Amber Brown Ruiz

Ph.D., School of Education
Expected Graduation: August 2021
Program Area: Special Education and Disability Policy

Amber Brown, one of SOE's 2020 Holmes Scholars.


  • Ph.D. in Education; Special Education and Disability Policy; Virginia Commonwealth University (August 2021)
    • Dissertation: Collaborative and Culturally Responsive Practices of Transition Professionals to Support Black Students with High Incidence Disabilities
    • LaRon A. Scott, Ed.D.
  • M.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology; University of Wisconsin Madison (December 2016)
  • B.A. in Biology and Psychology; University of Mississippi (August 2015)

Line of Research

My line of research centers on the transition practices of service providers who support Black and Latinx students with disabilities (SWD). I examine how collaboration and use of culturally responsive practices by rehabilitation counselors and special education teachers can improve post-school outcomes in employment, education and independent living for Black and Latinx SWD.

Selected Research and Scholarship


Amber Brown Ruiz is a current doctoral candidate in the Special Education and Disability Policy Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. The University of Mississippi is where she earned her bachelor’s degree. In the past, she worked as a mentor and counselor for students with disabilities.

What does the Holmes Scholars program mean to you?

The Holmes Scholars program means I could gain the social capital and experience to make a difference and learn impactful research. It is important for me to build relationships and connections not only to support my research but also the research of others.

Curriculum Vitae