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Kay Family Foundation establishes disability research scholarship fund in honor of Susan M. Daniels

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Kay Family Foundation has established a scholarship fund at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in honor of nationally recognized disability rights activist and educator Susan M. Daniels.

Photo of Susan M. DanielsThe Susan M. Daniels Scholarship will be awarded annually to a CGU doctoral student who has demonstrated particular excellence in and passion for disability research. Students from all CGU schools are eligible to apply within three months of a successful dissertation proposal defense.

Daniels, who served as a visiting scholar at CGU's Kay Center for E-Health Research, worked tirelessly to achieve social justice and economic parity for people with disabilities.

She spent more than two decades leading federal agencies, academic institutions and philanthropic organizations. That service included a term as deputy commissioner for Disability and Income Security Programs at the Social Security Administration, where she helped pass The Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act.

She died in October at the age of 62. It was her wish that a fund be established to support high quality graduate level research to benefit the disability community.

“Susan was a friend and colleague, someone who tremendously enriched the CGU community,” CGU President Deborah Freund said. “She touched all of us deeply with her warmth and enthusiasm, and brought such an important perspective to the high quality research being conducted by our faculty and students.”

Tom Horan, director of CGU’s Kay Center for E-Health Research, added: “Susan shined a light on the need to consider the needs of those with disabilities. With this scholarship we can keep that light shining through a new generation of scholars and leaders.”

Kay Center Research Fellow Sue Feldman worked closely with Daniels at the center and conducted several studies with her, including one in India. She hopes Daniels’ spirit and research will live on through the new scholarship fund.

“Susan’s finely tuned mentoring provided an impeccable balance of nurturing and urging,” Feldman said. “Her words instilled trust and confidence leading to accomplishments far exceeding expectations. Her successes came when those around her succeeded.”

The Kay Family Foundation was established in 2005 to promote and support digital innovation in faith, education, medical, and the arts. The foundation was created by Steeve Kay, co-founder of QTC Management, the largest private provider of government-outsourced occupational health and injury and disability examination services in the United States.

To contribute to the Susan M. Daniels Scholarship Fund, contact CGU Assistant Vice President of Advancement Michael Avila at, or (909) 607-9224. More information at

About the Kay Center for E-Health Research

The Kay Center for E-Health Research was established in 2006 with a $1 million grant from the Kay Family Foundation. Kay Center research projects are designed to advance scientific understanding and public policy improvements relative to how new electronic health systems can be used to promote industry efficiency and societal welfare.

About Claremont Graduate University

Founded in 1925, Claremont Graduate University is one of the top graduate schools in the United States. Our five academic schools conduct leading-edge research and award masters and doctoral degrees in 24 disciplines. Because the world’s problems are not simple nor easily defined, diverse faculty and students research and study across traditional disciplinary boundaries to create new and practical solutions for the major problems plaguing our world. A Southern California-based graduate school devoted entirely to graduate research and study, CGU boasts a low student-to-faculty ratio.


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