Issues while studying at UMD.

Alex joined the UMD Disability Summit Committee in 2020. 

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Judy Ye (she/her)

Software Developer

Armed with a BA in psychology from UCLA, Judy Ye (she/her) embarked on a journey through a software engineering program and discovered a profound interest in web accessibility. Transitioning from a role as a dental assistant to that of a software developer, she is driven by the goal of fostering a more inclusive digital landscape.

Judy joined the UMD Disability Summit in 2024. 

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Past and present Summit supporters

  • Rishabh Banga
  • Kaitlyn Burgess
  • George Chen
  • Amanda Dennis
  • Courtney Douglass
  • Austin Ferraro
  • Katherine Grady 
  • Mollie Greenberg
  • Tim Hackman
  • Kelly Hoffman
  • Sue Johnston
  • Alfred Lin
  • Prartna Shekar
  • Amanda Strausser
  • Aleksandra Vojnov
  • Joseph Williams