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Graduate Students

Katie Galbraith

Katie is a graduate student in the clinical science program at USC. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Yale University in 2016. While at Yale she worked at both the Innovative Interactions Lab and the Program for Obesity, Weight, and Eating Research. After graduation, she began working at the Juvenile Justice Behavioral Health lab at the University of California, San Francisco.

Katie is passionate about improving access to and outcomes of mental health treatment for at-risk and justice-involved adolescents and young adults. Her research interests include the evaluation of substance use interventions for at-risk and justice-involved youth, particularly with respect to the relationship between trauma exposure and substance use outcomes. She is also interested in studying gender-specific risk factors for involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Katie is originally from the East Coast and is an avid Boston sports fan. Outside of work, she loves to travel and go to the beach.  She is also slightly obsessed with bulldogs, particularly her family’s bulldogs named Spanky and Darla (pictures available upon request).

Representative papers

Rubenson, M., Galbraith, K., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (in press). Understanding adverse effects in gang-focused interventions: A critical review. In F. Weerman & C. Melde (Eds). Gangs and troublesome youth groups in the modern age of internet and social media. New York, NY: Springer. VIEW

Rubenson, M.P., Galbraith, K., Shin, O., Beam, C., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2020). When helping hurts? Towards a nuanced interpretation of adverse effects in gang-focused interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice, 00(e12321). VIEW

Galbraith, K., Elmquist, J., White, M.A., Grilo, C.M., & Lydecker, J.A. (2019). Weighty decisions: How symptom severity and weight impact perceptions of bulimia nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 1-7. VIEW

Tolou-Shams, M., Yonek, J. C., Galbraith, K., & Bath, E. P. (2019). Text messaging to enhance behavioral health treatment engagement among justice-involved youth: Qualitative and user testing study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth7, e10904. VIEW

Crossman, M.K., Kazdin, A.E., Galbraith, K., Eros, L., & Santos, L.R. (2018). Evaluating the influence of the presence of a dog on bias towards individuals with overweight and obesity. Anthrozoös, 31, 77-88. VIEW


 

Nina Jhaveri

Nina is a clinical psychology Ph.D. student at USC. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Nina adopts an interdisciplinary approach to clinical research that addresses the real-world complexities of healthcare systems and the social, cultural and economic barriers faced by underserved populations. Ongoing projects include investigating the role of primary medical care in mental health service utilization and developing technology-enabled solutions to disseminate low-cost scalable behavioral health interventions.

Nina’s prior experience includes designing public health programs emphasizing culture-sensitive behavior change in underserved populations and developing patient care strategies for U.S. health systems as a management consultant. She is avid food lover and power napper.

Representative papers

Mason, A.E., Jhaveri, K., Hartman, A., Wackerly, A., Almeida, C., Schleicher, S., Alba, D., Koliwad, D., Epel, E., Aschbacher, K. (in press). Sweet cognition: Glucose consumption facilitates attention to food cues in individuals with obesity. Physiology & Behavior.

Mason, A. E., Jhaveri, K., Cohn, M., & Brewer, J. A. (2018). Testing a mobile mindful eating intervention targeting craving-related eating: Feasibility and proof of concept. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 41(2), 160–173. VIEW

Sayegh, C.S., Huey, S.J., Jr., Zara, E.J., & Jhaveri, K. (2017). Follow-up treatment effects of contingency management and motivational interviewing on substance use: A meta-analysis. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(4), 403-414.


Miriam Rubenson

Miriam studies racial bias in education and interventions for justice-involved youth. Her clinical work focuses on emotion dysregulation, trauma, and suicide prevention in youth and families. Before graduate school, she earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from UC Berkeley in 2010, and has worked as a litigation assistant at the Prison Law Office in Berkeley, as a special education teacher at Sand Paths Academy in San Francisco, and as a research coordinator at the Language and Development Lab at UC San Diego.

