Current Team Members

Jennifer L. Skeem

Jennifer L. Skeem

Principal Investigator

Dr. Skeem is a clinical psychologist and professor in the School of Social Welfare and Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Her specializations include mental health, criminal behavior and intervention/policy. She was also a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Mandated Community treatment. She earned her PhD from the University of Utah and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Skeem's research is designed to inform clinical and legal decision-making about individuals with mental disorder. Specific topics include understanding psychopathic personality disorder, assessing and treating violence risk, and identifying factors that influence the outcomes of offenders who are required to accept psychiatric treatment. She has authored and coauthored over 70 articles, chapters, and books, and has received several scholarly awards. She works closely with both local and national agencies to help research inform policy and practice.

Click here for Prof. Skeem's CV and biography.

Megan Johnson

Post Doctoral Student

Dr. Johnson's research is primarily focused on understanding the developmental mechanisms underlying the development of externalizing psychopathology. As a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley, she is specifically interested in exploring the association between pubertal maturation and empathy development. Her previous research has focused on the hormonal influences of antisocial behavior, and has linked hypo-reactive HPA-axis functioning to psychopathic traits in adolescents and adults.

Lina Montoya

Doctoral Student

Lina is a graduate student completing a doctorate in Biostatistics at UC Berkeley. She has been applying causal inference estimation and inference techniques for observational studies to projects in the Risk Resilience lab. Specifically, she is working on generalizability of the self perceptions of risk study, and the effects of specialty versus traditional probation on re-arrest and violence. Lina holds a M.A. in Biostatistics from UC Berkeley and B.A. in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. 

Jaclyn Chambers

Jaclyn Chambers

Doctoral Student

Jaclyn Chambers is a first-year doctoral student at the School of Social Welfare. Her research interests center on the intersection of social work and the legal system, with a particular emphasis on crossover youth who are dually involved in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Jaclyn was a research coordinator for several randomized controlled trials focused on substance abuse prevention and intervention. She holds a B.A. from Colgate University and an M.S.W. from New York University.

Stephania Hayes

Doctoral Student

Stephania Hayes is a PhD Candidate at the School of Social Welfare. Her dissertation focuses on job-related stress and associated consequences experienced by peer support specialists employed in mental health organizations, including how such stress is affected by training or workplace conditions. Stephania brings to the lab her experience in mental health program administration (with special interests in innovation and evaluation), clinical assessment, and “big data” management. Her recent work synthesized several administrative databases from the state of Victoria, Australia to help examine the utility of outpatient civil commitment in their population of mental health service users over twelve years.  Stephania holds a BA in Health Science from the University of Florida, an MA in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California, and certification as a Peer Support Specialist. 

Maura Liévano

Doctoral Student

Maura is a PhD student in the Goldman School of Public Policy and Biostatistics at UC Berkeley. Her primary area of research is quantitative criminology. She spends her time studying and applying statistical methods to improve the lives of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. At the Risk Resilience Lab, she is involved in a project to model the optimal sizing of the probation population in Alameda County. Previously she was part of a team evaluating the feasibility of implementing a diversion program for low-level drug offenders in San Francisco.

Sara Ellis

Lab Manager

Sara is majoring in Psychology at UC Berkeley. She is interested in the topics of evidence-based clinical practices and criminal justice reform for those with mental illness. In addition to projects associated with the Risk-Resilience Lab, she is working on her Psychology Honors Thesis with Professor Skeem, which is assessing envrionmental risk factors of violence in psychiatric hospitals. Ultimately, she is looking to pursue a Ph.D. in Clilnical Psychology, with a focus on Forensic Psychology. 

Michael Galloway

Research Assistant

After a career in business development and marketing, Michael returned to UC Berkeley to complete his bachelors degree in psychology.  His interests in preventing violence and improving the lives of those at risk of criminal behavior drew him to Risk-Resilience Research.  Michael co-authored and presented a paper, titled, “Does the accuracy of self-perceptions of risk reflect clients’ understanding of ‘if…then’ patterns of behavior?” at the 2016 American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS) annual conference.  His continued contributions in lab include the Interventions Study, a randomized control trial aimed at evaluating the efficacy of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy aimed at reducing recidivism in offenders assigned to the Behavioral Health Court of San Francisco.  Michael’s other interests and outside projects include the transdiagnostic characteristics of anger and impusilviity, specifically an an online anger treatment study with the UC Berkeley Cal Mania (CALM) Program.  Michael aspires to complete a PhD in clinical psychology.

Nidhi Chandra

Data Manager

Nidhi is a third year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Social Welfare and minoring in Disability Studies at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about working with people with disabilities and is interested in doing research on the intersection between the child welfare system, psychology, and disabilities. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology after receiving her B.A. 

Shefali Dutt

Research Assistant

Shefali is a third year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Social Welfare and Psychology. She is passionate about mental health, social justice, and education, and wants to work at the intersection of these fields by advocating for marginalized individuals, specifically low-income and minority children and adolescents. Her current research interests include rehabilitation of people navigating the criminal justice system, along with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety in at-risk youth. 

Shayda Abazari

Research Assistant

Shayda is a third year undergraduate student studying Social Welfare and Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley. She intends to pursue medicine and is particularly interested in pediatrics and working with at-risk youth. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, travelling, volunteering at the hospital, watching romantic comedies, and coaching youth gymnastics.

Sharon Farrell

Project Coordinator

Dr Farrell is a Criminologist whose research primarily focuses on prisoner reentry, community programming and alternative sanctioning. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of California Berkeley and her PhD in Criminology, Law & Society from the University of California Irvine. Before joining the team at the Risk Resilience Lab she was employed at the Center for Evidence Based Corrections at University of California Irvine.

Kathryn Schmidt

Research Assistant - Sonoma

I graduated from Sonoma state University with a degree in psychology. I have always had a love for knowledge and research, and sharing what I learn. I hope to one day gain my PhD to continue on as a Professor so that I may keep learning and researching within the world of psychology and mental health.

Mary-Lynn Garrett

Clinical Social Worker

I have over 17 years experience working with adults with mental illness in San Francisco and obtained my Masters in Social Work from UC Berkeley in 2006. I embrace a strengths-focused approach working with clients in order to harness their internal and external resources and motivations for change and healing. I am excited to be part of this research study and serve as a vehicle to examine further evidence-based practices in an effort to improve outcomes for clients now and in the future. 

Amber Benton

Research Assistant

Amber is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Social Welfare. She has dedicated her time while at Cal working with low income and disadvantaged student families and interning with the Santa Clara County Public Defender's office. She is passionate about mental health in addition to law and justice and wishes to research the intersection of those fields and how individuals with mental health are disproportionately negatively effected by aspects of the justice system.

Melissa Gonzalez

Research Assistant

Melissa is a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Social Welfare with an Education minor. She plans to pursue a Masters in Social Work specializing in domestic violence and mental health. She is very passionate about working within these fields to have a better understanding on how violence affects families and try finding solutions to these problems.

Logan Freeborn

Research Assistant

Logan graduated from UC Berkeley in 2017 with degrees in Psychology and Disabilities Studies. She is passionate about studying the roles that education and mental health play in the criminal justice system. She intends on pursuing a degree in the Law to further her understanding of the ways that mental health and opportunity contribute to a person’s exposure to the criminal justice system.

Nava Bearson

Research Assistant

Nava is a second year undergraduate studying cognitive science and public policy. She is passionate about how scientific research can be translated into effective public policies to reform the criminal justice system. Currently, she serves as a caseworker at the ASUC Student Advocate's Office where she assists students accused of misconduct and advocates for policies that promote student welfare and serve the community.