Statewide organization names MSU’s T.K. Martin Center ‘Torchbearer’ honoree for transforming lives

Contact: Harriet Laird

Pam Dollar presents to Torchbearer Award to Kassee Stratton-Gadke
Kasee Stratton-Gadke, director of MSU’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, accepts the Torchbearer Award from Pam Dollar, executive director of the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. The organization annually honors entities and individuals in the state who work to transform the lives of those with disabilities. (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability has “carried the torch” for years in championing people with disabilities and working on solutions to transform their lives.

That work and the center’s employees who carry it out are being recognized with this year’s Torchbearer Award from the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. The announcement was made recently at the MSCCD annual celebration in Ridgeland.

T.K. Martin Director Kasee Stratton-Gadke accepted the honor on behalf of the center in the university’s College of Education.

“Accepting the Torchbearer Award is a real honor for the T.K. Martin Center and a testament to our exceptional staff and their work,” she said. For 26 years, we have served individuals with disabilities and each student, client and family has taught us so much. We truly appreciate this honor from MSCCD and look forward to carrying the torch well into the future.”

The center maintains a state-of-the-art clinical, research and training program focusing on modern technologies, in a comprehensive and integrated manner, to meet the needs of persons with disabilities—regardless of age. At its core, the center works to ensure persons with disabilities are able to continually benefit from these educational and technological solutions and advances in the field of assistive technology and disability.

T.K. Martin incorporates assistive technology into the many programs it offers including Project IMPACT, preschool center-based services and play-based assessment; Express Yourself! Art, a program empowering individual expression through artistic works; IGNITE Dyslexia Services/Reading Clinic, strategic learning that helps build a love of reading and writing; and psychological evaluation and Applied Behavior Analytic, or ABA, intervention for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related delays.

Teresa Jayroe, College of Education dean, said, “I want to thank the MSCCD for awarding the Torchbearer Award to the T.K. Martin Center. Dr. Kasee Stratton-Gadke and her staff support MSCCD’s mission by providing services and support for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities that improve the quality of their lives. We are honored to receive this award and will continue to work to enhance the lives of Mississippians with disabilities.”

The center joins three other organizations receiving the honor, the Greenwood-Leflore Autism Spectrum Society, Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp in Hattiesburg and the South Central Community Action Agency in Jackson. Individual Torchbearer awardees are Martie Kwasny of Madison and Dwight Owens of Taylorsville.

MSCCD is a private not-for-profit, cross-disability organization formed in 1989. Its mission is to expand opportunities and enhance quality of life for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities and their families, and empower these individuals to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life.

More about MSU’s T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability can be found at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, online at