Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Liza Detenber

Activities? I am the president of the Whe/Arc Friendship Club (formerly known as Best Buddies). I am also the interim treasurer for the Community Service, Civic Engagement, and Activism (SEA) Board. I am the student representative for the ADA/504 Committee at Wheaton College as well.  This Committee works to improve the experience for students on-campus with physical and learning disabilities. I also help advise students on campus as a Peer Mentor working in the Filene Center for Work and Learning as well as a Preceptor.

Scholarships: Last summer, I won the Wheaton Fellows grant and received $3,000 to participate in an eight-week summer internship at an Early Intervention Service serving infants and toddlers with disabilities in the city of Springfield, MA.  This summer I will be using my Community Scholar Stipend of $3,000 to work in Nicaragua and Costa Rica for Global Learning, a non-profit organization that works to teach peace and justice.

Ever heard of the “Queso-Liza?” I had a dish named after me in my hometown of Northampton, Massachusetts.  I have always loved Mexican food and when I was about 5 years old my mom and I used to go to a Mexican Restaurant in my town literally once a week. I always wanted a quesadilla, but they were too big for me to finish so my mom would order me half a quesadilla that would use only one tortilla instead of two.  After ordering this way for a few months the owner decided to include this item on her menu naming it “Queso-Liza.”

A discovered interest: I have always had a passion for working with individuals with special needs and hope to pursue this as a future career within the psychological field.  It wasn’t until I came to Wheaton College that I began to understand the intersection between special needs work and multiculturalism.  After taking Multicultural Psychology I have become increasingly more interested in exploring the ways in which people with disabilities fit into the multicultural world.  I am interested in exploring how ablism (the ism that oppresses individuals with disabilities) poses similar threats to that of racism.  And through this understanding create more affective programs for individuals with disabilities that foster positive growth and development.