LaDonna McCullough, MA, is the director of intercultural engagement at MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) in Olathe, Kansas and is the NASPA IV-West Socioeconomic and Class Issues Representative.
As the diversity and inclusion officer for MNU, LaDonna provides leadership in the development and implement of an intercultural engagement strategic plan that undergirds biblical diversity. Through partnerships on faculty and staff development initiatives that foster brave spaces, cultural responsive and relevant decision-making, and diverse learning environments, LaDonna coach’s faculty and staff through cultural proficiency trainings, 1:1 technical consulting and programmatic efforts.
In 2017, LaDonna was selected two participate in the second Diversity and Disability Fellows cohort, the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) grant funded research program supported by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). She specializes in diversity and inclusion program design centered on enhancing accessibility, inclusion and cultural competency frameworks within institutions. She is a skilled cultural competency technical assistant consultant providing cultural proficiency team development and executive coaching for transformative organizational change to educational, non-profit, and public-sector institutions.
LaDonna also serves as a planning council member for the Cultural Competency Collective of Greater Kansas City and chairs the Collective’s Cultural Competency Technical Assistance (TA) Work Group lending her skillset and thought leadership to equity initiatives in the community.
Abby Cole, LMSW, graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) School of Social Work with a master’s in social work and graduate certificate in interdisciplinary leadership and disability studies in May 2017.
Abby has served as a graduate mentor for UMKC’s Propel Program, a comprehensive transition and postsecondary program approved by the US Department of Higher Education; and, a counseling intern at Horizon Academy where she worked with students with disabilities from grade one through twelve.
Using her extensive background in Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) and Person-Centered Planning (PCP) facilitation, Abby’s advocacy work centers on dismantling barriers for individuals with disabilities in educational, health, human and social services.
Abby currently works as a family service coordinator for KVC Health Systems where she serves foster parents and foster children of all backgrounds and abilities.
Laura E. Hurse, BA, is a graduate student in the M.A. of higher education administration with an emphasis in disabilities leadership at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).
Laura is a co-instructor for the Bridge to College Program at UMKC where she teaches students with developmental and physical disabilities, course content ranging from general education requisites to life and employment skills. She also serves as the student liaison coordinator for the Propel Program at UMKC’s Institute for Human Development.
In the fall of 2015, Laura was awarded a fellowship into the inaugural Diversity and Disability Fellows cohort, a pipeline grant funded by the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) supported by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
As a dynamic disabilities rights advocate in the greater Kansas City area, Laura’s passion for educational accessibility at the postsecondary level can be witnessed in the hundreds of volunteer hours she dedicates to initiatives geared towards universal approaches to academic opportunities for first-time college students with disabilities.
Kimberly Harvey, BSW, has worked in the health and human services field, advocating for the needs of people with disabilities from all ages of the life span cycle for over a decade. She earned a bachelor in social work from Pittsburg State University in 2003, and has worked in numerous areas, such as early childhood education, foster care, mobility equipment sales, medical social work, and social security disability.
In the fall of 2015, she returned to school in pursuit of a juris doctorate degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). Kimberly plans to use her legal training, combined with her previous work experience, to further advocate for the needs of the disability community and other underrepresented individuals of the federally protected classes (as defined by the US federal anti-discrimination laws) through a career in public interest law.