Susan Daniels Scholarship Fund




We are currently accepting scholarship applications
for the 2015-2016 school year. Click here for details.



To those who benefited from her advocacy, Dr. Susan M. Daniels represented an outstanding leader in the movement for disability rights – not only as a researcher and innovator but as an advocate who implemented a vision to make it work for real people.  To those who knew Susan personally, she was a friend, a mentor, and a bright light of inspiration.

As a nationally recognized expert, advocate, and spokesperson on employment and disability policy, as a visiting scholar at the CGU Kay Center for E-Health Research, as a mentor, and as a trusted colleague, Susan M. Daniels became a cherished member of the Claremont Graduate University (CGU) community. Those who worked with her will always hold her scholarship and mentorship and the values that informed them in the highest regard.

It was Dr. Daniels’ wish that a fund be established to support high quality graduate level research to benefit the disability community.  To celebrate and honor the important legacy of Dr. Susan M. Daniels at Claremont Graduate University and in recognition of the inspiring role she played in the disability community, the Kay Family Foundation has generously provided the founding gift for an endowed scholarship at Claremont Graduate University to inspire innovative new leaders researching disability issues, rights, and policies.  The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) is partnering with CGU and the Kay Family Foundation to support this effort, as Susan was an invaluable member of the NASI Board of Directors.

Excellence in Graduate Research

The Susan M. Daniels Scholarship Fund endowment will provide an annual return for the Susan M. Daniels Scholarship, a dissertation research grant annually awarded to an outstanding graduate student focused on disability issues.  The award affirms Dr. Daniels’ memory and honors her many professional and personal contributions, nationally and internationally.

Scholarship recipients will have demonstrated particular excellence in and passion for disability research.  Students will be eligible to apply for the Susan M. Daniels Scholarship within three months of a successful dissertation proposal defense.  The selection committee will include representatives from the university as well as nationally recognized disability experts. Each scholarship award will be disbursed at 75% upon selection and 25% upon dissertation defense.

Investing in the Future

Recognizing Dr. Daniels’ work with the Kay Center for E-Health Research within the Center for Information Systems and Technology at Claremont Graduate University, the Kay Family Foundation established the Susan M. Daniels Scholarship Fund with a seed gift of $50,000.

The Kay Family Foundation, Claremont Graduate University, and the National Academy for Social Insurance invite the disability community, friends and colleagues of Susan’s, to contribute to the endowed fund, which will in turn provide additional resources for disability researchers to complete their work and share their results with policy makers, advocates, and decision makers.  There are three ways to give:

1. Online: On this page, click on the “Give Now” button. On the next page click on “Give to CGU” and follow the “Donate Now” prompts. Then fill in your information and choose “Susan Daniels Scholarship” in the pull down menu for “Gift Designation.”  You can “Continue as Guest” when it asks you to register.

2. By phone: Call the CGU Office of Advancement at (909) 621-8027 to give with a credit card by phone. Be sure to specify that your gift is for the Susan Daniels Scholarship.

3. By mail: Send your check to:

   Claremont Graduate University
   Office of Advancement
   Susan Daniels Scholarship
   165 E. Tenth Street
   Claremont, CA  91711

Please make checks out to Claremont Graduate University and specify “SMD Scholarship” in the memo line.

Thank you for your participation!

CGU                                      NASI                                           Kay Family Foundation


About Susan M. Daniels

Susan Marie Daniels was a life-long champion of efforts to improve the lives of all Americans, particularly those with disabilities.

Born in New Orleans, Susan contracted polio at six months and spent much of her early life in rehabilitation institutes and hospitals. Her parents encouraged her to keep up with her education in regular elementary and secondary schools.

In 1970, she graduated summa cum laude from Marquette University in Milwaukee. She received a master’s degree in psychology from Mississippi State University in 1972 and a doctorate in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1976.

Starting at age 28, Dr. Daniels spent ten years as chairwoman of the Louisiana State University medical center’s department of rehabilitation counseling. In that role, she helped train people working with the developmentally disabled in community-based settings. During that period, she lectured around the world on disability issues and co-wrote a handbook on sex and people with disabilities.

She settled in the Washington area in 1988 and became associate commissioner of the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Daniels joined the Clinton administration in 1994 where she spearheaded Social Security disability reform initiatives that resulted in passage of The Ticket To Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999.  Daniels led the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and served on the President’s Committee on Employment of Persons with Disabilities. At HHS, she was associate commissioner in the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and launched a program to help people with disabilities become homeowners.  At the Social Security Administration, she was deputy commissioner in charge of disability programs. read more...

Susan Daniels