Dr. Tamara Handy is a former education psychologist and a current postdoctoral fellow in the Learning Differences and the future of Special Education Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She has worked in schools and hospitals both in Sri Lanka and in the Midwest serving children with disabilities from birth to 18. Her overarching research agenda examines ways in which to establish inclusive educational systems in inequitable school settings. Specifically, her scholarly endeavors center supporting teachers and students in establishing inclusive school systems. Her academic, clinical and research specializations focus broadly on Disability and Difference, Systems Change in Policy and Practice. She focuses specifically on processes and practices within and outside the school system which constricts access, acceptance, achievement, and opportunities for children and youth located in the margins of society due to race, poverty, gender and disability. At present, she is exploring ways in which the neuroscience of learning along with other learning sciences, and disability studies scholarship can enhance the learning experiences of students with disabilities, in inclusive school settings.

Honors & Awards

  • Highest ranked paper., AERA Peace Education SIG (2018)
  • Dissertation of the year award, School of Education, University of Kansas (2019)
  • KU School of Education Grace M. Phinney Scholarship, University of Kansas (2017-2018)
  • Doctoral Fellow: Chancellors Doctoral Fellowship Scholar, University of Kansas (2014-2018)
  • Doctoral Fellow: Institute of Policy and Social Research, University of Kansas (2016-2017)
  • Grant Awardee: Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund: World Bank grant, World Bank (2009-2010)
  • President’s honorary scholarship award, Truman State University (2007-2009)
  • Most outstanding international student award, Truman State University (2007-2008)
  • International student excellence award, Truman State University (2007-2008)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Council Member, Sri Lanka Association for the Development of Children (2021 - Present)
  • Member, Comparative International Education Society (CIES) (2014 - Present)
  • Member, World Education Research Association (WERA) (2015 - Present)
  • Member, American Education Research Association (AERA) (2014 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Master of Arts, Truman State University (2010)
  • Bachelor of Science, Truman State University (2009)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kansas (2018)
  • Ph.D, University of Kansas, Special Education (2018)
  • MA, Truman State University, Special Education (2010)
  • B.Sc, Truman State University, Psychology (2009)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications