Mya Marie Mallad, LMSW, is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Kentucky. Mya obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2018, where she specialized in interpersonal practice with children and youth while obtaining her school social work certification. Mya received her Bachelor in Social Work from Eastern Michigan University in 2017. Mya practices as a school-based special education social worker in the state of Michigan, where she provides social-emotional and behavioral learning opportunities to students who qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Mya is certified in Nonviolent Crisis Prevention and Intervention and is dedicated to placing tiered proactive interventions in place that match student need to reduce referrals to special education and suspension/expulsion. Mya has worked in multiple districts across the state of Michigan of various sizes, and understands the importance of creating belonging for students from diverse backgrounds in predominantly white schools. Mya’s research interests include racial inequities in public school systems; specifically the disproportionate placement of students of color in special education and the school to prison pipeline. Mya is interested in utilizing evidence-based practices to reduce racial imbalances in special education, and exploring the role of implicit bias and trauma in perceived behavior and special education qualification for students of color. Mya is a member of the National Association of School Social Workers, and served as a committee member for the creation of the Michigan Department of Education Standards for the Preparation and Practice of School Social Workers.