G W i R E D - Where Student Life Lives
The George Washington University




Rome Hall, Suite 102, 801 22nd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-8250 | Fax: (202) 994-7610 Email: dss@gwu.edu Text Size: Change to Small Text Change to Medium Text Change to Large Text
Home > About Us

DSS staff members are available to assist students in obtaining the maximum benefit from educational life at GW.                                                   Please feel free to contact us with any question you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!


Christy Willis

Christy has worked in the field of disability since 1973 and is currently Director of Disability Support Services at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she has worked since 1984. Over the years, she has held positions of leadership in AHEAD, C-AHEAD, and NASPA. Her recent work includes addressing the National Conference of State Legislatures on “Issues in Mental Health” and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education on the subject “Transition Works.” She hosted a day-long symposium that brought together national experts on autism and co-chaired a symposium entitled “Welcome Home to Washington: Fostering Higher Education Success for Veterans and Their Families.” November 2011, DSS and the English Department collaborated on a two-day symposium, “Composing Disability: Writing, Communication, Culture.”


Susan McMenamin
Associate Director

Susan brings to her position at The George Washington University a strong background in post-secondary level disability support having previously served as Coordinator of Services at the University of Maryland. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology/Psychology with a minor in Education from the State University of New York at Albany, and Master of Arts in Special Education from Regis College in Massachusetts.

Susan has served in K-12 education in public school systems and as a clinician with the Comprehensive Evaluation Unit in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. Her training as a special educator and diagnostician provides the foundation for her current responsibilities, the review of documentation, determination of eligibility for accommodations, and individualized support for GW students.


Joe Fisher
Learning Specialist

Joe assists students primarily with writing assignments, paying particular attention to the writing process (prewriting, drafting, and revision). Additionally, Joe helps students develop effective time management and study strategies, along with adjusting to, and managing, college life. Joe has taught composition and literature at the high school, community college, and four-year university levels, and he received his PhD in English from GW in May 2007. His professional interests include twentieth century American literature, disability studies, and popular culture—music culture in particular.


Wade Fletcher

Learning Specialist

Wade provides support to students across the writing process, including prewriting, drafting, and revision, in addition to discussion of time management and study strategies.  He also serves as a faculty member in GW’s University Writing Program, where he teaches sections of UW1020, the first-year writing course.  Wade possesses a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a minor in Special Education, and earned his MFA in Creative Writing and Poetry from George Mason University in 2008. He has taught a variety of composition, literature, and creative writing courses at the university level, in addition to time spent working in Virginia’s public schools.  His professional interests include poetry, writing pedagogy, and visual and popular culture, and his published work includes two poetry chapbooks and multiple journal and anthology publications.


 Diane Chaney
Office Manager

Diane joined our staff in December of 1999 after almost twelve years as office manager of the Bookstore. She helps to keep the office running smoothly. Diane processes payroll for staff and student workers and handles the business aspects of DSS.


Christina Galarza
Executive Associate

Christina has been with the University since 1983.  She came to us from GW Television, where she supported a nine-person production crew, as well as three managers.  In her current capacity, she oversees the provision of direct services to students including test proctoring, notetaking, interpreting, and access to alternative text.  She has been instrumental in furthering the University's response to the growing technology needs of our students and in support of her professional development is enrolled in CSUN's Assistive Technology Applications Program.


 Terri West
Executive Assistant

Terri is a native Washingtonian.  She began working in the GW Bookstore in 1995; she joined the DSS staff as senior secretary in 1999.  She now coordinates our test proctoring services facilitating access to over 3,000 exam accommodation requests in a given year and is a valued member of the direct services team.


Kate Lacey
Staff Interpreter

Kate graduated from Marymount Manhatten College with a fine arts degree in theatre. She then obtained a degree in interpreting/transliterating from Gallaudet University. In 1991, she became certified by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. In addition to her staff duties, she is a freelance interpreter in the greater Washington, D.C. area.


Cheryl Ringel
Staff Interpreter

Cheryl holds a Bachelor's degree in both Psychology and Theatre Arts Performance and Directing.  Her graduate work includes an MS in Criminology from Southern Illinois University and an MA in Sign Language Interpreting from Gallaudet University.  Cheryl continues to work as an RID certified interpreter in the DC metro area along with her staff interpreting position at DSS.





Disability Support Services - The George Washington University
Disability Support Services - The George Washington University
Disability Support Services - The George Washington University
  Last updated October 14, 2014 10:40am