Maine UCEDD Honors Retiring Director Lu Zeph and Four 2015 Daring to Dream Award Recipients

June 29, 2015

On June 18, 2015, the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (ME UCEDD) hosted a celebration to honor retiring Director, Lu Zeph, and four recipients of the Center's 2015 Daring to Dream Awards. A photo album from the celebration is available on the Maine UCEDD's Facebook page.

For the past 23 years, Lu Zeph has served as the founding Director of the Maine UCEDD. She joined the faculty of the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development in 1979 where she established and coordinated graduate education in the area of severe disabilities until 1992. As a Kennedy Public Policy Fellow in 1999, Lu served as an advisor to the late James M. Jeffords, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. From 2000-2001, she served as Executive Director of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation while on leave from the University of Maine. Lu has received the University of Maine President's Award for Public Service (1992) and lifetime achievement awards from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (2009) and TASH New England (2010). Under her leadership, the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies was recognized in 2013 by the University of Maine and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) for two decades of exemplary work in community engagement. Lu will be retiring on June 30, 2015 after 35 years of service to the University of Maine.

The Daring to Dream Awards, initiated in 2002 as part of the Maine UCEDD's 10th Anniversary celebration, recognize individuals or organizations whose vision and leadership contribute to making the dream of inclusive communities a reality for individuals with disabilities and their families. The inaugural awards honored Dr. Patricia Morrissey, the late Dr. Allen Crocker, and the late University of Maine Associate Dean Emerita Elaine Gershman for their contributions in laying the foundation for the establishment of the Center.

This year, the Center honored the following individuals with 2015 Daring to Dream Awards:

  • Tyler Ingalls, Board member of Speaking Up for Us and founder of Maine Community Sports. (Advocacy Award Honoree)
  • Michele Pino, retired Executive Director of the non-profit Southern Kennebec Child Development Corporation. (Social Change Co-Honoree)
  • Maria Timberlake, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at SUNY Cortland, Foundations and Social Advocacy Department. (Social Change Co-Honoree)
  • Helen M. Bailey, Esq., retired General Counsel for Maine's protection and advocacy agency, Disability Rights Maine. (Public Policy Change)

Since its inception, the Daring to Dream Award has always reflected the artistry and vision of Maine artisans with disabilities. The featured artist for the 2015 Award is Dakota Douglas, a member of the Cony High School [Augusta, ME] Class of 2015. His freehand drawing, "Spring Mandella" was the winning submission in the 2015 Daring to Dream Award Artwork Competition, sponsored by the Maine UCEDD. Over 30 Maine artists with disabilities submitted original artwork for the Selection Committee's consideration for this year's award.

Image: Charles Zeph, Lu Zeph and JJ Zeph (Photo credit: Monty Rand)