The Waisman Center’s Paul Shattuck was recently awarded the 2004 AAMR International Student Award for outstanding scholarship, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to full inclusion by bridging the gap between social advocacy and social science.
The following was taken from the award program:
- Paul Shattuck is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a graduate research assistant at UW’s Waisman Center. His research and advocacy are currently focused on autism—from developmental, public health, and policy perspectives. Prior to graduate school, Paul enjoyed a successful career in social services administration and has been actively involved in a wide variety of community service and advocacy projects for over 20 years.While in graduate school, Paul has co-authored two published manuscripts (including one in AJMR) and over one dozen conference presentations. In addition, Paul has consistently tried to reach beyond the roles and duties typically associated with graduate studies. He played a substantial role in helping the Waisman Center obtain a grant in excess of $500,000 to establish a public health surveillance program for autism, mental retardation, and other developmental disabilities. Paul was also instrumental in establishing a fund for autism research at the Waisman Center which has garnered more than $125,000 in private donations during the past three years. Finally, Paul helped teach a year-long training workshop on advocacy skills for parents of young children with disabilities.
A strong commitment to bridging research and practice has led Paul to serve on the board of directors of the Autism Society of Wisconsin for the past four years. It was in this capacity that he helped lead a successful grassroots effort to restore nearly $70-million in funding during the 1993-95 biennium for a Medicaid-funded intensive intervention program that serves over 1,000 children with autism. In August 2003 Paul received a national award for social workers called Influencing State Policy for this advocacy work. At the same time, Paul spearheaded a grassroots campaign to establish a Legislative Study Committee on Autism. During this awareness raising campaign, Paul gave community presentations to nearly 1,000 people across the state, talked with legislators and staff from the Governor’s office, wrote editorials and articles for local news outlets, and gave interviews to TV and radio stations.
Paul’s commitment to disability issues goes back to childhood where he witnessed firsthand how his father, disabled from polio, struggled to navigate a physical and social world that ignored the needs of people with different abilities. As a young adult, Paul frequently worked in camp and educational settings where he was often paired one-on-one with children with special needs. More recently, Paul has helped some very dear friends as they struggle to meet the needs of their young children with autism. Altogether, these experiences have impressed on Paul the need for social advocacy and social science to connect with each other in ways that foster successful intervention and inclusion.
Paul received his award at the AAMR annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA on June 3, 2004.