Otterbein Disability Services Assistant Director Recognized for Commitment to Students

Posted Dec 11, 2020

Kera Manley, assistant director of Otterbein University’s Office of Disability Services (DS), is the recipient of the Ohio AHEAD 2020 L. Scott Lissner Outstanding Leadership Award.

Kera Manley
Kera Manley, Assistant Director, Office of Disability Services

“I am honored to be nominated and to have received the leadership award,” Manley said. “Many colleagues in the disability resources field, my incredible Otterbein coworkers, and my family have helped to build my expertise, shape my approach to assisting students, and influence my overall work ethic.”

Nominees for the award demonstrate passion for their work, have contributed to the advancement of the disability services profession, and have helped increase opportunities for students with disabilities. Kristy Drobney, director of the Academic Support Center, nominated Manley because she “checked all of those criteria boxes.”

“She treats each student as if they are the only one on her caseload. She is generous with time, care, and attention she gives to all students registered with DS. She is driven by her commitment to provide students the support they need to be successful. What makes Kera a rock star is that she does this with every student with whom she works,” Drobney said.

Manley is seen as a steady, reliable partner in student academic endeavors. One parent commented that they knew they had a skilled professional sitting across the desk who could connect with a student to develop trust and to guide them through very personal challenges.

In her nomination, Drobney said that colleagues appreciate Manley leaving no stone unturned or question unasked in order to provide students the best support possible.

Over the past few years, Manley has conducted purposeful and successful outreach with faculty to facilitate better support for students registered with her office. She prioritizes communication, information sharing, and relationship building. Her efforts have resulted in near-perfect faculty compliance with testing procedures, increased campus awareness of services DS can provide to help ease the transition of high school to college, and new relationships with academic departments to connect students to resources.

Manley’s nomination noted her commitment to “equal access to education.” Despite the population of students seeking aid from DS increasing 236% since 2011, Manley has continued to make inroads across campus and within her profession to better serve Otterbein students.

“Collaboration, internal and external, and the University’s support are critical for ensuring successful work in DS. Otterbein continues to prioritize supporting our efforts and professional development, allowing us to serve our students and colleagues well,” Manley said.

Congratulations to Manley for her achievements!