Yesenia received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Latin American Studies from UCLA. For post-baccalaureate, Yesenia worked as a clinical research coordinator focusing on the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based mental health interventions for vulnerable populations, such as ethnic and racial minorities, first-generation immigrants exposed to trauma, and high-risk urban youth. Yesenia is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at UCLA and is advised by Dr. Lauren Ng. Her research focuses on identifying and addressing mutable factors that contribute to documented healthcare disparities in care access, continuity, quality, and outcomes for vulnerable populations. In particular, Yesenia is interested in using community-driven strategies to develop, culturally adapt, and implement trauma interventions for hard-to-reach, underserved, minority communities.
Gifty received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia. After graduating, Gifty worked as a research coordinator at the UGA Clinical Affective Neuroscience Lab focused on understanding different mechanisms that impact individuals at clinical high-risk transition to psychotic disorders. Her research background also includes collaborating with labs examining trauma experiences in Black people. She is currently a graduate student in the Clinical area, advised by Dr. Lauren Ng, exploring the impact of race-based discrimination on trauma symptoms within marginalized groups. Specifically, she is interested in immigrant communities’ perceptions and responses to discriminatory events and their influence on mental health outcomes with the goal of identifying risk and protective factors. Ultimately, her research aims to leverage within-group strengths and vulnerabilities to inform trauma treatments while contributing to the evolving understanding of race-based traumatic stress within the clinical science field.
Christine is a doctoral student in the TRUST lab, who is interested in the contextual factors of trauma (e.g., identity, neglect vs. abuse, negative cognitions, social factors) and the development of mental health outcomes. Her research goals are to inform treatment, particularly for underserved minorities, through better understanding of the complexities of trauma and trauma classification. Christine earned her MA in Psychology from the University at Buffalo and her BA in Art Conservation and Art History from the University of Delaware. Christine is also a cofounder of the hiring assessment firm, Plum, and co-creator of Stronger Together WNY, a non-profit organization that aims to advance the voices of targeted minorities. She is also the creator/co-editor of the PCSAS Newsletter, designed to inform and inspire advocacy for the Clinical Science movement.
Gia received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Depaul University in Chicago, IL. Gia is currently a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at UCLA and is co-advised by Dr. Lauren Ng and Dr. Denise Chavira. Gia’s research focuses on examining malleable factors that may improve psychological treatment outcomes among LGBTQ+ individuals and racial minorities. She is particularly interested in examining intersectional minority identity in the context of increasing the efficacy of trauma-focused interventions.
Rddhi received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Washington – Seattle. A series of formative undergraduate and post-baccalaureate research experiences motivated Rddhi to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology. As a graduate student in UCLA’s Clinical Psychology program and a member of the TRUST Lab, Rddhi is interested in understanding how marginalized groups react to and cope with trauma. In particular, she is curious about the influence of culture and context on the utilization, engagement, and effectiveness of interventions. Ultimately, Rddhi hopes to develop accessible and culturally sensitive interventions for trauma exposure.
Megha received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, Megha worked as a clinical research coordinator in a lab focused on developing evidence-based treatments for depression. She is currently a graduate student in the Clinical area and is advised by Dr. Lauren Ng. Her research focuses on understanding experiences of interpersonal violence and its related trauma in underserved populations with an emphasis on long-term mental health outcomes of survivors. She aims to understand the role of culture and other factors in perceptions and experiences of both interpersonal violence and trauma. Megha’s ultimate research goal is to contribute to culturally-sensitive, community based approaches to addressing interpersonal violence.
Ibukun received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from UCLA. After graduating, Ibukun worked as a research assistant at the Children’s Institute, a non-profit mental agency that provides early education, behavioral health, and family strengthening services for underserved populations in LA. She is currently a graduate student in the Clinical area and is advised by Dr. Lauren Ng. Her research focuses on identifying and improving protective factors for vulnerable populations. In particular, Ibukun hopes to specialize in intervention research that targets and builds positive psychological constructs like hope & resilience towards the goal of helping trauma-exposed youth with high risk for adverse psychosocial outcomes to feel better equipped to navigate adversity and create pathways towards their goals.