Director, Disability Cultural Center
Carrie Ingersoll-Wood joined the Disability Cultural Center (DCC) as the new director in May 2022. In this role, Carrie is focused on fostering a vibrant, inclusive learning environment, one that increases students’ sense of belonging and identity, reinforces disability as diversity and engages students with resources within the Intercultural Collective. She is committed to carrying out the mission of the DCC to empower students to practice personal agency in reassigning personal meaning to their lives as disabled people, connecting students to the disability community both on and off campus, and educating students on the history and culture of disability through opportunities to connect on campus to practice individual and collective action that challenges ableism.
Carrie is also a Ph.D. candidate in teaching and curriculum in the School of Education. As a first-generation student herself, she researches the motivation and educational identity formation of first-generation students, how students draw on forms of community cultural wealth to assist in building academic self-efficacy and positive educational identity to succeed in their pursuit of a degree. Like many first-in-family students, Carrie started her education at a community college (SUNY Broome) as an adult and worked full-time while completing associate, bachelor's and master’s degrees.
Growing up, Carrie was discouraged from higher education—that is why she became a teacher and scholar and has made education the focus of her life. She is passionate about carving out a path for every student and her diverse experience in community building and advocacy for students with disabilities ranges from her background as an English classroom teacher in the Syracuse City School District and as a graduate assistant for reading and language arts supervising English education students, to working with students in her professional roles in advising at Cornell University and student services at SUNY Broome.
Carrie was born and raised in the Greater Binghamton area, Apalachin, NY. She received an associate in arts in liberal arts from SUNY Broome, a bachelor of arts with honors in English, general literature and rhetoric at Binghamton University and a master of arts in English adolescent education at Binghamton University. Of her three degrees, the associate degree is currently her favorite because it signifies the beginning of her academic journey, but she is confident that when she earns a Ph.D., that degree will move to first place. She and her husband live in the Syracuse area and have three children and three dogs who all mean the world to her.
Diana Garcia-Varo is a first-year student majoring in art video in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Previously, Diana has participated in organizations and projects such as National Honor Society, where she was elected secretary, A Voice For The Voiceless as a collaborating performer, the Wild Bird Fund and Walking Tree Travel as a volunteer. She is currently involved in off-campus extracurricular The Opportunity Network, where she connects with other students and professionals in order to gain career readiness.
Having a strong interest in psychology and the arts has motivated Diana to become a voice for her community and a helping hand in New York City. Diana has collaborated with New York University through a competition in order to publish a journal that advocates for integration in New York City public schools and has used various artistic platforms such as performance, drawing and poetry in order to advocate for better change. As an artist, Diana aspires to inspire those around her and keep an open mind when it comes to working with others. In the future, Diana not only looks forward to becoming an artist, but also a role model and an advocate for equity in various communities.
Alison Gilmore is a junior sport analytics major from South Abington Township, Pennsylvania. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 2.5 years old, and she has long understood the importance of, and power in, educating others in order to foster a more inclusive society. As such, advocacy is something incredibly important to her. As a student assistant and Access Mentor for the Disability Cultural Center, Alison helps welcome students and other visitors to the Intercultural Collective, answer phone calls, write captions for social media posts and engage in conversation with her peers as well as faculty and staff about disability and life as a disabled student.