John Andresen, a doctoral student in special education at the IU School of Education, has been recognized with an award for his leadership and commitment toward advancing the field of integrated employment.
The Got Mike Emerging Scholar/Educational Leadership Award from the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) honors contributions to the advancement of integrated employment and the ongoing educational advancement of professionals interested in the field. The award was named for Michael McAllister, an advocate regarding employment for all people and a dedicated APSE friend. The award presentation took place on June 18 during the Annual Member Meeting at APSE’s National Virtual Conference.
Andresen said he was very humbled to win the award.
“I view APSE as the leader in advocating for community-based employment for individuals with disabilities, and to be recognized by them was a tremendous honor,” he added.
Andresen is currently working for the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) as a research associate. His work is primarily related to inclusive postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities, specifically focusing on issues of equity in the transition to adulthood and employment.
His interest in special education started in during his undergraduate years, when he worked at a camp for youth and adult with disabilities. After graduating, he worked for Seeger Memorial Jr High School as a special education teacher for four years, an experience he called tremendously impactful on him.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity which IU has provided me, and specifically the relationships built between the School of Education and the IIDC. I hope to continue to build bridges between the various schools at Indiana University to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities,” he said.