Universal Design for Learning - Accessibility Faculty Ambassadors
The SDSU Universal Design for Learning/Faculty Ambassador Program consists of faculty members who help with the following:
- Questions about how disabled students are accommodated at SDSU.
- Universal Design for Learning teaching techniques that help all student learn.
- Tips on how to make instructional materials more accessible to students with disabilities.
Each faculty ambassador has received training in disability awareness, disability etiquette, how to accommodate students, and Universal Design for Learning teaching techniques. Our faculty ambassadors are a diverse group who come from Rhetoric and Writing Studies, Biochemistry, Philosophy, Psychology, Teacher Education, Civil and Construction Engineering, Special Education, and Computer Science.
Meet the Ambassadors
William Eger is a Ph.D. student in SDSU and UCSD's Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use. William is a long-time GA and has taught his own independent course at the University of New Haven (in Connecticut) and is slated to teach for the SDSU Department of Social Work in the upcoming semesters. His research looks to identify and optimize infectious disease prevention strategies for people who use and inject drugs. As a person with disabilities, William is eager to learn how to develop universally designed and accessible courses and be prepared to best meet diverse learners’ needs when working as a lecturer and (hopefully) as a professor.
Dr. Angela Feres is a lecturer in the Deptment for the Study of Religion and has degrees in History
and Religion. Angela teaches classes, including Understanding Evil, American Religious
Institutes, Death, Dying, and the Afterlife, and World Religions. She teaches in-person
and asynchronous online classes. Angela loves teaching online and has been doing so
for 17 years. She enjoys the flexibility it provides for working students and those
with families. Angela works hard to make her online and in-person classes accessible
and engaging so that every student succeeds.
Sam Kobari is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and teaches several classes but mainly teach a large asynchronous online class called Human Bio-Cultural Origins. Sam is also a part of the Surf Skate Studies Collaborative at SDSU.
Sam is very passionate about student learning and student success. Sam absolutely loves being a teacher at SDSU and works to make sure all aspects of his class are accessible and welcoming.
Sam was recently diagnosed with ADHD - a previously unknown diagnosis for Sam, who
says, “Explains so much in my life!” He mentions that some students may have disability
that is undiagnosed, undocumented, or hidden. Having accessible, universally designed
instruction helps all student learn.
Dr. Mark Laumakis is a Lecturer in Psychology and former ITS Faculty Fellow in Residence in Instructional
Technology Services (ITS). Mark has been teaching at SDSU since the Fall 2000 semester,
during which time he has taught more than 31,000 students.
Cali Linfor is a Lecturer in Rhetoric and Writing Studies. In addition to teaching composition,
creative writing, critical reading and thinking, and rhetoric, Cali has dedicated
most of her professional life to the fight for educational equity, which includes
UDL and disability justice in her own classroom as well as across educational segments.
She is a member of SDSU's Pride and Disability ERGs.
Dr. John Love is an Associate Professor in Biochemistry. In addition to his teaching responsibilities,
he runs a full-time research laboratory in which undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students
pursue research projects in the field of Protein Design.
Dr. Kylie Sago is an Assistant Professor of French. Pictured here with Albert). Her research and teaching centers on the culture of the French-speaking world with a focus on the histories and legacies of the French empire. Dr. Sago teaches courses ranging from Intermediate French to graduate-level courses based on her research.
Dr. Sago also volunteered for Guiding Eyes for the Blind as a puppy raiser, which
was a wonderful experience that she wholeheartedly recommends. Her service for Guiding
Eyes informs her work by aiding in the cultivation of accessible practices in teaching
and research. In her teaching, she uses digital materials to offer financially feasible
courses and engage students in active learning. The principles of Universal Design
help her to make sure instructional materials are accessible, and that she implements
best practices in second-language pedagogy. Dr. Sago also works to make research in
her discipline more accessible to all.
Dr. Joseph Stramondo is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Director of SDSU's
Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs. Joseph's research focuses on the intersection
of biomedical ethics and philosophy of disability. His professional service revolves
around disability issues (e.g. committee work for the American Philosophical Association
and recently, was elected as President of the Society for Disability Studies).
Dr. Melissa Soto is a Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Teacher Education.
Melissa supports preservice teachers in learning how to teach mathematics in a way
that promotes problem solving. Her research focuses on young people's mathematical
thinking, particularly supporting teachers to teach using culturally relevant pedagogies
as well as providing professional development in mathematics.
Nensi Lakrori is a Lecturer in Civil and Construction Engineering. Nensi worked for a decade as
a designer & project manager of Transportation projects. She now is pursuing her dream
job at SDSU (Teaching everything Civil & Construction Engineering and helping people).
Rachel Schlesinger is a Lecturer in Special Education, co-instructing the course, Disability & Society.
Rachel is a disability justice advocate, educator, and certified rehabilitation counselor.
Stacy Warner is a Lecturer in Computer Science and Web Accessibility Specialist. Stacy works to
ensure that websites related to SDSU are accessible and compliant within SDSU and
California accessibility standards. She also works with SDSU's procurement team to
help ensure that all software/hardware purchases for SDSU meet accessibility standards.
India Kaltsas-West was a student at SDSU and is now a staff member working in SDSU’s Accessible Technology Office.
India was diagnosed with a brain tumor at four years old, which led to her losing her vision and experiencing the world through sound, touch, smell, and taste as well as her intuition.
At SDSU, India works on critiquing and analyzing the different websites that students use at the school, making sure they are ADA compliant and are easy access for screen-reader users. She helps with analyzing course curriculum to ensure that it is accessible to all students. Being able to support student learning at SDSU has been very valuable to her because she feels like she is shaping the future for incoming students by showing them that they do have a voice, and that they can be successful.
Laura Angel-Zavala (far right) is a lecturer and Math First equity advisor for Faculty Advancement and Student Success. Laura teaches General Studies 150 - Building Your Future Self for Success in College and Beyond and I absolutely loves teaching! Laura has also taught the BA 100 first year seminar course and next year hopes to teach GEN S 280 - Introduction to Civic Engagement.
As someone who benefited from Student Disability Services when she was an SDSU student,
Laura wants to learn as much as she can about the services that exist now for disabled
students, and wants to do the best to make sure all instructors know about how they
can support their students' learning in the classroom.
Ambassadors Speak Out
Quick Tips Sheets
Tips for Universally Designing Your Courses