UCSB Scholars

UCSB The Gevirtz School

Yvette Doss

Yvette Doss is a former journalist – writer and editor — who has written for NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and other major magazines and newspapers. During that time, she focused on U.S. Latinos and their cultural expression via music, independent film and visual art. She switched gears to become a high school teacher in Los Angeles just over six years ago. There she found a passion for working with Autistic teens and students with learning disabilities, and decided to devote herself to doing research to help create better outcomes for them. She is particularly interested in exploring mental health and educational supports for Autistic students in inclusion settings at secondary schools as well as at postsecondary institutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from UC Berkeley and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UC Riverside. In her free time she enjoys exploring nature, painting, writing, and spending time with her family.


Shemiyah Holland

Shemiyah Holland is pursuing a PhD in school psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is working in Dr. Shane Jimerson’s lab. She has an M.A. in school psychology from Bowie State University located in Maryland. She comes to UC-Santa Barbara as a nationally certified school psychologist (NCSP) and has experience working with a diverse group of students in the K-12 setting. Her research focuses on the impact of positive peer and teacher relationships as a prevention strategy to enhance engagement and promote social emotional wellbeing for African American and Latin x students. Her long term goal is to become a coordinator of a school psychology program so that she can contribute in the efforts to mentor and train culturally responsive school psychologists to address the shortages among school psychology.


Samantha Hutchinson

Samantha Hutchinson is a School Psychology Ph.D. student working in Dr. Erin Dowdy’s lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She graduated from Skidmore College with a BA in Psychology in 2020. Her previous work broadly evaluated how young children learn about the world and her senior thesis assessed how adult beliefs about early cognitive development vary across experience and expertise. As a Program Assistant at the Child Mind Institute, Hutchinson worked with clinicians across disciplines delivering evidence-based small group interventions for students struggling with behavior and emotion regulation. As the Research Coordinator for the Boston College Consortium for Translational Research on Learning and Memory, she initiated collaboration between the Psychology & Neuroscience department and the Education department to investigate the basic principles of learning and memory and their application in educational settings. As a Project TEAMS scholar, Hutchinson is excited to continue to collaborate across departments to research and implement evidence-based interventions to support diverse students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs.


Lakhvir Kaur

Lakhvir Kaur is a doctoral student in the school psychology emphasis of our doctoral program working under Dr. Shane Jimerson. Prior to her studies here, Lakhvir attended community college and went on to transfer to California State University, Bakersfield where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Post her graduation, Lakhvir attended California State University, San Bernardino where she graduated with an Education Specialist (Ed.S) degree and PPS Credentials in School Psychology. Her research interests include examining mental health outcomes in Sikh children who become victims of bullying and harassment and developing appropriate school-based interventions and practices. Furthermore, she is interested in exploring practices in identification and eligibility determination of English Language Learners in special education programs, specifically addressing the over-under representation in special education programs.


Nicole Mapp

Nicole Mapp is a Special Education PhD student in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In May 2015, Nicole completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. Following graduation from Penn State, Nicole worked as a Title I instructional assistant in a public middle school setting while she pursued teacher certification in New Jersey. Nicole holds two standard New Jersey teaching certifications: Elementary School Teacher in Grades K-6 and Elementary School with Subject Matter Specialization: Science in Grades 5-8. After obtaining teacher certification, Nicole worked as a middle school science teacher in a charter school setting from 2017-2020.
Prior to enrolling in UCSB in Fall 2022, Nicole completed her master’s degree in Deaf Education at Boston University and obtained an initial teacher license for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing – [ASL/TC], All Levels, from the Massachusetts Office of Educator Licensure. As part of her studies at Boston University, Nicole completed virtual observations and in-person field experiences at schools for the deaf in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and southern California. Nicole plans to focus her research on the experiences and mental health of deaf students of color.


Alice Mullin

Alice Mullin is a doctoral student in the UCSB Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology department, working in the School Psychology emphasis under Dr. Jill Sharkey. She graduated from Scripps College in 2017 with a B.A. in psychology. Following graduation, she began working as a project coordinator in Dr. Allison Harvey’s lab at UC Berkeley. The lab focused on the development and implementation of a behavioral sleep intervention for both youth and adults. Currently, her research interests include reducing barriers to and improving engagement with evidence-based treatments within youth systems, with a particular focus on the sustainment of successful mental health treatments. She is particularly interested in increasing historically underserved populations’ access to such interventions.


Arnold Rodriguez Robles

Arnold Rodriguez Robles is a doctoral student working in Dr. Matt Quirk’s lab at UC Santa Barbara and is pursuing a PhD in school psychology. Arnold’s background as a dual language teacher led him to the field of school psychology, thus his research interests include studying the effects of dual language instruction on emergent bilingual students and best practices when providing services and assessing students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Lastly, he is pursuing a PhD in hopes of teaching at the university level and contributing to the development of culturally sound cognitive and social/emotional/behavioral assessments.


Daniel Santana

Daniel Santana (he/him/his) is a first-generation Mexican-American graduate student pursuing his Doctoral degree in Special Education. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton and a Master’s degree in Education with a Education Specialist Credential on Extensive Support Needs at UCSB’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Equitable access to health services, education, employment and uplifting life opportunities are a particular interest and passion for Daniel. As a representative from a diverse, underserved vibrant community, his experiences, both personal and professional, have innately fueled his pursuit in the humanization of all individuals. Through research and policy change, he envisions a more inclusive society where everyone is valued and empowered to live a life full of meaning and purpose.


Pauline Serrano

Pauline Serrano is pursuing a PhD in school psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is working in Dr. Jill Sharkey’s lab. She has an MA in psychological science and a BA in honors psychology with a minor in child and adolescent development from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Serrano taught supplemental instruction and lab courses throughout her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is now working as part time faculty as a doctoral student. She is a first-generation college student and an immigrant from the Philippines, raised in a single-parent household. Her program of research focuses on the impact of individual, family, and school factors on the health (mental/physical) and academic success of underserved minority students. Her previous experience as lab coordinator and project manager for CSUN’s Transition to College study solidified her passion to improve student socio-emotional health, engagement, and academic success in school systems. Serrano’s long-term goals are to become a professor and a licensed school psychologist.