Dr. Carolyn Shivers

Dr. Carolyn Shivers has been an associate professor of psychology at Niagara University since 2021. She joined the Disability Awareness Institute in the fall of 2022 as an academic consultant, developing materials for the Disability Awareness Training online modules as well as bespoke workshops for instructors, staff and administrators in higher education.

Dr. Shivers earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s and PhD in psychology from Vanderbilt University. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship with the Daughters of Charity Technology Research Into Disability (DOCTRID) research institute, she joined the faculty of Virginia Tech as an assistant professor of human development and family science.

She created and directed the Pathways Minor in Disabilities Studies, which became the largest minor at Virginia Tech,  with more than 200 students enrolled. As part of the minor, Dr. Shivers created the Intro to Disabilities Studies and Capstone courses, which grew to teach more than 200 students per semester.

Through the American Psychological Association, Dr. Shivers is a member of the Disability Advocacy and Research Network (DARN), a community building and mentoring network for disabled students, faculty, and researchers in psychology and allies. She wrote two successful grants to support DARN’s first conference on the teaching of disability in psychology, which was held in October 2023 and drew more than 200 registrants from around the world.

Dr. Shivers published more than 40 empirical studies, book chapters and other scholarly works; taught multiple courses in psychology, human development and rehabilitation counseling; and provided numerous guest lectures and workshops on disability topics.

For her work in accessibility in higher education, Dr. Shivers received multiple awards during her years at Virginia Tech, including the Good Neighbor Award from the Office of Student Affairs; the Excellence in Access and Inclusion Award from the Services for Students WIth Disabilities; the Diversity Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; and the Favorite Faculty Award from Housing and Residence Life.

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