Lab Members

If you are interested in joining the lab in Winter 2018, please complete the application.

Fall 2017 Lab Members

Jacque Blanco

Jacqueline Alonso Blanco

Jacqueline is currently a junior at the University of California, Santa Cruz pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Her career goal is to become a high school counselor at a low-income community. Her research interests lays within the undocumented community. Specifically, identifying risk and protective factors in order to increase the number of undocumented students who pursue a higher education. Because of this, her ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD in Counseling Psychology. Outside of Dr. Byrd’s lab, she works for the Graduate Information Program, volunteers as a tutor for farmworker families and is an academic intern at a local high school.

Kattie Alvarez

Kattie Alvarez

My name is Kattie Alvarez from Los Angeles, CA, I am currently a third year at UCSC with a double major in Psychology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. I didn’t know that Psychology was for me till I started applying to colleges the summer before my senior year of high school. However, it wasn’t till the beginning of my third year that I also developed an interest in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies with an emphases in Native Studies. I love to explore and learn about different topics, which is why I wanted to expand my horizons and do something more than just psychology. I have done research of my own and in other classes but this will be my first time working in a research lab. I am really excited and looking forward to being part of this group! After UCSC I hope to go to graduate school for criminology and after do a bit of traveling. Outside of school, I love to hang out with my friends, read, and go on adventures!

Amber Austin

Amber C. Austin

Amber is a fourth year psychology major with a minor in education. Prior to working in Dr. Byrd’s School Climate Lab, she worked under then Ph.D candidate Toni Wilson researching colorism within African American students in high schools and colleges. She aspires to pursue her Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and/or a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy after graduation. With her graduate degree or degrees, she hopes to work with youth of color – specifically African American youth – as a counselor focusing on and researching mental health. Amber eventually wants to open her own practice and a nonprofit organization for at risk youth, in her hometown of Los Angeles

Sneha Bentley

Sneha Bentley

Sneha is a third year psychology student whose research interests include working with youth (children through college aged young adults, especially of color), and striving for a socially just world. In addition to Dr. Byrd’s lab, Sneha is active within her community in various capacities – she works as a resident assistant at College Nine, volunteers at CARE, and works with children and young adults at her church, to name a few. One day, she will be in graduate school to further her psychology experience. In her spare time, Sneha enjoys practicing kickboxing, being with her loved ones, and singing.

Alexis Brown

Alexis Brown

Alexis is a second year Psychology Major and Literature minor at the University of California Santa Cruz. She is planning to attend a Clinical Psych PhD program and ultimately aspires to be a Clinical Psychologist. In her spare time she volunteers with three year old children and veterans.

Mia CastilloMia Castillo

Mia Castillo is a Latinx Womxn as well as a first generation student who has just transferred to UCSC. Mia is a psychology major who is passionate about social issues, intersectional feminism as well as combatting and raising awareness for sexual violence and rape culture. She is dedicated to fighting for social justice and equity for racial minorities, particularly womxn of color from various socioeconomic backgrounds. She hopes to dedicate her life to psychological research that can influence policies specifically in academic settings and wants to earn her PhD in Social Psychology. When Mia is not busy studying or fighting the patriarchy, she enjoys watching movies, spending time with friends and exploring nature.

Corina de la Torre

Corina De La Torre

Corina De La Torre is a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Preferring the use of she/hers pronouns, she is pursuing her bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Feminist Studies with the concentration in Law, Politics and Social Change and is expected to graduate Spring 2017. Her career goal is to become a Feminist Studies professor at a university where she can conduct her own research. Her research interest lies within the inequalities of marginalized communities, administrative violence and psychological effects of the Prison Industrial Complex. Focusing on racial minorities, undocumented workers and the LGBTQIA+ communities with low socioeconomic backgrounds, her ultimate goals is to achieve a dual PhD in both Psychology and Feminist Studies. She feels it is important and crucial to bring in a Feminist perspective into social sciences to become inclusive with other forms of knowledge and awareness of heteropatriarchy of institutions and structured systems, even more so with our new president in office. This being one of her first participation in lab research, Corina is thrilled and excited to see what is in store for her. Outside of Academia, Corina enjoys to spend time with her family and close friends as well as attending social movement events and exploring the bay area.

Isha

Isha Desai

Isha Desai is a fourth year double major finishing her degrees’ in Intensive Psychology and Digital Arts. She is interested in pursuing a career as a clinical therapist, but hopes one day to take part in global mental health issues. Outside of school she is the President and founder of a mental health awareness organization nationally known as Active Minds UCSC. She is very passionate about education her Santa Cruz community about stigma and bridging the realities of what mental health is perceived to being and what it actually looks like today. As a new member of this lab she really hopes to learn about the intersectionality’s that make up a student’s identity, more so, how those intersections effect the students in a school climate.

