Annual Disabilities Awareness Awards Announced

Three individuals recognized during Disabilities Awareness Week.

ADRIAN, Mich (March 14, 2014) – The annual Disabilities Awareness Awards were announced preceding convocation on Wednesday, March 12. These three awards recognize individuals who have made a compassionate and compelling difference on campus, standing out for their contributions.

Fran and Steve Piorkowski developed the Steven Piorkowski Scholarship in memory of their son. Both father and son attended Adrian College. Steven, who was involved in a swimming accident, became a quadriplegic. He overcame his disability and went on to complete his schooling, eventually becoming a coach. Steven learned to drive through his disability, but was unfortunately killed in an automobile accident on the way to a game he was coaching. 


Steven was integral in the momentum to make Adrian College a more accessible campus. This scholarship is awarded to the student who is dedicated, motivated and demonstrates a passion toward disability related issues.  This year’s recipient was Derek McCoy, a native of Madison Heights, Mich.

The Student Disability Awareness Award is awarded to a student who shows dedication and leadership.  This student may or may not have a disability, but strives to educate the campus community about disability related issues. This year’s award was given to Chris Liberati, a junior from Livonia, Mich. He has been a member of the PRIDE group (Promoting the Rights of Individuals with Disabilities Everywhere) for three years, and mentors community members with disabilities. 

The Faculty Disability Awareness Award goes to a faculty member who goes above and beyond to make their classroom accessible for all students. This year’s award was given to Dr. Carissa Massey, associate professor of art history.

Dr. Massey goes above and beyond to make her classroom accessible to all students.  She consistently strives to find unique ways to teach to all learners.

For this distinction, these individuals receive a plaque that will be on display in the office of Academic Services.