Amber Walz of the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara was presented a 2012 Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant and a 2012 Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship from UC Santa Barbara's Graduate Division for her dissertation work "Experiences of Asian Indian families with Disability-Related Services in America."
"I am interested in examining the effects of culture on family satisfaction with and effectiveness of disability services," Walz says. "I am specifically looking at how families of Asian Indian descent experience intervention and disability-related services in the American culture, including what challenges and successes they may have had with these interventions. I am looking at family quality of life, family-professional partnership, and service adequacy as they relate to this particular culture."
Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grants are given to assist talented graduate students in education, social sciences, fine arts, and humanities to pursue original research. Since these disciplines traditionally have limited access to extramural funds, this program's purpose is to help redress an imbalance in funding for graduate student research.
The Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship is intended for doctoral students from all academic disciplines who have advanced to candidacy and who are in the final stages of completing their dissertation. Financial need is a critical component. This fellowship is intended to free the student from non-academic or TA employment, but not RA-ship, enabling full attention to dissertation writing.
Amber Walz is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Education with an emphasis in Special Education Disabilities and Risk Studies. Dr. Mian Wang is her adviser. Walz completed a Master's degree in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology with an emphasis and credential in School Psychology in 2011 under Dr. Matt Quirk. She now works for the Santa Maria Bonita School District as a school psychologist. Her research interests focus on the family-professional partnership in disability-related services, early intervention for special education, and wraparound services to support a child and their whole environment. Walz received her BA in Sociology with a minor in Education and Applied Psychology from UC Santa Barbara.