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An even playing field - WSU hill
Fall 2013

An even playing field

Anyone who has negotiated the Pullman campus in winter will hardly be surprised that students dependent on wheelchairs tend not to select Washington State University. Only about five wheelchair-using students currently brave WSU’s hills. Among them is Svetlana Lockwood, a graduate student in computer science.

Lockwood, who has cerebral palsy, married a Pullman resident and moved here from Latvia. Her description of life in the former Soviet country illuminates a stark contrast.

Teachers there discouraged Lockwood’s parents from bothering to pursue further education for their daughter. She was largely confined to a third-floor apartment with no elevator. Even when she emerged, streets and sidewalks were … » More …

Fall 2009

Elevating engineering in the schools

Sean Neal is good at math, but one bit of geometry he can’t master involves moving ten feet up and two feet over. The wheelchair-bound teen isn’t able to climb into a combine to help harvest his family’s wheat fields.

While Neal’s dad was carrying him up a ladder and helping him into the operator’s seat, his math teacher at Garfield-Palouse High School was pondering ways to nudge students toward careers in which they could use their number-crunching skills. Jim Stewart thought an engineering design contest might do the trick. A former baseball coach, Stewart knows kids like to compete. Sure enough, his Gar-Pal design … » More …