The Ray Coppler Disability Awareness Award was initiated during the 2010-11 academic year, and was permanently named after its first recipient. Ray was an undergraduate student at IUP who was an active advocate of disability rights and equal access, and worked closely with the Office of Social Equity. Ray graduated from IUP in 2010 with a BA in History and a minor in Economics.

Close-up picture of a portion of the abstract design on the Coppler Award plaqueThe Coppler Award is designed to reflect the mission and vision of the Department for Disability Access and Advising (D2A2). This includes D2A2's mission to enhance the inclusion of IUP's students with disabilities, and the vision of a university that exceeds accessibility compliance—one that enhances the integration and success of persons with disabilities, and a campus-wide culture of access.

As of the 2018–19 academic year, the Coppler Award honors and gives special recognition to an IUP student(undergraduate or graduate) who has displayed exemplary and creative contributions (beyond the requisites of their major) toward disability awareness, advocacy, accessibility, support, and/or education. Special consideration is given to students whose efforts have impacted the inclusion of people with disabilities within the IUP community.

Each year, the Department for Disability Access and Advising and the Division of Student Affairs seek campus-wide nominations for the award. The nominations are then reviewed by a committee made up of both IUP students and employees, including past Coppler Award recipients.

Following are the recipients of the Ray Coppler Award to date:

2022–23 recipient

2021–22 recipient

2020–21 recipient

  • Brianna Doyle, doctoral candidate (English, Composition and Applied Linguistics)

2019–20 recipient

  • Emily Eckerd, undergraduate student (Special Education major)

2018–19 recipient

2017–18 recipient

  • Resa Crane Bizzaro, faculty member (Department of English, the Composition and Applied Linguistics Program)

2016–17 recipient

  • Lisa Hammett Price, faculty member (Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services)

2015–16 recipient

  • William VanEmburg, undergraduate student (Early Childhood/Special Education and Disability Services double major)

2014–15 recipient

  • Robert Matchett, undergraduate student (Disability Studies and Sociology double major; Educational Psychology minor)

2013–14 recipients

  • John Grant, doctoral candidate (English, Composition and TESOL) and temporary faculty member (Department of English and the American Language Institute)
  • Annah Hill, faculty member (Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services)

2012–13 recipient

  • David Lorenzi, faculty member (Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science)

2011–12 recipient

  • Lindsey DePra, undergraduate student (Art Education and Deaf Education double major, 2012 graduate)

2010–11 recipient

  • Ray Coppler, undergraduate student (History major, 2010 graduate)