Student and Faculty Awards

Office of Disability Services Student Leadership Awards

These students were awarded the Office of Disability Services (ODS) Student Leadership Award for Leadership and serving on the ODS student panel. They presented to the APAC Brownbag – Improving the College Experience for Students with Disabilities; The Chancellor’s Administrative Counsel, and Student Affairs Administrators and Directors.  It took a lot of courage for these students to share their personal journey and the challenges they face as a college student at the UIS.

Student Recipients for the 2018 – 2019 Academic Year

Holly Hahn

Jhaliyah Anderson

Jarrod Knapper

Pawel Kadzielawa

Student Recipients for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Holly Hahn

Jhaliyah Anderson

Raven Wilson

Karthik Ramalingam

Student Story – Pawel Kadzielawa

My name is Pawel Kadzielawa. I am a UIS senior planning to graduate in May 2019. I am a pre-med Biology major, from Poland, and Algonquin, Illinois. As a student with ADHDI sometimes have sporadic racing thoughts. I appreciate when professors care, and take their time because there will be things I miss and will need them to repeat.

One of my favorite UIS memories is cheerleading. I absolutely loved it. I met a lot of people. I love that UIS is small because I became someone that everyone “knew” and people felt very comfortable talking with me. Also Leadership for Life, and numerous other activities. I opened up and met a variety of people I would have never met if I didn’t come to college. I matured over time here. College was an extremely important part of my development. It made me more responsible and reliable. I feel like every aspect of myself has grown closer to the person I want to be, I found myself.

The ODS Student panel was fun. A bit nerve wracking at first and weird because I’m talking to people about how I am different from them, even though I don’t feel that way, especially since college (high school definitely). College showed me that it’s ok to be a weirdo, and seeing the strange things others do make me much more comfortable in that regard. It was strange more so because people consider my experience something to discuss and difficult to deal with. It’s just always been part of me. I’ve had to deal with it for a long time as so it was the norm. I didn’t realize that so many people would have such a strong reaction to my story.

Everyone learns differently. It took a while to realize my learning style. Once I did, I stuck with it. Read the book, highlight, underline, take notes. Many people with ADHD learn much better if they are actively learning. You have to participate for it to help you. Do what helps you remember the material best. Not everyone has the same style When you do have to cram, spend the entire day studying and reviewing. That works for me at least. I’m pretty good at memorizing things; it might not work for everyone. Try techniques until you get the right one.  Plan out your day. Make sure you know how long it takes you to do homework and study. Then give yourself a little more time than that. You aren’t magic. Know your limits.

One of my biggest challenges has been keeping up with everyone else. I was really slow at first. I asked myself if I am smart enough to do this. I doubted myself. Talk with the teachers, go your own pace. Give yourself time to learn and understand. School is about the struggle. You have to want it. If you try hard enough, you can do it.  My plans after UIS are basic training right away then physical therapy graduate program.

My advice for incoming freshmen, or new UIS students, if they have ADHD: Don’t ever think of yourself as less than other people. Yes, you have something that makes it harder to keep up, but don’t let it get you down. The goal is growth, this is just an obstacle to overcome and get stronger and better. Don’t think of yourself as weird or different, it’s just something you have to do, and eventually grow out of it. I have definitely improved in my speed over time. It’s amazing how your brain can adapt to change if you let it. Have a positive outlook and determination. You have to want to get better. Lastly, I cannot stress it enough, communicate with your professors, they can’t help you if you don’t communicate.


We appreciate the faculty we work with and to show our appreciation, we presented chosen faculty with a framed certificate of appreciation.  This is given to faculty who have worked closely with the students registered with our office, providing support and encouragement to students who are receiving academic accommodations in their courses.

Faculty awards given in 2019

Dr. Marc Klingshirn, Director of Capital Scholars Honors Program/Associate Professor, Capital Scholars Honors Program/ Chemistry

Dr. Harshavardhan Bapat, Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Tung Nguyen, Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Elise LoBue,  Capital Honors Program Instructor

Dr. John Martin, Professor of Astronomy/Physics

Dr. Francis Shen, Professor of Psychology and Director of CAP Peer Mentoring Program.

Faculty awards given in 2018

Dr. Sheryl Reminger, professor of psychology

Dr. Carlee Hawkins, professor of psychology

Dr. Elizabeth Ribarsky, professor of communication

Faculty awards given in 2017

Dr. Megan Styles, professor of environmental studies

Dr. Chen, professor of public health

Mr. Greg Mayes, adjunct professor of computer science