Disability Studies

The Papenfuse Prize in Disability Studies

The University of Toledo’s Disability Studies Program is pleased to announce the annual Papenfuse Prize in Disability Studies for undergraduate writing. Submissions may be any critical paper or creative writing produced in an undergraduate Disability Studies class.

Disability Studies faculty, in conjunction with invited guests, will convene a special committee to select a winner by considering the depth of content, proficiency of language, creativity of style, and originality of analysis. 

The Papenfuse Prize is named after Shelley Papenfuse, a native Toledoan who has been advocating for the rights of women and people living with disabilities most of her life. Living with a disability since early childhood, she attended the segregated Cherry Street-Charles Feilbach School until high school. She was part of the first class of students with disabilities to graduate from Start High School in 1977.

Shelley was an early member of Barrier-Free Toledo, a pioneer advocacy group creating access in Toledo. She was a founding member of the Ohio Olmstead Task Force, and has been Chairperson for the Ohio Developmental Disability Planning Council. 

The impact on disability of which she is most proud is the work she has done to develop and bring to fruition the Disability Studies program at the University of Toledo. Her collaboration with Dr. Patricia Murphy to lay the groundwork and build the collaboration between the University and The Ability Center was invaluable to the genesis and revolutionary placement of the program alongside Women and Gender Studies and Africana Studies, within Law and Social Thought, in the College of Arts and Sciences. For this effort, she was a recipient of the 2004 YWCA Milestones Award in Education.
Annual Award

This award will be given out annually at the April honors and awards ceremony of the College of Languages, Literature, and Social Sciences. 

Submissions

Submissions may be any critical paper or creative writing produced in an undergraduate Disability Studies class. 

The Papenfuse Prize

Named for Shelley Papenfuse, a native Toledoan, who has been advocating for the rights of women and people living with disabilities most of her life. Shelly was the recipient of the 2004 YWCA Milestones Award in Education.

Last Updated: 8/8/17