College to Host Speaker on Disabilities Feb. 6

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Westminster College will host guest speaker Dr. Susan Burch for a program Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. in the Witherspoon Rooms of McKelvey Campus Center.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Burch's presentation is "Finding Junius Wilson: Why Disability Studies Matters."  She will share the story of Wilson, a deaf African American man who spent 76 years at a state psychiatric institution in North Carolina, including six years in the criminal ward, although he was never declared insane by a medical professional nor found guilty of any criminal charges.

Burch will show how including deaf and disability into our scholarly, community, and personal worlds will fundamentally transform understanding of who and where we are and have been.

Burch is associate professor of American Studies and director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity at Middlebury College in Vermont.  Her research interests include the historical impact of race, ethnicity, disability, gender, and material culture on lived experiences in America, Russia, and beyond.

The program is sponsored by Westminster's student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children, Diversity Services, Diversity Symposium, Student Government Association, Disability Resources, and Disabilities Awareness Club.

Contact Corey Shaw, director of Westminster's Office of Disability Resources, at (724) 946-7192 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.