Political Science Professor named CLAS Accessibility Fellow

Professor Kimberly Bergendahl was recently named an inaugural CLAS Accessibility Fellow. She will receive funding for research, professional development, or a course release and will work on projects related to accessibility issues around campus for the CLAS Dean’s Office.


More About CLAS Accessibility Fellows

CLAS is introducing a program to allow its faculty and staff to develop resources to improve accessibility in the College around teaching and climate. Recognizing that accessibility is a cornerstone principle in design of courses and structures in departments and programs, the College invites proposals from faculty and staff to work on projects that will advance equity of access and inclusivity.  

We will accept up to four fellows for the 2022-2023 academic year.  Each fellow will work on projects related to one of the areas of emphasis indicated below. In addition, fellows will meet as a group once per month with one or more associate deans to coordinate information and programming and to discuss best practices for the College. A time commitment of approximately 10 hours per week is required.  

CLAS will provide the following: for faculty, $7500 to the fellow for each semester they are engaged, which may be used for research, professional development, or a course release with departmental approval; for staff: we will work to be as flexible as possible about arranging the time of the staff member and mitigating the effects of their fellow time on their home department or program. Options would include the possibility of conducting an internship as described in article 25 of the UCPEA contract to work as a fellow, hiring student labor to help with workload, or some combination of the two. Staff recipients will also receive professional development funds (level to be determined in relation to the options selected). 

Staff, tenure system, and in-residence faculty at all campuses are eligible to apply. 

Application Process The following materials should be submitted to clas@uconn.edu by May 16th 2022. 

  • CV/resume 
  • Application Letter (2 pages maximum) explaining your interest in the program and indicating which area(s) of emphasis you wish to pursue. 
  • Short statement of support from Department Head or unit leader (if your primary appointment is not in a department). 

 Areas of Emphasis:  

  • Pedagogy: Developing and sharing best practices around Universal Design for Learning and working on resources for inclusive pedagogical practices. 
  • Structures: Creating and sharing resources towards equitable and accessible structures within departments, developing information on accessibility best practices for syllabi, plans of study, forms, websites. 
  • Culture: Developing programming and information to advance departmental climate around accessibility, advancing community for faculty and staff with disabilities, developing reading groups or speaker series on accessibility. 
  • Graduate affairs: Engagement with graduate student structures around curriculum, degree progress, and advising, and connecting graduate students with groups and resources on campus