image of Randall Ward
Randall Ward
DRC Director &
Associate Director of Student Success

Randall started in higher education disability services in 2007, spending the first 5-years at Lake Michigan Community College. Additional stops included Northern Illinois University and Eastern Michigan University prior to arriving at Purdue in February 2016. Before higher education, Randall spent 18 years as a private Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor performing medical case management and return to work consulting with private/public employers, insurance companies, and attorneys. He earned a BS from Michigan State University and an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Northern Michigan University. Professional Development activity includes participation in a US DoE Funded 3 year research grant: Project ShIFT (Shaping Inclusion through Foundational Transformation). A member of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and frequent presenter nationally. He earned the AHEAD Diversity Recognition Award in 2014 for “…outstanding service in promoting diversity within our profession and places of work.”

image of Paul Harwell
Paul Harwell
Sr. Assistant Director

Paul joined DRC as the Senior Assistant Director in November 2019. Paul serves a variety of leadership roles for the DRC and Purdue community. Prior to Purdue, Paul worked as a disability resource professional at both Harvard University and Texas A&M University. Paul believes in leading by example and that access is a shared community responsibility, which drive his efforts to develop partnerships that help remove barriers for students and people with disabilities. He brings a broad range of experiences to Purdue, but has specific expertise on assistive technology, digital access, student development, higher education and disability law, and assessment. Paul began his journey in this profession as a student employee in 2006 with intensive mentorship that he works to return to the others within the professional network and the greater higher education community. Paul has been an active member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) since 2010 and previously served in multiple leadership roles for AHEAD in Texas before moving to New England. Paul completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M University. His intended research focuses on faculty perspectives and experiences of supporting students with disabilities.

image of Mandie Waling
Mandie Waling
Assistant Director 

Mandie joined the DRC at Purdue in February of 2019. Prior to coming to Purdue, Mandie held disability support positions at the University of Notre Dame for 5 years and Emory University for 3 years. Mandie earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from Franklin College and a M.S. in Higher Education with a concentration in Leadership for Student Success from Walden University. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Education with a concentration in Higher Education Leadership and Management from Walden as well. Mandie is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the Indiana AHEAD affiliate. Mandie is committed to working within higher education to address and help break down barriers that may impact a student’s path to success. Growing up around Purdue, Mandie is excited to be back in Boiler country.

image of Kelsey Jordan
Kelsey Jordan
Testing Coordinator

Kelsey Jordan serves as the Disability Resource Center (DRC) Testing Coordinator, overseeing the Accommodated Testing Center and its daily operations. In addition to her role as Testing Coordinator, she also serves as the Staff Advisor for the Student Advisory Committee (DRC-SAC). Kelsey joined the DRC team in 2015 as a campus transfer from Purdue University Northwest (PNW) where she worked in a supervisory position in the Student Success Center. In 2016, Kelsey earned her Master’s degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Indiana State University. Prior to that, she completed her undergraduate education at PNW with a concentration in Natural Sciences. Kelsey enjoys working with students and faculty to help identify and breakdown disability related barriers across campus. Kelsey is a true Boilermaker as she loves this campus and never misses a Purdue Basketball or Football game. Boiler Up!

image of Trina Higgins
Trina Higgins
Administrative Assistant

Trina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to joining Purdue University, Trina spent five years working with children in the special education resource room at Klondike Elementary School in West Lafayette, IN. Outside of work, Trina enjoys yoga, hiking, reading, and spending time with her husband and their children. She is a proud Boilermaker Mom and says her greatest accomplishment is raising three boys.

Allison Staley
Financial Aid Administrator
4th Floor Krach Leadership Center

Allison Staley is an experienced Financial Aid Administrator. Her prior higher education experiences include: The University of Texas at Austin, Augustana College, and Western Illinois University (WIU). She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from WIU. She is knowledgeable in Financial Aid (FA) issues and connects with others from across the country regarding FA. Allison is a dedicated resource within Student Success Programs at Purdue. She is also a fantastic dog mom and enjoys weekend outdoor adventures and promotes Wildlife conservation. Please contact Allison with your financial aid questions and concerns.

image of Rhonda Adams
Rhonda Adams
Access Consultant

Rhonda joined the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at Purdue in January 2018. Rhonda has spent 25 years working with persons with disabilities. She has experience working with all ages and a variety of disabilities. Rhonda began her experience by working as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist with the blind and visually impaired. She has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Tennessee. Rhonda spent 13 years working overseas in primarily underdeveloped countries and in some cases very remote regions. There she helped to develop and promote educational programs for children with disabilities and employment options for disabled adults.