Representative papers

Rubenson, M., Galbraith, K., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (in press). Understanding adverse effects in gang-focused interventions: A critical review. In F. Weerman & C. Melde (Eds). Gangs and troublesome youth groups in the modern age of internet and social media. New York, NY: Springer. VIEW

Rubenson, M.P., Galbraith, K., Shin, O., Beam, C., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2020). When helping hurts? Towards a nuanced interpretation of adverse effects in gang-focused interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice, 00(e12321). VIEW

Cheung, P., Rubenson, M., & Barner, D. (2017). To infinity and beyond: Children generalize the successor function to all possible numbers years after learning to count. Cognitive Psychology, 92, 22-36. VIEW

Jones, E., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Rubenson, M. (2018). Cultural competence in therapy with African Americans. In C.L. Frisby & W. O’Donohue (Eds.) Cultural competence in applied psychology: Theory, science, practice, & evaluation (pp.557-573). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., Lewine, G., & Rubenson, M. (2016). A brief review and meta-analysis of gang intervention trials. In C.L. Maxson & F. Esbensen (Eds.) Gang transitions and transformations in an international context (pp. 217-233). New York: Springer. VIEW


Sylvanna M. Vargas

Sylvanna M. Vargas is an advanced doctoral student in the clinical science program, co-mentored by Drs. Stanley Huey at USC and Jeanne Miranda at UCLA. During her PhD, she simultaneously completed a Master in Public Health at USC. She received her BA at McGill University. Her research uses an array of methodologies to examine sociocultural factors related to mood disorders and suicidality among high-risk, vulnerable populations. Her dissertation examines how experiencing intersectional discrimination is associated with depression. In support of this work, she was awarded the Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship by the American Psychological Foundation/ Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology. Sylvanna is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, which is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. During 2020-21, she will be completing her pre-doctoral internship at the West Los Angeles VA. Sylvanna grew up moving around several countries. Her family is Nicaraguan and she spent much of her childhood in Costa Rica. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling whenever possible, drinking kombucha (like any other acculturated Angeleno), and being active with her husband and their two dogs.

Representative papers

Vargas, S.M., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Miranda, J. (2020). A critical review of current evidence on multiple types of discrimination and mental health. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(3), 374-390. VIEW

Vargas, S.M., Dere, J., Garcia, L., & Ryder, A. G. (2019). The role of cultural values in the Folk Psychiatry explanatory framework: A comparison of Chinese- and Euro-Canadians. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. VIEW

Doucerain, M., Vargas, S., & Ryder, A. G. (2016). Mixed-methods research: Integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches to the psychological study of culture. In N. Zane, G. Bernal, & F. Leong (Eds.), Culturally-informed evidence-based practice for ethnic minorities: Challenges and solutions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. VIEW

Vargas, S. M., Cabassa, L. J., Nicasio, A., De La Cruz, A. A., Jackson, E., Rosario, M., … & Lewis-Fernández, R. (2015). Toward a cultural adaptation of pharmacotherapy: Latino views of depression and antidepressant therapy. Transcultural Psychiatry52(2), 244-273. VIEW


Crystal Wang

Crystal is a clinical psychology Ph.D. student. She received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in 2015, where she conducted a study assessing the impact of language on implicit attitudes towards Asian Americans.  At USC, she ran several studies investigating the effects of ethnicity and culture on mental health stigma for her master’s thesis. This transitioned to her dissertation project, where she is currently testing a novel, culturally-relevant social norms intervention for mental health stigma and help-seeking with depressed Asian and European American college students. Other ongoing projects include examining the effects of threat on racial bias and xenophobia, and how social context influences engagement in problem behaviors. 

Outside of research, Crystal enjoys traveling, making trips up north to visit her family, and drinking trenta-sized americanos to stay awake. 

Representative papers

Wang, C.X., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2019) Effects of Ethnicity and collectivism on mental health stigma. Poster presented at the International Convention of Psychological Sciences, Paris, France.

Wang, C.X., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (2018). Cultural influences on mental health stigma in Asian and European American college students. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Division 45 Research Conference, Austin, TX.