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Graduate Students

Katie Galbraith

Katie is an incoming first-year PhD 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.

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

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

Marie Gillespie

Marie Gillespie is a sixth-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student and she completed her M.A. degree in 2014. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in psychology and minors in criminal justice and behavioral forensics from the University of Central Florida in 2012.

At USC, Marie’s primary research interest is in the development and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for individuals who are involved with or at-risk of entering the criminal justice system. Other interests include the development and provision of culturally competent therapies for ethnically diverse populations, multisystemic therapy for juvenile offenders, social justice initiatives to reduce racial disparities in America’s correctional system, and forensic program evaluations. Marie’s dissertation project is a program evaluation using randomized controlled trial methodology examining the effects of a conflict resolution program with female inmates at a local jail.

Other ongoing projects include evaluating recidivism in the LA County Probation Department’s realignment program, a meta-analysis examining psychotherapy effectiveness for ethnic minority youth with conduct problems, and a review paper on cognitive dissonance-based interventions for mental health problems. Marie was a Scholar at the USC Law School’s Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics and she is currently serving as the Graduate Student Representative for Division II of the California Psychological Association.

Marie is originally from Paris, France and goes back to visit her family every few years. She lives in Long Beach with her wonderful husband, Jess, and their adorable 8-month-old baby, Luke (photographic evidence available upon request)

Representative papers

Wood, M.E., Anderson, J.L., Gillespie, M.L., Alexander, A.A., Backstrom-Sieh, T., & Glassmire, D.M. (2018). The association between specific competence-related abilities and competence restoration treatment. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. VIEW

Gillespie, M., Huey, S.J., Jr., & Cunningham, P. (2017). Predictive validity of an observer-rated adherence protocol for multisystemic therapy with juvenile drug offenders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment76, 1-10. 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.

Gabrielle Lewine

Gabby is originally from the East Coast, and graduated with her B.A. from Boston College in 2013. That fall, she began her studies at USC in the Huey lab. Her research interests include interventions targeting antisocial behavior, cognitive dissonance based interventions, and forensic program evaluations. She also greatly enjoys the clinical aspects of the program, particularly neuropsychological assessment and couples therapy. Outside of school, Gabby loves cooking, hiking, camping, and exploring all that California has to offer!

Representative papers

Grigorenko, E. L., Bick, J., Campbell, D., Lewine, G., Abrams, J., Nguyen, V., & Chang, J. T. (2016). The Triology of GxE: Conceptualization, operationalization, and application. In D. Cicchetti (Ed.), Developmental Psychopathology (3rd ed.)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

Miriam Rubenson

Miriam is a graduate student in clinical science at USC. Miriam’s research interests include disruptive behavior disorders and mental health interventions for justice-involved youth. She graduated with a 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.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

Jacqueline Lee Tilley

Jackie is an advanced clinical graduate student at USC. After graduating with a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 2002, she spent several years working in the financial industry in London and Hong Kong, before deciding to retrain as a psychologist. Jackie is broadly interested in understanding how belief systems impact mental health, and has specifically studied this question by looking at how cultural processes influence stress and coping. When she is not working, Jackie engages in pro-level juggling of her other commitments in life: motherhood and marriage.

Representative papers

Tilley, J.L., Farver, J., & Huey, S.J., Jr. (in press). Culture, causal attribution, and coping in ethnic Chinese college students in the United States. Asian American Journal of Psychology. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., & Tilley, J.L. (2018). Effects of mental health interventions with Asian Americans: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 86(11), 915-930. VIEW

Huey, S.J., Jr., Tilley, J.L., Jones, E.O., Smith, C.A. (2014). The contribution of cultural competence to evidence-based care for ethnically diverse populations. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 10, 305-338. VIEW

Sylvanna M. Vargas

Sylvanna M. Vargas is a fourth-year PhD/ MPH (Global Health) student in the clinical science program. She is also a Visiting Graduate Researcher at UCLA’s Center for Health Services and Society. Sylvanna received her Bachelors from McGill University where she studied Psychology and English Literature. Prior to graduate school, she worked in research at the Culture and Emotions Lab at Georgetown University, and then at the Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/ Columbia University Medical Center. Her research focuses on cultural factors related to health disparities. She is interested in how culture affects meaning-making and how this in turn is related to pathways to care, social stress, and health outcomes. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between perceived discrimination and physical and mental health among low-income LGBTQ racial/ethnic minorities in Los Angeles and New Orleans. In 2016-17, she was a Saks Institute Student Scholar. In 2017, she was awarded a three-year Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In her spare time, Sylvanna enjoys hanging out with her husband and their two dogs, eating out, drinking kombucha (like any other acculturated Angeleno), and being active.

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. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Advance online publication. Advance online publication. 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 second year clinical psychology Ph.D. student. She received her B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in 2015, where she focused on the impact of language on implicit attitudes by assessing the differences in bias measured by the implicit association test (IAT) when taking the test in different languages.  Her current research interests span three major domains: (1) The impact of culture on mental health stigma, (2) Linguistic influence on stereotype formation and (3) Mechanisms causing and behavioral outcomes differentiating face and honor cultures.


Outside of research, Crystal enjoys traveling, making trips up north to visit her family, and operant conditioning her roommate’s cat.

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.