image of Amanda Bell
Amanda Bell, PhD 
Access Consultant

Dr. Bell arrived at Purdue in November 2017 following the completion of her PhD in Educational Studies at Eastern Michigan University. Prior to Purdue, Dr. Bell held positions in Disability and Student Services at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University, and Michigan State University. Currently, Amanda is a member of the Association of Higher Education (ASHE) and the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). As a disability scholar-practitioner, Amanda is passionate about helping break down barriers and supporting students of all abilities in their full participation in higher education.

image of Lisa Yates
Lisa Yates
Access Consultant

Lisa worked as an electrician before an acquired disability forced her to retire in 2003. She returned to school and received her BA in 2005 and MS Ed. in 2011 from Purdue. As a student with a disability, Lisa learned the importance of appropriate accommodations to ensure equal access to the educational opportunities afforded to her. Prior to joining the Purdue DRC in July 2017, Lisa taught special education and worked as a State of Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Lisa is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and the state affiliate IN-AHEAD.

image of Ryan McCombs
Ryan McCombs
Access Consultant

Ryan started work in the Disability Resource Center at Purdue in June 2018. Previously he was a Disability Services Advisor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Prior to entering higher education disability work, he spent some time in K-12 as an educator. He earned his B.S. in Elementary Education with a major in Integrated Sciences and minors in Leadership Studies and Language Arts from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Ball State University. Ryan recently was elected President-elect for the Indiana Association on Higher Education and Disability. He was a student with a disability in college, which is where his passion for advocating for student access started. He enjoys meeting with students and working with them on eliminating everyday barriers. He spends his spare time traveling, hiking, kayaking, fishing, woodworking, as well as spending time with his family, friends, and service dog and Newfoundland Kodiak.

image of Eli Van Sickel
Eli Van Sickel
Access Consultant

Eli joined the Disability Resource Center in the Summer of 2019. A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Eli brings a unique background and skillset to the DRC. He holds an M.S. in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University, where he spent two years working in almost every facet of disability services. Before that, Eli spent over 10 years in the performing arts world, receiving a B.S. in Theatre from Indiana State University and an M.S. in Theatre History & Theatre Studies from Illinois State University. He has extensive experience working for professional theatre companies in Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. While Eli is hard of hearing and has worn hearing aids throughout his life, he is also an avid musician, singer, and performer. Eli's professional interests include: disability in performance, d/Deaf theatre, and the social justice model of disability.

image of Hunter Deigelmeier
Hunter Deigelmeier
Access Consultant

Dr. Deiglmeier joined the DRC in May 2020 after the completion of her PhD in English literature at Marquette University. Prior to working in Purdue’s DRC, Dr. Deiglmeier taught rhetoric and composition, literature, and Disability Studies courses at Marquette. In addition to her background in teaching, Dr. Deiglmeier also works in student services and higher education administration, which she began in 2016 as the Graduate Assistant in Marquette’s Office of Disability Services. At Purdue, Dr. Deiglmeier’s work in the DRC is uniquely positioned through her Disability Studies scholarship and her passion for teaching, writing, and research. As a disabled scholar, teacher, and practitioner, Dr. Deiglmeier enjoys working to promote an inclusive and accessible campus for all students, staff, and faculty.

image of Austin Connell
Austin Connell
Access Consultant

Austin joined the DRC in June of 2020. Prior to coming to Purdue University, he worked as a Graduate Assistant Residence Hall Director and an intern in the Disability Resource office at Northern Arizona University (NAU). While at NAU, he also earned his M.Ed. in Counseling - Student Affairs. Prior to that, Austin completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, and majored in Human Development and Family Studies. He is passionate about advocating for access for students, staff, and faculty while also bridging the gap between student affairs and academic affairs in order to better provide for and support students. Austin enjoys volunteering at animal shelters, exploring local areas, and playing with his cat - Gatsby. He is also a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD).

image of Cindy Hedgecough
Cindy Hedgecough
Alternative Formats Coordinator

Cindy got her start at Purdue in the library system in 1980. In this role, she searched a variety of topics for the library system. She was promoted to a copy cataloguer prior to being hired into the DRC in 1998 as a braille clerk. Cindy has trained and learned a variety of braille code over the years. She can read braille as well to maintain quality standards.  As braille demand increased, Cindy became production manager for braille. As reliance on braille has decreased, Cindy has become involved in the DRC accommodated testing center, as this area has seen significant growth. She also assists with alternative formats.

