Principal Investigator

Dr. Jason Okonofua

Assistant Professor, Psychology Department,
University of California, Berkeley, 2016 - present

Post Doctoral Researcher, Psychology Department, Stanford University 2015 - 2016

Ph.D. in Psychology, Stanford University, 2015

B.A. in Psychology and African American Studies, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, 2008

Dr. Jason Okonofua is a professor at University of California-Berkeley. Before assuming this position, he earned his doctorate at Stanford University with the guidance of Dr. Gregory Walton and Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt and currently works with them on a project that investigates psychological barriers to reintegration (return to home and school) for juvenile offenders. Jason’s research program examines social-psychological processes that contribute to inequality. His research has been published in top journals, including Psychological Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; it has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Character Lab, Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education, Diversifying Academia Recruiting Excellence, Stanford University’s Graduate Research Opportunity and the Diversity Dissertation Research Opportunity; and it has been featured on a variety of popular media, including MSNBC, Reuters, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Pacific Standard, Science Update, Education Week, and the Grio.

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Graduate Students

Helena Karnilowicz

Graduate Student

BA in Psychology with a minor in Child and Youth Studies, University of San Francisco, 2013.

Helena is a fourth year graduate student in the Social/Personality Psychology PhD program at UC Berkeley and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Child and Youth Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2013. Her research focuses on understanding the role of beliefs about emotion control in teacher discipline and socialization behaviors.

Research Interests: Beliefs, emotion regulation, socialization, & child development.

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Amanda Perez

Graduate Student

B.A. in Psychology, UC Berkeley, 2014

Amanda completed her B.A. in Psychology at UC Berkeley and directly after graduation entered the Ph.D. program here in the Social-Personality area. She works with Dr. Jason Okonofua in a line of research that explores the impact of biases on disproportionate discipline in Black and Brown students. She also works with Dr. Mendoza-Denton and together they are researching ways of utilizing technology to foster online cross-group friendships and reduce implicit biases.

Research Interests: Implicit biases, prejudice, interventions, intergroup relations, cross-group friendships, & technology.

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Shoshana Jarvis

Graduate Student

B.A. in Psychology and a minor in American Ethnic Studies, Willamette University

Shoshana is a 3rd year graduate student and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She graduated with a BA in psychology and a minor in American Ethnic Studies from Willamette University. Before graduate school, she worked as a research assistant with Geoff Cohen at Stanford University and as a lab manager for Geraldine Downey and Niall Bolger at Columbia University. Shoshana also spent a year serving as a corps member at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps in New York City. She works with Dr. Okonofua on studies and interventions at the intersection of race and criminal justice involvement.

Research Interests: Stigma, privilege, intervention, & intersectionality.

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Gold Okafor

Graduate Student

B.S. in Biopsychology with a minor in Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016

Gold is a 1st year graduate student in the Social/Personality Psychology PhD program. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Scott Grafton's cognitive neuroscience lab at UC Santa Barbara. She currently works with Dr. Jason Okonofua, Dr. Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dr. Iris Mauss. Her work with Dr. Okonofua focuses on intersectionality, discrimination, and stress within interventions in the educational system and prison industrial complex.

Research Interests: Stress, interventions, intergroup interaction, intersectionality, emotion expression & regulation.

*Currently accepting Research Assistants* I am looking for research assistants to for Summer 2019 and the 2019-2020 school year. If you are interested in working with me, send me an email with your resume and availability.

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Laura Guzman

Graduate Student

B.A. in Psychology, Pomona College

Laura is a first-year graduate student in the Social/Personality Psychology PhD program at UC Berkeley. She graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Psychology. Before coming to Berkeley, she worked as a high school math and science teacher at Josephinum Academy in Chicago. She later moved to the Bay Area to work at Stanford University in two capacities, as an administrative assistant in the Academic Secretary's Office as well as a volunteer research assistant for the College Transition Collaborative. Her research sought to understand how we can create learning environments that facilitate equitable outcomes in higher education.

Research Interests: Understanding emotions, respect, teacher-student relationships, bias, and the development and implementation of interventions.

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Research Assistants

Michael Ruiz

Lab Manager

B.A. in Psychology, UC Berkeley

AA-T at Fresno City College

Michael earned his AA-T at Fresno City College (FCC) and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). Michael is currently studying the ways in which the racial achievement gap in education can be attenuated via the development and implementation of wise-interventions. More broadly, Michael is interested in designing wise-interventions that improve intergroup relationships (interracial and international), racial minorities educational success and subsequent social mobility, and global behavioral-health issues.

Research Interests: Attitudes, Bias, Behavioral-health, Diversity, Education, Emotions, Interventions, Positive Psychology, Socio-economic Status, Social Mobility, and Teacher-Student Relationships.

Zoe Ferguson

Research Assistant

Zoe is currently an honors student in Jason Okonofua's lab. She is finishing her Cognitive Science degree, with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology. Her honors thesis focuses on how school principals' beliefs may affect disciplinary outcomes for students of color. Zoe is also an undergraduate lab manager for Professor Dana Carney.

Research Interests: Power Dynamics & Structures, Stigma & Prejudice, Inter, Group Relations, Criminal Justice System, Intervention Science