Faculty Spotlight: Carrie Griffin Basas

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Disability rights and employment law specialist Carrie Griffin Basas brings valuable expertise and four rescued pets to Tulsa.

The University of Tulsa welcomes Carrie Griffin Basas as assistant professor of law. Basas lectures in the areas of disability rights, constitutional law, and professional responsibility. She is one of the first women in the United States with a visible disability to hold a tenure-track position teaching law. Basas hopes that during her time at TU, she will grow as a scholar and teacher and develop lasting relationships with students, faculty and alumni.

Prior to accepting the position, Basas had never been to Oklahoma. Once she met with the administration, however, she knew Tulsa was the place for her and her family. Basas now lives in Tulsa with her husband, Fred, and her family of rescued pets: three dogs - Mac, Pippin, and Bean - and a cat named Fiona. All of their names come from different species of apples.

Originally from Pasadena, Md., Basas completed her undergraduate work at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Penn., where she majored in psychology and minored in sociology and anthropology. While there, she received numerous accolades, the most notable of which occurred in 1998 when she was recognized as a Truman Scholar.

After graduation, Basas attended Harvard Law School. During her studies, she served as the editorial assistant to the Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review. Additionally, she was selected as an Ethel Louis Armstrong Scholar for “changing the face of disability” through academic excellence and public service. Finally, in 2002, the year of her graduation from Harvard, she earned the Paul Hearne Award as an emerging leader in disability rights.

After law school, she was employed as an attorney in Washington, D.C., practicing energy, environmental and civil rights law. She founded a nonprofit national organization called HireAbilities, a network of emerging professionals with disabilities. Through HireAbilities, Basas was able to conduct outreach to many Fortune 1000 private employers and government agencies to encourage reform of their existing workplace polices as they applied to persons with disabilities.

Her teaching credentials include St. Joseph’s College of Maine, the University of Virginia and Penn State University College of Law.

Professor Basas has researched and written extensively in the area of disability. Her most recent article submitted for publication is titled, “The New Boys-Women with Disabilities and the Practice of Law.” Besides teaching and her studies, Basas enjoys abstract painting and has been fortunate to have some of her work on display in a number of art shows in the Charlottesville, Va. area. For a list of published articles and other works, or to lean more about Professor Basas, please visit her Web site at http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~carrie-basas/.

BY ROY TUCKER (JD '03)