Graduate Students

Yesenia Aguilar Silvan, MA
Graduate Student
yaguilarsilvan@ucla.edu
 

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.

Christine Bird, MA
Graduate Student
christinebird@ucla.edu
 

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 Chodzen, MA
Graduate Student
giachodzen@g.ucla.edu
 

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 Moodliar, MA
Graduate Student
rddhim@g.ucla.edu
 

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

Megha Nagaswami, BA
Graduate Student
mnagaswami@ucla.edu
 

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.