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CDA Member
Rachel Gatewood

Rachel Gatewood

  1. What is your role in CDA?
    • I am a member. I learn from everyone and bring what I can to the group.  I was originally appointed by our Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Georgina Dodge to be a liaison between CDA and CDO but I found a really neat, accepting, affirming group of people that I am thrilled to get to know better. Member since 2012.

  2. What is your favorite thing about CDA?
    • This is easy – how accepting and affirming everyone is – it is a great group of people.  I am looking forward to being able to be involved more and get to know my colleagues in CDA better.

  3. What is your position on campus?
    • I serve as the Campus Collaboration Specialist in the Center for Diversity & Enrichment.  I do many things in that role but most of my job revolves around directing a mentoring program and collaborating with academic units to increase their visibility with students and help students and faculty and staff to get connected with each other.

  4. What is your disability or condition, if any, if you are comfortable sharing?
    • As an adult I was diagnosed with ADHD.  I had struggled so much my whole life with some basic functioning that finding out what was going on was a big relief.  Today it is pretty under control but I still can suffer from some pretty extreme anxiety which impacts my work and relationships.  It is an interesting disability to have because it is largely invisible to others but is something that I am thinking about and negotiating every day.  It really impacts everything!

  5. What is your educational background?
    • BA in African American World Studies and Minor in Religion, The University of Iowa
  1. What advice would you give to a colleague on campus who has a (DIS)ability?
    • Get involved in CDA and then get some help investigating support resources.  If you have an invisible disability and it is safe for you to disclose in your work place – I would encourage you to do so – I found a good deal of support.  If you cannot get good support where you work – you can get support and learn about resources from CDA!

  2. What advice would you give to a student on campus who has a (DIS)ability?
    • This is part of the work I do every day.  Students are at a variety of levels – some are aware of their disability and they have been functioning with it daily and I just want to make sure that they are taking advantage of their resources like Student Disability Services or University Counseling Services.  Other times students are not aware and part of my job is to help students explore what is going on for them so they can be as successful as possible.  My advice – if something doesn’t seem right – there is no harm in getting checked out!  Better to know!

  3. Where is your favorite place to eat in town?
    • I love to eat and there are so many options!  My partner, Tony, makes fantastic food so my dining room is pretty high on my list!  Besides that I love Jimmy Jacks Rib Shack, Atlas, Basta and I highly recommend the Godzilla from Sushi Kicchin in the Old Cap Mall.

  4. What is your favorite activity to do at UI?
    • So much to do – I’m a big fan of sporting events and the summer festivals downtown.

  5. What best disability-related practices or changes do you recommend to better our campus?
    • wheel chair entrances front and center – when it is cold and bad weather I think about how difficult it must be to travel from the accessible parking on Iowa Avenue all the way to the other side of my building where the accessible entrance is.  I’m sure that is a problem on other buildings too. 
    • I would love to see more discussion about “invisible disabilities.” 
    • Finally I think it would be important to have representatives of CDA involved on major planning committees.  After learning about a new building on campus and how it had some accessibility flaws – it made me think about how important it is to get our voice at the table to help the University grow in their understanding and support for the diversity of disabilities.

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