Delta Alpha Pi is an academic honor society for students with disabilities in colleges and universities. Its mission is to work to change the negative stigma placed on the term “disability,” by promoting the academic excellence and leadership skills of its members and encouraging them to advocate for disability issues both on and off campus.
“Because of the negative stereotyping associated with disability, students have been reluctant to identify themselves publicly,” said Deanna Knapp, assistant director of the DRC. “Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society presents an opportunity to change that perception by recognizing students with disabilities for their academic accomplishments, and by facilitating development of skills in leadership, advocacy and education for participating students.”
The inaugural class of New Paltz students swore to uphold these ideals and were inducted into Delta Alpha Pi on Dec. 9:
Michael Desisto ’16 (Contemporary Music)
Jessica Dohanyos ’15 (Special Ed: Adolescence Ed)
Nia Garfinkel ’16 (Early Childhood & Child Ed B-6 – Mathematics B- 6)
Marissa Heuser ’17 (Athropology)
Evan Hulick ’15 (English)
Allison Lysiak ’16 (Adolescence Ed: Social Studies)
William Murphy ’17 (Communication Studies – Public Relations)
Daniel O’Brien ’16 (Music – Contemporary)
James O’Hara ’16 (Geography)
Dante Peluso ’15 (Electrical Engineering)
Julie Planke ’16 (Psychology – Psychobiology)
Ashley Pulver (Psychology)
Jennifer Rodriguez ’15 (Early Childhood & Child Ed B-6 – Black Studies B-6)
Samuel Rosen ’18 (Digital Media Production)
Jacob Stewart ’17 (Environmental Geochemical Science)
“These inaugural members of Delta Alpha Pi demonstrate strength as leaders on campus, helping to break down the barriers of negativism and serving as mentors and role models for other students with disabilities,” Knapp said. “They enhance advocacy skills for themselves and for the rights of all individuals with disabilities to be included fully in society. And, they take pride in their academic achievement and other accomplishments, not only as students with disabilities but as valued members of the College community.”
Delta Alpha Pi was founded in 2004 and has grown to include more than 100 chapters. The Delta Delta Chapter at SUNY New Paltz is the 100th chapter! More information is available online.
Membership to Delta Alpha Pi is open to both undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities who have established chapters and who meet the following criteria: All students must present with a documented disability and must work with a faculty member or advisor in the Disability Resource Center; students must demonstrate an interest in disability issues; undergraduate students must have completed a minimum of 24 credits and earned an overall GPA of 3.10; graduate students must have completed a minimum of 18 graduate credits and earned an overall GPA of 3.30.