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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

April 19, 2024

Arts and Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Lecture to explore experiences of disabled physics researcher

Submitted by Kim Coy

Rebecca Lindell

Rebecca Lindell will present "My 30+ years as a Disabled Physicist: From Shame to Acceptance to Agency" as part of the 2024 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity and Inclusion Lecture Series at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, in Room 102 of Cardwell Hall. She is founder of Tiliadal STEM Education, which offers solutions for higher education, and has more than 25 years of experience in physics and astronomy education research.

Lindell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis one semester short of receiving her bachelor's degree in physics at the age of 21. She quickly realized that life as she knew it was over and that she would not pursue the career in astrophysics that she had planned. She changed her research focus to physics education in pursuit of her doctorate degree in physics.

Lindell will speak about her experiences during her more than 30-year career and how she evolved from feeling shame about her disability to embracing acceptance and agency. Through candid anecdotes and reflections, she hopes to offer valuable perspectives for individuals grappling with similar challenges and to emphasize the power of self-acceptance and personal advocacy to drive positive change.

Lindell completed her doctorate in physics and astronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was director of instructional support at K-State in the physics department prior to joining the faculty of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her move to the private sector in 2015 allowed her to continue her career in physics and astronomy education while managing her illness.