Spring semester has arrived, and the Longmore Institute on Disability has expanded our team! Our Longmore Student Fellows program offers students with disabilities paid professional development opportunities, as well as a place on campus where they can learn more about disability communities, culture, and history. Please meet Lewis Woods, Mariah Gonsalez, Mo Battiest, Maxfield Hunt and Sandra Lane.
Lewis Woods is a master’s student in the Graduate College of Education’s Special Education program, and one of this year’s 74 recipients of the California State University Foundation’s predoctoral scholarship, which supports the doctoral ambitions of CSU students at the 23 campuses, and one of 11 predoctoral scholarship awardees at SF State. Woods identifies as being on the spectrum, and is particularly interested in researching the ways pets help people with autism. At the Longmore Institute, he is excited to be working on the project to plan the first disability cultural center for the city of San Francisco.
My name is Mariah Gonsalez and I am a second year graduate student in the Communication Studies department at San Francisco State University. My focus in the discipline is within chronic illness and disability studies and I am passionate about re-centering and re-imagining the experiences of marginalized bodies. I am currently working on a photo series that works to make invisible chronic illnesses and disabilities more visible. Furthermore, I am exited for this journey with the Longmore Institute and honored for this experience.
Maxfield Hunt is an undergraduate student pursuing the field of communication with a minor in history at San Francisco State. Disability has been an underpinning throughout Maxfield's life ever since he had a stroke at birth. Maxfield finds that life is enhanced by surrounding himself with folks with differences whether they are visible or not. It is invigorating to be around people with the tenacity and diligence to persevere past challenges. He is also the product of a California upbringing enriched by The Cheesecake Factory, Apple products, Marilyn Manson, and Woody Allen. He is equally invested in Frasier-fandom as he is in Disney-mania. This compulsive obsession with culture lends itself to tackling media through the Longmore Institute lens and looks forward to contributing to the Longmore Institute in as many ways as it is possible in the future.
Mo Battiest is currently a sophomore at SFSU pursuing a Bachelors degree in Cinema. They are exhilarated to join the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability where they can contribute to altering the stigma and misconceptions of people with disabilites. They strive to provide a campus that longs for the safety, inclusion, and accessibility for all. As an advocate and sibling of someone on the spectrum, they have been introduced to a social, economical, and political climate that is in desperate need of change. Through Mo’s work as an undergraduate student, they aim to represent the underrepresented in a light that leads to the erasure of the day-to-day discrimination and intolerance those individuals face. In the honorable collaboration with The Longmore Institute, that goal will be met.
Sandra Lane is a native of San Francisco, who previously enjoyed a lengthy professional career as a paralegal in civil litigation, as well as an antiques and collectibles shop proprietor in San Francisco. She recently returned to SFSU to complete a major in Women and Gender Studies as well as a minor in Holistic Health. She had a personal epiphany while taking a disability studies class as she realized her own efforts to make invisible her disabilities; a class which helped her come out to herself and others as a person living with an unseen disability. Sandra has spent many years as a volunteer doula working with underprivileged teen girls as well as working with other social service organizations such as Shanti, Fill Up America and St. Anthony’s. She is dedicated to participation with organizations and movements for social change benefiting those who are most marginalized. She loves the outdoors, taking scenic road trips and is an animal rescuer and lover.
Sandra hopes to contribute to the Longmore Institutes’ long-standing dedication to community engagement in establishing cultural visibility and participating in disability studies scholarship by utilizing her professional skills on its’ behalf, while simultaneously increasing her knowledge as to both non-profit policies and functions.