2022 Haupert Humanitarian Award
Shane Burcaw ’14 & Sarah Burcaw ’13
The Haupert Humanitarian Award honors an alumna or alumnus who has rendered outstanding service in the cause of human welfare. The recipient’s service to humanity should achieve standards “above and beyond” the expected duties and responsibilities of the recipient’s career. In addition, the recipient should have made a positive difference in the lives of others, in the community in which he/she lives, or in the community at large. This year’s Haupert Humanitarian Award honors both an alumnus and an alumna.
Shane Burcaw is the author of several award-winning books about disability. He is the cofounder of a nonprofit organization called Laughing at My Nightmare and a renowned public speaker who has performed across the country, from universities to elementary schools to Fortune 500 companies. On his YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, which has gained more than 850,000 subscribers and worldwide media attention, he and his wife share a hilarious and authentic examination of what it’s like to be in an interabled relationship.
Shane developed two lifelong passions during his time at Moravian: writing and disability advocacy. He worked closely with Dr. Joyce Hinnefeld to craft and compose his first memoir, and he was inspired to chase his dream of being a professional writer by Dr. Joel Wingard and creative writing professor Peter Richmond. During several summer research projects with Dr. Dana Dunn, Shane developed a connection with disability advocacy and the role of storytelling as a tool for social change. Shane credits most of his success to the phenomenal cheese fries that he consumed daily in the HUB.
Sarah Burcaw is the cofounder of Laughing at My Nightmare. She is also the proud cousin and best friend of cofounder and president Shane Burcaw.
The 501(c)3 nonprofit Laughing at My Nightmare was created in 2012 during Shane and Sarah’s lunches together in college. They would discuss the incredible reach of Shane’s personal blog, Laughing at My Nightmare, and their desire to teach his audience about the needs of the disability community. In 2015, Sarah became the active director of development for Laughing at My Nightmare and now works to raise funds each year to propel LAMN’s programs, which are focused on supplying equipment to people living with disabilities and offering an inclusivity-based program to elementary school students.
Sarah and Shane have worked together to spread the mission of LAMN through motivational speeches, fundraising campaigns, and events, and they are nowhere close to slowing down. Since its founding, LAMN has supplied half a million dollars in assistance to people living with disabilities.
Sarah attributes much of her nonprofit management and leadership success to the classes she attended at Moravian. Through an independent leadership course with Dr. Katie Desiderio, Sarah gained priceless knowledge on business development, effective leadership, and team management. As Laughing at My Nightmare continues to grow and impact the lives of many people, Sarah and Shane have had the pleasure of working with the director of graduate business programs at Moravian, Joseph Szmania. With the help of Joe’s data analysis expertise, they have created trackable data sets that show quantifiable and important results of the impact of LAMN’s programs.
The simple fact will always remain, without Shane and Sarah’s lunches in the HUB, LAMN would not be making the remarkable impact it is today!