Mark Fares

Mark Fares

Mark Fares is a third year Intensive Psychology major. He has many different research interests, including varying areas of developmental and social psychology, but his passion is identity and the intersection of its different facets–race, gender, sexuality, etc. He hopes to attain a PhD in psychology and use his abilities to further better the world. Outside of psychology, Mark enjoys relaxation time involving video games, music, movies; most any form of artistic media.

Jennifer Fineman

Jennifer Fineman

Jennifer Fineman is a third year general psychology pre-law student. She aspires to become a family law attorney and focusing on children of divorce. She is currently editor in chief of the Odyssey Online and is Founder and President of the Pre-Law Society. With her graduate degrees and interest in divorce, she hopes to make a legal and psychologically alleviating impact to families of low income communities where ever she may choose to practice.

Esmeralda GalvanEsmeralda Galvan

My name is Esmeralda Galvan and I am a third year psychology and sociology major. I am interested in the aspects of psychology that deal with society norms and how that affects people, as well as mental disorders. Other than psychology my other interests are petting dogs, playing the ukulele, music, films and exploring.

Nassa

Nassa Jumpholwong

Nassa is third year Intensive Psychology major at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to working in Dr. Byrd’s School Climate Lab, she also worked with Professor Barber’s Cognition & Aging lab at San Francisco State University and Su-hua Wong’s Infant Development Lab here at UCSC. Her goal is to obtain a Clinical Psychology PhD with a concentration in Neuropsychology, or pursue a graduate degree studying Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. Her research interest ranges from studying how the brain affects the behavior of a person undergoing illness – chronic or not – and trauma, from children to adults. She is also interested in studying how Asian Americans perceive and cope with depression, other mental illnesses, and trauma over time by comparing first and third generations and beyond.

Ultimately, she hopes to provide a better insight on the relationship between brain and behavior, as well as social differences between cultures, and contribute to research that could possibly help create a better classification of mental illness beyond the DSM criteria. Outside of Dr. Byrd’s lab, she works at the Activities Office as part of tech crew and is a residential advisor in College Nine & Ten.

Christina LuChristina Lu

Christina Lu is currently a 2nd year intensive psychology major and legal studies minor at UCSC. She is interested in pursuing a career that is intellectually stimulating while also being hands on. Her interest range from working in clinical psychology to studying social influences in child development. Apart from being a literature reviewer for Byrd lab, she also enjoys playing competitive basketball, volleyball, being a Disney enthusiast, and hanging out with her dog.

Jessica Macias

Jessica Macias

My name is Jessica Macias and I am a third year Psychology Major at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I still have a lot to learn about the many aspects of Psychology so I am looking forward to participating in this lab. My overall goal is to gain a better understanding of racial school climates and microaggressions. Some of my other interests include hiking, painting and reading.

Rosa Maciel

Rosa Maciel

Rosa Maciel is a third year Psychology major from Oakes college. She has been fascinated by psychology since before middle school and college only made her fall in love with it so much more. Her interest for psychology has led her to explore many opportunities such as this research assistant position and also work as a part time substance abuse counselor Encompass Recovery Services. Her long term goal is to attend Grad school and eventually become a Clinical Psychologist. Outside of psychology she also enjoys reading, watching movies, and hopes to explore the world.

Rebeca Najaro

Rebeca Najaro

My name is Rebeca Najarro and I am a 2nd year Psychology and Sociology double major from Merrill College. It is my first year as a Peer Educator at the Counseling and Psychological Services at UCSC. As a Peer Educator, our goal is to able to reduce the stigma surrounding psychological disorders on college campuses through outreach and educational workshops. Other than my love for Psychology, I am also passionate about the inclusion and empowerment of people of color. I am the current co-chair of Unión Salvadoreña de Estudiantes Salvadoreña (USEU). Our mission is to empower the Salvadoran/Latino community (and allies) through education. Every week we hold informative meetings about the politics, history, and culture of El Salvador and Latin America. Last year, USEU gave me the amazing opportunity to go to Washington D.C. I attended a conference with Rodrigo Mendez, current USEU co-chair, held by the “Center for Community Change.” We spoke about the recent deportations of hundreds of thousands of Central American immigrants. We acted as a voice for Latin youth and advocated for a stop to the deportation of our people. I am also a part of the Academic Challenge Program, a program at UCSC that introduces freshmen to research. Since last year, I have been interested in how the recent rise of an “anti-immigrant sentiment” has led to scarce resources and lack of opportunities for many undocumented students pursuing high education.

