Applications now being accepted for Thomas Barnett Breaking Down Barriers Scholarship

Apply today for the Thomas Barnett Breaking Down Barriers Scholarship awareded to a member of the campus community.

Applications can be found on the Honors website. Deadline is Wedneday, April 2, 5 p.m. Applications can be emailed to Tom Mould at

Thomas Barnett was an Honors Fellow and a Presidential Scholar in the Elon University Class of 2007. His honors thesis was in digital art, and through his art he raised awareness about issues on campus for students with disabilities. His parents created the award in his memory, with $1,000 to be awarded annually to one Elon undergraduate who successfully completes a high-quality project on a topic related to improving the university experience of students with disabilities.

Projects must have an academic component, broadly defined and including projects such as websites, creative works and research papers. The research process can include theoretical and/or applied scholarship and can relate to any aspect of the university experience, from the physical environment to academic experiences to social connectivity concerns. The projects can be part of a course or an Elon Experience.

The term “disability” has a variety of meanings, which often differ depending upon the person who uses the word as well as the context in which it is used. Most simply, “a disability is an inability to do something that most people, with typical maturation, opportunity, or instruction, can do” (Hallahan, Kauffman, & Pullen, 2010). It is therefore important for us to recognize that, while most people think of a person using a wheelchair, or a hearing aid, or a service animal as the prototypical person with a disability, the vast majority of persons with disabilities do not fit into those narrow categories. People with learning disabilities, emotional illnesses and other “invisible disabilities” are also included among the disabled.

Contact Susan Wise at for more information about disabilities.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, April 2 by 5 p.m. Applicants for this award will be asked to work with their mentors or advisors to describe the project briefly and explain how it meets the criteria of the award. Interested students and/or mentors are encouraged to contact Tom Mould ( for more information.

Hallahan, D., Kauffman, J., & Pullen, P. (2010). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special education. Boston, MA: Pearson