Future Reflections                                                                                     Spring/Summer 2004

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NFB Jernigan Institute Director Named

by Barbara Pierce

The following item is excerpted from the January 2004, Braille Monitor article titled “NFB Research and Training Institute Director Named.

Betsy Zaborowski
Betsy Zaborowski

For many months now President Maurer has been engaged in a careful search for the right person to supervise the staffing, equipping, and roll-out of programs in the new Institute as its executive director. During the annual meeting of the NFB board of directors at Thanksgiving he announced his appointment: Dr. Betsy Zaborowski.

As soon as the announcement was made, those in the room could appreciate the obvious fit between the job description and Dr. Z. Most recently she has been director of special programs for the NFB. She was responsible for program development and community outreach nationally, concentrating on technology, seniors, and educational initiatives. Along with developing key partnerships with businesses and universities, she established the NFB’s annual celebration and fundraiser, the national Meet-the-Blind public awareness campaign; the Braille Is Beautiful curriculum for sighted children; and the NFB’s annual Seniors’ Low-Vision Resource Fair in Baltimore. But her highest priority during the past four years has been to assist with fundraising and preliminary planning for the NFB Jernigan Institute. Working with the NFB membership throughout the country, she led the effort to secure a funding commitment of six million dollars from the state of Maryland in support of the Institute.

Dr. Zaborowski brings to this new job expertise and experience in education, psychology, program development, promotion, and resource management. For eight years previous to joining the NFB staff, Dr. Zaborowski was a clinical psychologist in Baltimore. Along with maintaining a successful private practice, Dr. Zaborowski taught in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and lectured at the JHU Medical School and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Previous to her move from Colorado to Baltimore in 1987, she practiced in the field of health psychology for Kaiser Permanente, served as a mental health and university-based counselor, and worked for six years as a grade-six-to-twelve school guidance counselor.

Dr. Zaborowski received her doctorate in psychology from the University of Denver and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Menomonie. As a psychologist she served on and chaired the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology, and for the Maryland Psychological Association (MPA) she served as chair of the Women’s Committee and as delegate-at-large on the MPA executive council.

Dr. Zaborowski was chosen as one of Maryland’s top 100 women by the Daily Record in 1998 and 2000. In 2003 she was recognized again with this award and was inducted, along with a select group of previous top 100 honorees, into the Circle of Excellence of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.

In 1997 the governor of Maryland appointed Dr. Zaborowski to the Maryland Information Technology Board. She was the first chair of the Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities and was appointed to two terms on the Baltimore City Women’s Commission. She also served for several years on the Governor’s Advisory Board on People with Disabilities and has consulted for a number of organizations and companies in time management, stress management, sexual harassment, leadership skills, and disability issues. She recently completed a year in the Baltimore Leadership Program and serves on the board of the YMCA at Stadium Place.

Betsy Zaborowski has a long and active history as an NFB volunteer. She joined the organization in 1979 and has served as treasurer of the Colorado affiliate and president of the NFB Human Services Division. In 2001 we presented Dr. Zaborowski and her husband James Gashel the Jacobus tenBroek Award, our highest national recognition of exemplary service.

We can all be exceedingly proud of this appointment of our own Betsy Zaborowski as executive director of the NFB Jernigan

Institute. She is taking on a tremendously challenging job. It will require all of her many talents and skills. She will also need every bit of commitment and dedication that the entire Federation family can provide to support this new endeavor.

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