Originally from the suburbs of New York City, Dr. Amanda Kraus has lived in Tucson, AZ and worked at the University of Arizona (UA) for over twenty years. Dr. Kraus currently serves as Assistant Vice President for Campus and Executive Director of UA’s Disability Resource Center. One the largest in the nation, the Disability Resource Center is an international model of progressive service delivery, uniquely positioned to approach campus access systemically. Through strategic outreach, the goal is to design campus environments and experiences to be usable and welcoming for a diverse range of individuals, thereby reducing the need for individual accommodations or modifications. Dr. Kraus is highly involved in collaborative efforts with University personnel to foster the development of a seamlessly accessible campus environment and infuse disability into the campus community.
As Associate Professor of Practice in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the UA, Dr. Kraus coordinates the M.A. program and instructs courses on student services and disability in higher education. Borrowing from disability studies, Dr. Kraus studies disability identity, disability dynamics in the student veteran community, and disability-related biases and microaggressions. Through her research and teaching, she challenges the dominant deficit or tragedy narrative on disability and promotes models and tools to increase access and equity and ultimately reframe concepts of difference in higher education.
Dr. Kraus is President of the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and previously chaired its standing committee for diversity. She has had the privilege of delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops at institutions such as Singapore Management University, Duke University, Wake Forest University, the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and was recently invited to join a delegation convened by the US Department of State to engage in dialogue on disability access in education and employment in Beijing, China and again in Washington, D.C.
Outside of work, Dr. Kraus is an avid wheelchair tennis player and has served on the board of director for the United States Tennis Association Southern Arizona District to grow opportunities for disabled players and increase the national visibility of wheelchair tennis. She is currently on the board of Visit Tucson where she will help to position Tucson as an inclusive and accessible destination. Dr. Kraus is passionate about social justice and access; this is reflected in her work on campus, teaching and community involvement.
Dr. Kraus completed her B.A. at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and earned her M.A. and Ph. D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona (UA).