image of Heidi Smart
Heidi Smart
Alternative Formats Coordinator

Heidi has multiple years of experience in her role having started at Purdue in 2001. In the early days, she was employed as a Tactile Graphics Specialist and has maintained her skills in making materials tactilely accessible. Heidi works with students, instructors, authors and publishers to acquire and/or convert printed textbooks and course materials into an accessible format for students. She also provides training to faculty and staff on how to create or remediate their course materials for students to use with screen reader and text-to-speech software. Heidi graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Graphic Design emphasis from Indiana State University. She is a Community Partner representative for Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) DRC Teams at Purdue.

image of Kathy Hendren
Kathy Hendren
Access Facilitator

Kathy is the Access Facilitator for the Disability Resource Center (DRC), making sure all of the requests made for interpreting for the Deaf, CART, as well as other services get scheduled and properly filled. Kathy attended Cincinnati Christian University, where in 1995 she obtained her AA in Deaf Ministry with an emphasis in Interpreting for the Deaf. She continued her education at William Woods University and obtained her BS in Interpreting for the Deaf in 2015. She has had most of her experience in interpreting in the higher educational setting facing the challenges that it presents, which is her passion. Kathy joined the DRC staff in March of 2019 and is proud to serve the students here at Purdue with the services that they request. She enjoys working with Deaf, Hard of Hearing students, and community to ensure equal access on this wonderful Purdue campus. Boiler UP!!

image of Alex Mason
Alex Mason
Test Proctor

Alex Mason works in the Accommodated Testing Center. He has worked in the Disability Resource Center since 2013. Alex graduated from Purdue with a degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision, which gives him a unique perspective, as he knows Purdue through-and-through. While at Purdue, he participated in Purdue’s All-American Marching Band, as well as many other musical ensembles. Outside of work, Alex plays many musical instruments and performs regularly around the Lafayette area. Alex also enjoys traveling and experiencing the food, music, and culture of every destination he travels to. He is also an avid weather enthusiast and is obsessed with new and emerging technologies.

image of Alfredo Rosales
Alfredo Rosales
Document Conversion Clerk

Alfredo joined the DRC in 2018 bringing 9-years of experience working with Accessible Electronic Media. He will be working with students and instructors to provide accessible textbooks and educational materials to students. Alfredo has developed knowledge and insight to offer students, faculty and staff on how to make their materials more accessible as well as compatibility issues. He graduated from Ivy Tech earning an Associate’s Degree in Business Management. Alfredo was part of a team to win the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition in 2007.

image of kodiak
Service Animal

Kodiak began his career as a Service Dog at Purdue University in September 2018. Kodiak is a five year old, 140 lb Newfoundland Dog who received his service dog training in Michigan to help his handler, Ryan McCombs, with mobility support, including tasks like balance, pull up support, and gait stability. Kodiak loves to spend his down time chasing tennis balls, going on nature hikes, camping, swimming, and sleeping. Kodiak loves to work in the DRC and most of the time you can find him lounging around Ryan’s office and greeting any new friends. Kodiak looks forward to seeing you around the DRC and campus and apologizes in advance for any slobber you may receive when interacting with him. Please remember to ask Ryan prior to interacting with him!

image of sahali
Service Animal

Sahali is a service dog for one of the Access Consultants in the Disability Resource Center. She is a Pointer / Great Pyrenees / Lab mix who was born in a shelter in South Carolina. She received her training through Animals Deserve Better in Marietta, GA. Sahali is trained to do several tasks for her handler - one of those tasks is to bark at specific things and in specific situations. Don’t let her bark frighten you, she is just doing her job! Sahali will not bite, but please do not pet her unless you ask her handler if it is okay. Sahali and her handler have been together for four years. Sahali enjoys running, long walks, and long naps.

image of Linnea
Service Animal

Linnea began her career as a guide dog for her handler, Hunter Deiglmeier, in July 2013. Linnea helps Hunter navigate the world safely by guiding her around obstacles, finding stairs, curbs, escalators, and elevators. Linnea is an eight-year-old, 55 lb. female black Labrador Retriever. She received her service dog training from Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA. During her downtime, Linnea’s favorite things to do include taking naps, eating, and cuddling. Linnea loves lounging around and meeting new people, but please ask Hunter if you can pet her while she is not working – and please do not feed Linnea any treats (she’s on a diet!).

Contact Us

Phone: (765) 494-1247 

YONG Room 830 
155 S. Grant St. 
West Lafayette, IN 47907