Purdue Disability Resource Center hosts new summer internship opportunities

Last updated: April 12th, 2022

The Disability Resource Center has created and filled two summer intern positions. Starting this summer, the DRC is offering two remote, full-time positions in fields related to various majors.

The interns are matched with opportunities to learn about other areas of student affairs (in addition to disability services) based on their academic pursuits, interests, and career goals. From late June through early August, the interns will conduct work remotely and participate in the accommodation request process. They will also remotely attend staff meetings and complete weekly reading assignments that assist with development and educating about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Additionally, the interns will be invited to visit campus, attend the National Disability Services conference AHEAD (led by the Association on Higher Education And Disability), and will have all of their expenses covered by the DRC.

“We had about a dozen applicants from all over the country,” said Eli Van Sickel, access consultant in the DRC. “We were pleasantly surprised by not just how many applicants we got, but by the quality of applicants that we got.”

Ava Armour (she/her) is pleased to join the DRC as an intern this summer. Armour earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2021, and is currently a master’s student studying Higher Education at the University of Michigan, -Ann Arbor. While at Illinois, Armour was diagnosed with multiple disabilities and had a service dog. These experiences showed Armour how to navigate resources and find her passion in advocating for and supporting students with disabilities. At the University of Michigan, Armour is constructing a graduate internship with Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services and is an active member of Disability Culture at the University of Michigan-a group dedicated to creating a disability cultural center. In her free time, Armour can be found cheering for her alma mater, learning about Judaism, and playing with her cats, Monkey and Matzah.

Headshot of Evan Gelhaye, summer intern for the Disability Resource Center at Purdue University.  Ava Armour, an Asian American woman with glasses and blond highlighted hair, smiles at the camera. She is wearing a gray suit, a blue patterned shirt, a blue necklace, and an orange block ‘I’ lapel pin.

Disability Resource Center summer interns Evan Gelhaye (left) and Ava Armour (right)

Evan Gelhaye (they/them) will also join the DRC this summer. Gelhaye obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of St. Thomas (UST), in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They are pursuing a Master of Arts in Leadership in Student Affairs while employed as an Exam Coordinator at UST's Disability Resources department. In addition to their role in the Testing Center, Gelhaye facilitates Tommie P.R.I.D.E educational workshops, is on the Academic Affairs DEI Committee, and is a member of UST's LGBTQIA+ Faculty/Staff Association. Prior to their work in Disability Resources, Gelhaye was an AmeriCorps Volunteer with the Great Basin Institute in Reno, Nev. While there, Gelhaye built hiking trails, preserved natural resources, and protected endangered species. Gelhaye is excited to work with the staff, faculty, and students of Purdue this summer and bring knowledge back to their team in Minnesota.

“It was a hard decision-making process but these two applicants were by far the most impressive,” said Van Sickel. “We want to give them a real in-depth look at the profession.”

This internship will provide graduate students studying Student Affairs in Higher Education extensive exposure to their specific niche field of disability services as it is very common in Student Affairs in Higher Ed Programs that Disability Services is not one that is widely discussed.

“This is a big accomplishment for the DRC,” said Van Sickel. “It's our first year doing something like this and we want to celebrate our department and the interns as they are the next generation of disability services professionals and we take a lot of pride in helping them develop.”

Please send any questions about this initiative to Eli Van Sickel at eavansic@purdue.edu.

headshot of assistant katie larason

Katie Larason

Communications Assistant for Student Success Programs, klarason@purdue.edu