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2020-2021 Student Representatives

Call for Nominations   

2021-2022 Student Representatives to the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies

The Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies is pleased to announce a new role for two student representatives to the Board of Directors of the Society for Disability Studies, and to call on our membership to nominate candidates to serve as the inaugural student representatives in the 2021-2022 academic year.

SDS has grown in recent years: we have more members than ever before, and more student members. SDS began as a small community of scholars committed to the idea of disability studies as a liberatory discipline between academia and activism, and we continue to be an organization run by our members, who serve elected terms on the board and volunteer for committees. The current SDS board of directors opted to create the student representative positions because we want to promote student leadership and representation in the organization, while also supporting the professionalization of student members who wish to take on leadership roles. We hope that these positions will promote transparency (in terms of how student members can get more involved in SDS) and sustainability (by formalizing the commitment and labor involved in student leadership roles).

The student representatives will be elected from nominations from the membership.* The student representatives must be members of SDS and enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate institution. The student representatives will be invited to attend meetings of the board of directors, with the goal of representing the needs of student members of SDS as a standing agenda item and throughout the meeting, and to serve as members and as co-chairs of SDS committees. The student representatives may be consulted directly by other committees and by the executive committee to represent the perspectives and needs of SDS student members as needed. Student representatives are encouraged to develop further initiatives to benefit the broader student membership of SDS during their elected term.

The term of appointment for student representatives is two years, with an option to depart at the end of year one (giving notice by May 1st in order to allow elections to take place). Terms begin September 1st. Each student representative will be assigned a mentor on the board with knowledge of the board’s workings and committees relevant to the student representative’s stated goals. Student representatives will be encouraged by the president to serve as co-chairs or members of committees or working groups relevant to their goals.

Committees and Task Forces currently include:

  • Program (Conference and other programming)

  • Nominations & Awards

  • Policy & Publications

  • Membership

  • Development

  • Communications

  • Black Lives Matter taskforce

  • COVID-19 taskforce

To nominate or self-nominate, please send an email to Cassandra Hartblay, cassandra (at) indicating your intent to run (or the name and email of someone whom you nominate to run).
In addition, nominees should submit the following materials to the same email address:
  • Academic CV or resume (Your CV/Resume will not be made public, but will be available to the current board, and filed in board records.)

  • Email address or other appropriate contact information for one academic or relevant professional reference (The board will contact the reference to ask if they recommend/ endorse your candidacy. Please inform the person that they will be contacted. Your reference’s response will only be seen by the current board.)

  • A 500 word statement about why you are running, including your background in disability studies/disablity advocacy, your vision for SDS, and what you would like to do during your term as SDS student representative if elected. Be sure to begin with basic identifying information such as where you are studying, your discipline and research interests, and identities that you wish to claim. (Statements will be shared with SDS members as part of the election voting process.)

Questions about the role, how to compose a statement, and the election process are also welcome and encouraged. Please direct any questions/comments to Holly Pearson and Suzanne Stolz, Co-Presidents, or to Cassandra Hartblay, Membership Committee Chair:

Email Holly - holly (at) disstudies (dot) org

Email Suzanne - suzanne (at) disstudies (dot) org

Email Cassandra - cassandra (at) disstudies (dot) org

Materials must be received no later than JUNE 20th, 2021 by 11:59 PM your time zone to be included in the 2021 election.


Cassandra Hartblay, Membership Committee Chair, SDS Board of Directors


*Student members are also invited to run for undesignated general seats on the Board of Directors. The student representative role is specifically designed to support a sustainable model for ongoing student representation and participation in the direction of SDS.

For the 2021-2022 Call for Nominations for the SDS Board of Directors, go here.