Aimee Tiu is the new director of Academic and Disability Support Services. Her office, located in the Kelley Center, runs disability assessment, accommodation and support, providing all students and visitors with disabilities with access to a variety of programs and services at Fairfield University.

The Mirror: How do you help students with disabilities? What services does your office offer the campus community?

Aimee Tiu: We coordinate services to assure that students with disabilities have equal access to all benefits, rights, privileges of its services, programs, facilities and activities. At the same time, our office promotes understanding and acceptance of those individuals who might otherwise be denied opportunity.

We also offer the Peer Tutoring Program, whereby students who are academically strong in a particular subject tutor their peers who are experiencing difficulty in the same subject area. The program is free of charge and available to all full-time undergraduate students.

TM: Could you tell me a little bit about your background and why you chose to come to Conn.?

AT: I was an ESL instructor at the Beijing Normal University for two years while taking up Chinese Language Arts in the same university. After this, I went to NYU to pursue my master’s in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). I also worked at NYU’s Moses Center for Students with Disabilities. The experience was so powerful and rewarding that I decided to pursue this field.

TM: Although you have only been here a short amount of time, what are your first impressions of Fairfield? What has been your experience with the students here?

AT: It’s a joy to be here. When I first got here, the beautiful campus grounds really impressed me. In my brief time here, I have become more convinced that Fairfield really lives up to its Jesuit ideals and pursuit of excellence in all aspects- academically, socially and spiritually. The institution cares deeply about the well-being and growth of each member in the community.

TM: Do you have any big plans as new director?

AT: We are fortunate to have a good and strong program in place, and we intend to continue to build on this. My plan for this school year is to work more closely with different offices and to come up with collaborative programs. Another major goal is to market the assistive technology and make known to all its value as an academic resource.

TM: Do many students take advantage of the services you offer?

AT: Students experiencing academic difficulty are often referred to us by professors and deans, but we get a lot of walk-ins as well.

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