2010 Distinguished Achievement Award

November 2, 2010

Jan A. Nesbit, PhD, awarded 2010 AUCD Distinguished Achievement Award

Jan A. Nesbit, PhD, of the Institute on Disabilit, University of New Hampshire, received the 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award today at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Conference.

The award is presented to individuals or organizations making distinguished lifetime contributions to people with developmental disabilities and their families through research, education, and service.

From the presentation ceremony:

"Dr. Nisbet was Director of the Institute on Disability/UCEDD at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) from 1987 to 2009 when she became Senior Vice Provost for Research. By hiring Jan Nisbet in 1987, UNH became a leader in the field of disability services, advocacy, education, research, and training. Starting with a budget of $120,000 and a staff of three, Nisbet helped UNH's Institute on Disability grow to a staff of 42 full- and part-time employees, paid for by 24 grants and over $5 million in external funding by 2009. The Institute's projects now span an immense spectrum, from autism to inclusive education, from community living for adults to technology, from health care and public policy to leadership training. Under Jan's guidance, the Institute set as its vision a world where all people, including those living with disabilities, are fully engaged members of their communities, and where support is available to help individuals and families achieve independence, productivity and a satisfying quality of life. Over the years, she has conducted research, published and testified on topics related to deinstitutionalization, school restructuring and reform, transition from school to adult life, supported employment, inclusiveness for adults, community services and supports, Medicaid reform, and issues related to aging and disability. Jan is past president of the Executive Board of Directors of TASH. She is a founding member the board of directors for the Endowment for Health, New Hampshire's Health Care Conversion Foundation. She has published extensively in the field of significant disabilities, serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, and presents papers nationally and internationally. Prior to her appointment with the UNH administration, she was the Principal Investigator on many state and nationally funded projects related to the community integration of people with disabilities and continues to contribute to public policy reform efforts in New Hampshire and nationally to help people with disabilities to fully participate in their communities. In 2007 she received the UNH Pettee Medal Award for extraordinary achievement and distinguished service to the state, the nation, and the world. She has also received the UNH Alumni Affairs Award for Excellence in Public Service, the President's Award from the National Down Syndrome Congress and the UNH Research Excellence Award. Lastly, Jan is perhaps best understood by a quote that is displayed prominently in her office. It is from Jonas Salk: "There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.'"

We thank and acknowledge you for your work, Jan and look forward to many more years of your leadership and participation."



Established in 1971, AUCD is a membership organization comprised of three national networks of interdisciplinary, university-based Centers dedicated to research, education, leadership training, policy development, and direct service for people with disabilities.