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Coordinator for Student Access, Pathfinders Program
Coordinator for Student Access, Testing, and Technology Services
Director of Student Access
Tawny Rigsby, Ph.D.
Director of Campus Accessibility and ADA/504 Coordinator
My name is Abby and I am so happy to introduce myself to you! My undergraduate degree is in Family and Human Services with a Marketing Minor, and my Master’s is in Social Work. I am a licensed, Oklahoma social worker under supervision for my clinical license. My focus is young adults living with Autism. Working as a helping professional is my life’s work, and I love working with our students at TU. I believe that all students deserve equal access in their educational and social environments, and I am pleased to be an advocate and partner with our students.
I have been a member of the TU family for 17 years! I received my Bachelor’s in Accounting from The University of Tulsa. I have operated as a Work-study Student, Administrative Assistant, and currently as Coordinator for Student Access throughout my time at TU. Having experienced both the student and administrative sides of Student Access, student success became my passion. It is my belief that all students can be successful and deserve equal access to do so. It is an honor to be a part of the process.
I realized I wanted to work with college students while serving as a Resident Assistant and then Hall Director. Students are an incredibly fun population, and partnering with them as they navigate college and learn how to be successful academically and in life is an amazing purpose that has strongly called me. My bachelor’s degree in English prepared me to think critically and capitalize on written communication in my work, and my master’s degree in Counseling and Student Personnel afforded me internship and practicum opportunities to provide individual and group counseling to college students at the University Counseling Center. I received my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Educational Therapy from Oklahoma State University. These experiences helped me better understand student development as well as academic and life skill-building.
For five years, I served as the Student Conduct Officer at OSU, which gave me opportunities to help students change behaviors that were not serving them well, and learn about their roles and responsibilities in a community. While working full time, I completed my Ph.D. program, and this gave me a real understanding of the struggles students can face in managing competing priorities.
At TU, I had the pleasure of serving as Director of the Center for Student Academic Success and served students through coaching, tutoring, and accessibility/accommodations for 10 years. I have felt especially called to help in ensuring equity and access for all people, and am a certified professional educational therapist (ET/P).
In 2018, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and really experienced the family that is TU. Compassion and empathy guide my work–most everyone you encounter either just finished facing difficulty, is currently facing difficulty, or is about to face difficulty in some way. Community is essential to well being, and colleges are communities that can either support members in thriving, or create atmospheres where people are just surviving. TU is a community that rallies around all its members, and we pride ourselves on being there to cheer when people succeed and also being there when people inevitably face challenge.
In my current role in University Compliance, I serve as the University’s subject-matter expert on requirements and compliance with the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, and continue directing efforts for accessibility across campus, determining eligibility for accommodations, and conducting educational programming and initiatives. I am committed to helping and serving wherever I can, and it is a true honor to play a part in supporting people at TU.