CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,
Sept. 19, 2003 – In honor of National Rehabilitation Week, Dr. Kerry Wynn, director of Southeast Missouri State University’s Learning Enrichment Center (LEC), received an award Sept. 17 for community service from Saint Francis Medical Center.
Wynn was chosen as an individual who has successfully advocated for improved services for people with disabilities and who has increased opportunities for them. He also was chosen based on the assistance the LEC has given to rehab patients in the past.
JoAnn Jaco, chair of the Rehabilitation Week Awareness Committee at Saint Francis, explained that the LEC has helped many of their patients with disabilities. Along with many other students, one patient with a head injury was assisted with his school work in the LEC. Another student who was injured in a motor vehicle accident gained some relief because the LEC helped to stagger his school schedule, Jaco said.
Wynn said he believes in his work, trying to help those with disabilities to succeed. He has a post-polio mobility impairment himself, which requires him to walk with a brace and crutches, so he knows what attending school is like when living with a disability.
“I attended Southeast Missouri State University as an undergraduate and found it to be a life changing experience,” Wynn said. “While I was able to succeed here as a student with a disability, not every person with a disability can say the same. My goal has been to remove as many of those obstacles as I can so that others with disabilities may have the life changing experience that Southeast gave me.”
Wynn is currently the chairman of the Disability Advisory Council on campus. He is also on the QUIP Parking Committee and the Collaborative Advising Team. In the past, he has been a rehabilitation counselor as well as a minister for people with visual impairments. He has also given numerous presentations on disabilities, and is currently a part-time faculty member in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion.
Wynn is one of 13 individuals and groups to receive this award. Recipients are chosen by a nominating committee at the hospital. St. Francis staff members were asked to nominate people for the award based on those who had done an outstanding job of helping to integrate people back into their everyday lives.
When accepting the award, Wynn said he wanted to make sure not to forget others who he believes play a significant role in the helping of students.
“I am honored to receive the Rehabilitation Awareness Award,” Wynn said. “I believe the honor belongs to all who have served the LEC through the years in working to open the doors to education for people with disabilities.”
Other awards were given at the ceremony for rehab patients who exemplified determination. Fourteen people were recognized as “Wall of Famers” at the ceremony because of their success in becoming a part of the community again.
The LEC has been a part of Southeast Missouri State University for more than 10 years. Formally known as the Campus Assistance Center, it now offers a wide range of services for students, including Supplemental Instruction, tutorial instructions, learning labs, workshops, and more.