Crystal NavarroCrystal Navarro

Crystal Navarro is a fourth year intensive psychology student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is interested in social psychology, specifically the intersectionality between gender, class, and race. In the Spring of 2015, she presented research at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference with a group of lab members regarding the ambiguity and inconsistency of the word race in literature and in daily conversation. Apart from being a team leader and literature reviewer for Dr. Byrd’s lab, she executed her own research on how attending college changes the way students perceive family, gender, and life challenges through Pathways to Research by EOP. Crystal’s dedication to research has led her to become a research assistant for fellow faculty member Dr. Leaper’s lab and hopes to integrate what she learns from both labs into her own research. Her passion for psychology also motivated her to become the treasurer of the Psychology Honors Society Psi Chi last year. In addition to partaking in research, Crystal enjoys traveling, loves giraffes, and likes having deep conversations about life in small coffee shops.

Peach Quan

Peach Quan

I am a third year transfer student from Southern California. I have an Associate’s Degree in Psychology and graduated summa cum laude from my college. I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree and hope to go to graduate school afterwards. I aspire to become a psychology professor in the future as well as counsel. I am also published in the 2015 version of UC Irvine’s anthology, Building Bridges, for my abstract on heterosexist language and its effects on LGB+ people.

Ricky Samoranos

Ricky Samoranos

Ricky Samoranos is a fourth year biochemistry and psychology double major at University of California, Santa Cruz. Ricky believes that both subjects play off each other in an interesting way that aids his understanding. Although Ricky has pride in being a strong generalist, he ultimately wants to focus in taking a developmental psychologist approach to neuropsychopharmacology. During his spare time, Ricky enjoys babysitting, tutoring high school students, volunteering in community service projects, and performing at cultural events. Ricky hopes to pursue a career in the medical field to aid children whom are disenfranchised and to give back to the community.

Alisa Sas

Alisa Sas

Alisa is currently in her junior year at University of California, Santa Cruz. She is majoring in psychology and neuroscience. Her research interests include studying mental health and discrimination. She aspires to become a doctor. Ultimately she hopes to create change and help people. Outside of school, Alisa enjoys traveling, playing guitar, painting, and photography.

Hector Silva

Hector Silva

Hector is an Intensive Psychology major finishing his senior year at University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining Dr. Byrd’s lab, he worked in a research lab coding and analyzing field notes for Dr. Regina Langhout’s Youth Participatory Action Research project. He also has years of experience working with children in the autism spectrum at The Boys & Girls Club and The First Tee of Monterey County. His research interests involve the mediating effects of stereotype threat, cultural mismatch, and microaggressions on the academic achievement of racial/ethnic minorities as well as undocumented and first-generation students. After graduation he plans to take a year off to build on his research experience before applying to a PhD program in Social Psychology. Ultimately he aspires to become a researcher and teacher focusing on helping his underrepresented community back in Salinas, CA. On his free time he likes to go on hikes, longboard, watercolor paint, watch movies, and play video games.

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Desiree Terani

Desiree is a fourth-year Intensive Psychology major at UCSC. Prior to Dr. Byrd’s lab, she was a research assistant in Dr. Raymond Gibbs’s lab studying humor habituation effects and embodied cognition. Within the field of psychology, her greatest passion is for the social influences on development. In her free time, she has volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club, plays lacrosse, watches films, listens to electronic music, and partakes an active role in Alpha Psi sorority. After she earns her Bachelor’s, she plans to pursue a PsyD in either Clinical Psychology or Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Ashley Tran

Ashley Tran

Ashley Tran is a second year Intensive Psychology major from Stevenson College. With a strong interest in behavioral, developmental, and educational psychology, she is intrigued by the powerful effects of a person’s history and its ways of shaping that individual into who they are today. Later on, Ashley hopes to attend graduate school to eventually become a psychologist for universities or the work environment. When she is not hibernating in McHenry, Ashley likes to sightsee, play with dogs, dance at concerts, drink black coffee, and listen to interesting conversations.

Leandra Weinberg

Leandra Weinberg

My name is Leandra Weinberg, I am from Roseville, CA and I am a senior double majoring in sociology and psychology at UC Santa Cruz. My research interests include media, as well as social media, and its intersection with race, class and gender and identity formation. I enjoy the way sociology and psychology can play off of each other from a research aspect and I hope to continue to use both of them in graduate school and hopefully for the rest of my life. Outside of school, I work as a barista at my favorite local coffee shop and I spend as much time possible with my adorable cat and my great housemates!

Sophia Wuest

Sophia Wuest

Sophia is a second year intensive psychology major with a minor in education. She is interested in clinical and developmental psychology. Sophia is passionate about working with kids and interns as a classroom aide for elementary school students who need extra support. Sophia hopes to go to graduate school for clinical psychology. In her free time she enjoys hiking, eating and watching the warriors win.