Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Announces 2013 Scholarship Program Winners

Baltimore, Maryland (May 7, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people, today announced the winners of its 2013 Scholarship Program, which awards thirty scholarships each year to recognize achievement by blind scholars.  The winners are listed below in alphabetical order with their home states and vocational goals:


  • Conrad Austen, MD: History professor and disability historian
  • Cody Bair, CO: Tax accountant (CPA)
  • Riki Burton, KY: Teacher of the blind and visually impaired 
  • Mark Colasurdo, NJ: Doctor and research scientist in biological engineering 
  • Angela Dehart, KY: Elementary special education teacher (including severe disabilities) 
  • Stephanie DeLuca, TN: Scientist and STEM education policy analyst
  • Albert Elia, MA:  Lawyer - high tech disability and intellectual property law
  • Molly Faerber, RI: Fiction author, writing instructor, publisher 
  • Kristin Fleschner, MA: Lawyer, federal government analyst
  • Juna Gjata, MA: Undecided – considering journalist 
  • Fredrick Hardyway, KS: University professor of world history 
  • Natasha Hubbard, VA: Social worker, professional counselor, and life coach 
  • Edgar Johnson, SC: High school history teacher            
  • Tyler Kavanaugh, KS: Software developer of accessible appliances 
  • Mi So Kwak, CA: High school teacher/college professor
  • Domonique Lawless, LA: Cane travel (O&M) instructor of blind students 
  • Alex Loch, MN: Physical therapist 
  • Brooke Lovell, UT: Marriage and family therapist
  • Julie McGinnity, MO: Professor of voice and performer 
  • Mona Minkara, FL: University professor/researcher in quantum chemistry 
  • Disa Muse, OK: Adult education instructor, disability advocate 
  • Treva Olivero, LA:  Teacher of blind students, K-12 
  • Steven Phelps, UT: Licensed social worker, administrator, and advocate 
  • Heather Rasmussen, TN: International conflict resolution or U.S. prison reform
  • Kaitlin Shelton, OH: Board-certified music therapist 
  • Jermaine Siqueiros-Ramirez, CA: Vocational rehabilitation counselor, rehabilitation psychologist 
  • Ivy Wanta, NY: Scientific researcher, possibly in physics 
  • Kathryn Cornell Webster, CT: Actuarial scientist and motivational speaker
  • Matthew Yeater, IN: Professor of theology and evangelist 
  • Stephanie Zundel, NJ: Speech pathologist in a hospital setting 

“These students represent academic excellence, and many of them are doubtless future leaders of this nation’s blind,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind.  “They are forging a path in disciplines as varied as engineering, theology, special education, law, and psychiatry.  They are proof of our conviction that we, the blind of this nation, can compete on terms of equality with our sighted peers, and we are very proud of their accomplishments.” 

In July each winner will attend the NFB’s seventy-third annual national convention in Orlando, Florida, where the Scholarship Committee will spend several days getting to know each student and then decide which scholarship (ranging in value from $3,000 to $12,000) to award each of them.  The scholarship winners will then be announced at the banquet of the NFB convention on Saturday, July 6.

For more information on the National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program, visit