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UNH Director of Affirmative Action and Equity Honored by Governor's Commission

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 15, 2010

Donna Marie Sorrentino, director of Affirmative Action and Equity, recently received an award from the Governor’s Commission on Disability during a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To celebrate the July 20, 1990 signing of the act, the Governor’s Commission on Disability initiated an awards program recognizing individuals or organizations that have “substantially contributed to the implementation of the ADA regulations while championing and advocating for the disability community.”  Sorrentino was nominated in the individual category.

“This award is so justly deserved.  Donna Marie has dedicated more than 20 years of her professional life to ensuring that the promises of accessibility and equal opportunity made under ADA legislation are realized in practice here on campus and in the state,” said John Aber, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Donna Marie combines a passion for the cause with a thorough understanding of the legal and procedural requirements for making the promise a reality.”

Sorrentino first came to UNH in 1986 as director of Services for Students with Disabilities. She was nominated for the state award by Dannie Adler, associate director of UNH’s Center for Academic Resources. In her submission, Adler wrote: “Donna Marie has been the consistent, tireless, compassionate voice at UNH. She has been everywhere and worked with everybody on this campus to ensure the spirit of the ADA and its amendments act has been heard.”

“This is quite an honor,” Sorrentino said. “I extend that honor to all my dearest colleagues and mentors in my life, people who helped raise my awareness, and who help me continue to seek out opportunities in raising awareness around attitudinal barriers.”                                   

Saying she has done a “masterful job” as AAE director, Adler commended Sorrentino for working to establish UNH’s Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, raising the status of the group and “empowering the voices of individuals with disabilities and their advocates.”

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