Profile for Ruth Schumacher-Martinez

Ruth Schumacher-Martinez profile photo

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Ruth Schumacher‑Martinez

Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Ruth Schumacher-Martinez alternate profile photo

Specialty area(s)

Racial Justice

Disability Justice



Special Education Law

Crisis Intervention

Counseling Individuals with Disabilities 

Social-Emotional-Behavioral Regulation and Coping Skill Development 

Brief biography

I have been a school psychologist for nearly a decade. I did field work as a psychologist in the schools in therapeutic day settings as well as at a high school and middle school in Chicagoland and St. Louis.  I have considerable experience partnering with neurodivergent kids and adolescents in therapeutic work to build skills, autonomy, independence, and self confidence.  I believe in neurodiversity affirming practice and embrace the brain wiring of those I serve, using a strengths-based approach always. As a scholar and professor, all of what I do centers on disability and racial justice.   My biggest aim is to train future school psychologists who are interested in innovative approaches to serving kids with complex needs.  

I grew up in Colorado. I love nature, adventure, exploration, and animals.  I live in La Crosse with my husband, our two awesome kids, a dog, a cat, and our skink.  We are into team Martinez family dance party nights and getting our telescope out to look at the stars as a crew.  Family is my world.  

I would love to connect with undergraduate and graduate students interested in intersectionality.  It's important to me to collectively unite and create powerful spaces that affirm the BIPOC disability community at UWL and beyond.  Please reach out to me if you're interested in these topics. I value collaboration, advocacy, and pushing for actionable systems change.  We can do big things when we work in solidarity! 

Alternate photo caption:
Photo of Ruth as a 6-year-old child.  The picture shows Ruth, a white child with long dark blonde hair.  She is wearing a black outfit and in casts on both legs. She is standing with her arms outstretched.  She is attempting to balance on a long 2x4 piece of wood about two inches off the ground. In the foreground is an orange cone on a gymnasium floor.


Ph.D.: School Psychology, Loyola University Chicago (APA accredited, NASP approved)
M.Ed.: Educational Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
B.A.: English Literature and Women’s Studies, Drake University


Teaching history

Before my work at UWL, I was a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of School Psychology at University of Missouri-St. Louis.  I taught courses in crisis intervention, counseling and therapeutic support, psychopathology, special education, practicum, biological bases of behavior, social-emotional-behavioral assessment and intervention, qualitative methodology, and participatory action community based research. 

I started as a faculty member at UWL in the Fall of 2021.  I teach School Psychology graduate level courses in applied professional practice and practicum, consultation, and social-emotional-behavioral regulation coursework.  My favorite part of higher education is mentoring students.  It is so energizing to support emerging scholars and psychologists to develop as change agents.  

Research and publishing

Schumacher-Martinez, R., & Proctor, S. L. (2020). Untangling the grip of white privilege in
education through consultation and systems change: Introduction to the special issue.
Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation.

Talapatra, D, Miller, G. E. Schumacher-Martinez, R., (2019). Improving family-school
collaboration in transition services for students with intellectual disabilities: A framework
for school psychologists, Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 29:3,
314-336, DOI: 10.1080/10474412.2018.1495083

Shriberg, D., Schumacher-Martinez, R. & Huntley, N. (in press). Social justice and school
psychology. Invited book chapter to appear in C. Haztichristou & B. K. Nastasi (Eds.),
Handbook of school psychology in a global context. New York: Springer.

Shriberg, D., Schumacher, R., McMahon, K., Flores, S., Moy, G., Swidzinski, J., & Tompkins, N.
(2012). Facilitating effective family-school collaboration practices in an urban Catholic school
using an action research methodology. Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice.
15, 226-252.



Ruth Schumacher-Martinez, Psychology, presented "Keynote: Exploring and Valuing Neurodiversity Throughout the Fabric of Our Society" at Adolescent Health Symposium on Feb. 16 online. This keynote presentation provided attendees with a transformative foundation in utilizing a neurodiversity-affirming lens to partner with adolescents and their families in therapeutic care. Attendees were given current innovative research and case examples to reframe the way we think about partnering with neurodivergent people. This session provided attendees with information on building true accessibility and inclusivity in schools, public health, and community settings. Participants learned steps to engage in systems change to build more meaningful support for this important population with the aim of creating greater autonomy, community, connection, wellness, employment, friendship, and life satisfaction for neurodivergent people.

Submitted on: Feb. 28



Ruth Schumacher-Martinez, Psychology, presented "Advancing Disability and Racial Justice in Schools through Intersectionality" at Wisconsin School Psychologists Association (WSPA) Spring 2022 Convention on March 4 in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

Submitted on: Mar. 7, 2022



Robert Dixon, Daniel Hyson, Jocelyn Newton and Ruth Schumacher-Martinez, all Psychology, presented "Integrating Equity and Social Justice Throughout a Graduate Program" at Trainers of School Psychologists Annual Conference on Feb. 14 in Boston, MA.

Submitted on: Feb. 16, 2022