2021 Focus Award Recipient - Staff

Eli Van Sickel

Eli Van Sickel is an access consultant in the Disability Resource Center.  One of his many tasks is to assist students in setting up accommodations for their courses, especially during heavy exam seasons and finals week. Eli brings a personalized touch to every meeting he has with his students. Eli consistently goes out of his way to help students navigate a complexities of accommodation in education, and he does so in a way that helps students forge a positive connection with Purdue University.

In October 2019, Eli used his connections in the world of theatre and performance to coordinate a performance by America’s Got Talent contestant, Ryan Niemiller, for a one-night comedy show at Purdue. The comedian, who was born with a congenital birth defect affecting both arms, came in third place in America’s Got Talent. Eli worked tirelessly to make the event a huge success.  It was the largest event in the history of the Disability Resource Center, selling out Loeb Playhouse!

Eli’s commitment to personalizing every experience he has with students and his commitment to the university’s values of accessibility and disability-related initiatives is incredible. He changes the way people view disabilities through interactive problem solving, inclusive design, outreach, and his work with students and faculty.  Eli Van Sickel is a valuable member of the Purdue University team.