Researching resilience and belonging in school communities



Doctor of Philosophy in Education — Educational Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

August 2021 - Present

Advisors: Andrew Butler, Chris Rozek


Masters of Science in Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

August 2020 - August 2021


Masters of Arts in Teaching — Composition, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

August 2011 - December 2013

Thesis: “The Dilemma of the Language-Minority Student in the Composition Classroom

Advisors: Jeffrey Galin, Julia Mason, Wendy Hinshaw


Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

August 2007 - May 2011

Thesis: “An exploration of entrapment as expressed through caged birds in ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Villette’”

Advisor: Pamela Gilbert


Research Experience

Researcher & Program Evaluator, Institute for School Partnership, Washington University in St. Louis

January 2022 - Present

Conducted qualitative research to support the evaluation of the partnership between the Transformational Leadership Institute and the Consortium Partnership Network as they provide support to 2 schools with increased autonomy within the St. Louis Public School district


Member, Memory Dynamics Lab, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Education

August 2021 - Present


Member, Social Emotional Belonging Lab, Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Education

August 2021 - Present

Undergraduate Mentees: John Hanrahan, Mateo Haim, Danika Strayhorn

Member, Data & Impact Team, Blue Engine

August 2021 - Present

Assisted with centralized data collection, management, and visualization for all models and programs across 3 regions and 19 school partners using Tableau, Question Pro, Google Big Query, and Google Drive


Instructional Designer, Blue Engine

July 2020 - August 2021

Execution of needs assessment for Louisiana Department of Education as part of joint project with Blue Engine to develop and disseminate best practices in co-teaching


Administrative Research Assistant, Department of English, Florida Atlantic University

January 2013 - May 2013

Assisted English Graduate Advisor and English Department Head in gathering and organizing data regarding peer universities in order to create a comprehensive chart comparing FAU’s financial obligations to its student employees; responsible for primary research for potential novel


Teaching Experience

Assistant Instructor, Introduction to Educational Psychology (EDU 304)
August 2022 - December 2022
Served as Assistant Instructor to Dr. Christopher Rozek

Instructional Coach/Designer, Blue Engine

July 2020 - August 2021

Designed and managed support model for co-teaching as part of annual Learning Agenda in order to disseminate best practices across multiple schools; designed and managed co-teaching guidance documents and asynchronous learning modules; facilitated virtual professional development for Louisiana Teacher Leaders Summit for groups of 75 instructional leaders across the state; collaboratively designed school-based support model and onboarding for New York City school partners; collaboratively designed and facilitated virtual co-teaching summer series for teams of teachers; led design of application to New York Department of Education for sponsorship as organization providing Continued Teacher and Leader Education; led design of application for Rivet Education’s Professional Learning Partner Guide; collaboratively designed for Gates Foundation Grant


Director of Instruction of Co-Teaching ProgramBlue Engine

July 2019 - June 2020

Coached 14 teachers at 4 schools in the Bronx and Queens to to execute effective co-teaching models in service of dramatic impact on student outcomes in secondary mathematics through weekly observations and debriefs; created and executed extensive professional development through onboarding, quarterly stepbacks, and PLCs; provision of training for MAP and mock Regents testing; successfully executed site visits by funders and members of Louisiana Department of Education; codified and designed vision-setting protocol and annual review of school-based support model for school leaders


Director of Special Education and Instructional Coach, St. Louis College Preparatory Academy

August 2017 - June 2019 

Supervised 5-7 full-time teachers through weekly meetings, observations, and feedback on plans; designed and delivered professional development related to curriculum, classroom management, Understanding By Design, and IEPs; carried out daily supervision and discipline of students in an administrative capacity; completed cyclical Federal Reporting tasks; developed and implemented district-wide Response to Intervention model


Special Education Coordinator, St. Louis College Preparatory Academy

January 2016 - August 2017

Supervised school psychologist intern; created and implemented compliance structures for initial evaluations, re-evaluations, initial IEPs, annual IEPs, and 504 plans; managed all incoming and outgoing records for students in Special Education; compiled and submitted DESE tiered monitoring reports, then created and implemented corrective action plan to address certain indicators until full compliance was reached


Department Lead and Special Education Teacher, St. Louis College Preparatory Academy

August 2015 - January 2016

Co-taught 5th and 6th grade Math and English/Language Arts courses using push-in model; modified curriculum (lesson plans, assignments, assessments) and provided instruction based on the accommodations and modifications listed in student IEPs; modeled best practices related to instruction and compliance within department 


Title I Reading Specialist for 5th through 8th grade, Confluence Academy Old North

August 2014 - August 2015

Co-taught English/Language Arts courses using push-in model and independently managed small groups of students using pull-out model


Graduate Teaching Assistant, Florida Atlantic University 

August 2011 - May 2013

Taught English Composition 1 and 2: 2 classes of 22 students each per semester; full classroom autonomy consisting of curriculum development, grading criteria, selection of readings, lesson plan development, incorporation of new technologies, and online research


Summer Reading Teacher, Institute of Reading Development

June 2011 - August 2011, June 2012 - August, June 2013 - August 2013

Taught 5-week-long semesters of intensive reading remediation; 2 semesters of full-time teaching per summer; lesson plan implementation for grades K-12

Peer Reviewer Experience


Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs, Reviewer on Editorial Board

July 2022 - July 2024


Peer-Reviewed Publications

“Adolescent Psychological Resilience during COVID-19” (working title). Ruiz, M., Haim, M., Hanrahan, J., Doom, J. & Rozek, C. (in prep)

August 2023


Academic Publications

“Transformational Leadership Institute: St. Louis Public Schools’ Consortium Partnership Network”. Scheuler, L., & Ruiz, M. (working title; in prep)
August 2022

“Chapter: Self-regulated Learning” in the Research Handbook on Innovations in Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education. Butler, A., Zepeda, C., & Ruiz, M. (working title; in prep)

February 2022


Academic Presentations

“Teacher Conceptualizations of Resilience: Resources & Challenges”. Ruiz, M. & Elkana, M.
July 2022
Invited Talk: St. Louis Public Schools Summer Leadership Institute


“Educator Team Cognition and Dual Cross-functionality: A Literature Review”. Ruiz, M.

