Megan Zahneis is in her fourth year at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as a Stamps Leadership Scholar, majoring in journalism and interactive media studies with a minor in disability studies.
In addition to being active in campus media, Megan serves as the co-president of Miami University’s Students with Disabilities Advisory Council (SDAC), which was recognized as the university’s Outstanding New Student Organization of the Year in 2016-17. Among the initiatives Megan and SDAC have supported are a peer-to-peer mentoring program for students with disabilities and the creation of a model accessible classroom. Megan regularly shares her disability experience in class visits and on various culture and hiring committees at Miami. She has also served as an undergraduate assistant in several disability studies courses, presented at conferences on disability, diversity and technology, and will have a chapter published in an edited volume on disability in 2019.
Megan is also a member of the executive team at the Ohio Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), an annual four-day program that teaches high school students with disabilities leadership, advocacy and independent living skills. There, Megan assists in curriculum programming and communication as well as serving as a small-group counselor.
Born with a very rare neurological disorder that rendered her unable to feel pain, temperature and touch to the same degree as others do, Megan has also been diagnosed with several other chronic illnesses and is profoundly deaf. She uses bilateral cochlear implants.
Megan is passionate about sharing the stories of people living with disability and difference – including her own – and hopes to attend graduate school.