School Psychology

Viviane Chang

Viviane is currently a doctoral student in School Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley working under the supervision of Dr. Elliot Turiel. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist and a registered psychological assistant. Her decision to enter school psychology started off from a simple thought that she wanted to make schools a safe harbor for children where they feel loved and welcomed, are supported to learn the skills needed to make healthy choices for themselves, to better cope with life challenges, and to care for one another’s well­-being.


Julissa Navas

Julissa is a third year PhD student in the School Psychology program at UC Berkeley. She was born and raised in Southern California to two hard-working immigrant parents from Mexico and El Salvador. Julissa, a first generation college student, completed her undergraduate studies at UC Irvine and graduated with honors with a BA in Psychology and Education Sciences.

Her graduate research currently focuses on examining the relationship between teacher expectations, teacher practices, and students’ academic achievement. She is also interested in exploring how school and classroom...

GSE in US News top ten for School Psychology, Education Policy

March 29, 2022

The Graduate School of Education’s School Psychology Program is ranked #8 and Education Policy is ranked #9—both up a notch from last year—in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report rankings released today.

Sarah Manchanda

Sarah Manchanda is pursuing a PhD in School Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her lived experiences as a disabled woman of color shape her research interests, clinical work, and advocacy efforts in graduate school. Sarah is driven by a firm commitment to promote inclusive learning for all students. She believes that meaningful inclusion encompasses social and emotional wellbeing, and this is her primary area of focus. Her current research interests include (a) Peer victimization based on disability and race; (b) Promoting the capacity of teachers and peer bystanders...

Talia Leibovitz

Talia Leibovitz (she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate in School Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores how white parents’ school choices for their children are informed and shaped by policy; notions of merit; colorblindness; neoliberalism; racism; and the social construction of race, focusing especially on the ways in which white parents construct, contest and reinforce school quality through dialogue and behavior. Talia is motivated by the following questions: How does school choice among white parents take...

Maedeh Golshirazi

Maedeh Golshirazi is a PhD candidate in the School Psychology program at UC Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley, Maedeh received her MA in Child Development from Tufts University, and BA in Psychology from Isfahan University, Iran.

Maedeh's research interests include social-emotional learning (SEL); school climate; and parental involvement in education. Particularly, she is interested in understanding how these factors may influence the development of children who are at risk and marginalized in society (e.g., immigrants; children with special needs; and children from low-...

Cynthia Valencia-Ayala

Cynthia Valencia-Ayala is a PhD candidate in the School Psychology program and a practicing school psychologist. Prior to coming to Berkeley and throughout her time in graduate school, Cynthia has worked to provide culturally relevant mental health services to youth experiencing carceral involvement, trauma, and institutionalized racism and poverty. She is most interested in producing research that decriminalizes non-dominant youth and re-conceptualizes the education system.

She currently studies youth perceptions of carceral practices in schools and the extension...