April 2022

Poster: Graduate Symposium - Washington University in St. Louis


Conceptualizations of Resilience: Adolescent Coping During COVID-19". Ruiz, M., Haim, M., Hanrahan, J., Doom, J. & Rozek, C.

April 2022

Poster: Graduate Symposium - Washington University in St. Louis

Awarded 1st Place in Arts & Sciences


“Adolescent Psychological Resilience during COVID-19”. Ruiz, M., Haim, M., Hanrahan, J., Doom, J. & Rozek, C.

April 2022

Poster: Midwestern Psychological Association


“My Academic Profile: The Subaltern in Cyberspace”. Ruiz, M. 

February 2013

Invited Talk: University of Florida Writing Program Conference


“Rhetoric of Resistance: the Contact Zone Redefined”. Ruiz, M.

January 2013

Invited Talk: University of Oklahoma Student Association of Graduate English Studies Conference on Dissonant Discourses


Professional Presentations

“Difference-Education Intervention.” Ruiz, M. & Strayhorn, D.

September 2022

Invited Presenter: Washington University in St. Louis, First Year Seminar: Improving Student Success Through Psychological Interventions

“Grad Student Panel: How to Succeed.”

August 2022

Invited Speaker: Washington University in St. Louis Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Orientation

“Coaching for Scale: A Case Study”. Ruiz, M.

June 2021

Invited Seminar: SibMe Better Together Conference


"The Power of Two: Leveraging Co-Teachers to Address Unfinished Learning". Keryc, C., Canada, R., & Ruiz, M.

June 2021

Invited Seminar: Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit


“Foundations of Effective Co-Teaching: Establishing Shared Expectations and Systems During Teacher Orientation”. Keryc, C., Zarmer, J., & Ruiz, M.

March 2021

Invited Seminar: Council for Exceptional Children


“Supporting Students with Special Needs”. Ruiz, M.

November 2020

Invited Speaker: Fontbonne University, Masters’ Program in Social Work


“The Power of Two Four Key Principles for Setting Up a Co-Teaching Environment that works for ALL Students”. Keryc, C., Zarmer, J., & Ruiz, M.

June 2020

Invited Seminar: Louisiana Annual Teacher Leader Summit


“The Basics of Online Special Education Compliance Systems”. Ruiz, M.

August 2018

Invited Seminar: University of Missouri-St. Louis Masters Program in School Psychology


Honors, Memberships & Scholarships

Office of Graduate Studies Advisory Council, Graduate Student Representation

September 2022 - August 2023

Selected to join the council of faculty from across the Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences, to advise on issues of policy, curriculum, and graduate student life

Graduate Student Senate (GSS), Senator

August 2022 - July 2024

Inducted as senator to represent M.A. and Ph.D. students in the Department of Education at Washington University in St. Louis

American Educational Research Association (AERA), Graduate Student Member

October 2021 - Present

Division A (Administration, Organization & Leadership), Division K (Teaching and teacher Education), SIG 73 (Organizational Theory), and SIG 117 (Stress, Coping, & Resilience)


Midwestern Psychological Association (MPA), Graduate Student Member

October 2021 - Present


Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Graduate Student Member

October 2021 - Present


Kappa Delta Pi, Member and Technology Specialist 

October 2021 - Present

Inducted into Washington University’s chapter of this selective honor society within field of education and participated in service project, "Activating a Multilingual Family Lending Library," as part of grant from WU Women's Society with Ritenour School District


Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity, Graduate Student Affiliate

August 2021 - Present 

Inducted into CRE2 at Washington University, which brings the research force of Washington University in St. Louis to study how race and ethnicity are integral to the most complex and challenging issues of our time


SPARK Society, Graduate Student Member

July 2021 - Present

Inducted into the SPARK Society, which works to increase the numbers of Black/African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans in cognitive psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience


Graduate Chancellor’s Fellowship, Graduate Fellow

April 2021 - Present 

Accepted into cohort of 10 academically excellent graduate students interested in enhancing diversity at Washington University and in the professoriate


Psi Chi, Graduate Student Member

February 2021 - Present 

Inducted into selective honor society based on excellence in scholarship and advancement of the field of psychology


Omicron Delta Kappa, Graduate Student Member

December 2020 - Present

Inducted into selective honor society based on academic performance and demonstrated leadership ability 


The PhD Project Annual Conference, Selected Attendee

November 2020 

Accepted through competitive process to attend the conference designed to increase presence of Black/African-American, Latinx/Hispanic-American and Native American in both the programming and faculty of PhD Business programs


Staff Core Value Award for Excellence

May 2019

Nominated by colleagues at St. Louis College Prep


Staff Core Value Award for Excellence

July 2017 

Nominated by colleagues at St. Louis College Prep


Rookie of the Year

July 2016 

Nominated by colleagues at St. Louis College Prep


Golden Key International Honor Society, Undergraduate Student Member

September 2012

Performed in top 15% of class to gain admittance to Golden Key, which is built on the pillars of academics, leadership, and service


Research Skills

Quantitative Research 

Methods: Complex survey design and analysis

Tools: R, Tableau


Qualitative Research 

Methods: Case study 

Tools: QuestionPro, Qualtrics