Current Team Members

Jennifer L. Skeem

Jennifer L. Skeem

Director

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.

Sharon Farrell

Associate Director

Dr Farrell is the Associate Director of the Risk Resilience Research Lab. She has been with the lab for over two years. Prior to her current position she was the Project Coordinator for the Interventions research project. 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.

Jaclyn Chambers

Jaclyn Chambers

Doctoral Student

Jaclyn Chambers is a 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.

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. 

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. 

Nidhi Chandra

Survey Researcher

Nidhi is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Psychology and Social Welfare and minoring in Disability Studies at UC Berkeley. She is Data Manager of the Risk Resilience Research Lab and a Research Assistant for the Napa research project. 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.

Alyssa Foster

Research Assistant

Alyssa is majoring in psychology at UC Berkeley. She is interested in mental health awareness, social justice and education, and wants to work as a mental health advocate for minority at-risk youth and those who are in low income communities as well. Her current research interests include the exploration of racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care and improving treatments and interventions for trauma survivors and at-risk youth. She intends to get her PhD in Clinical and Social Psychology.

Bailey Maher

Research Assistant

Bailey is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Public Policy. She is passionate about child welfare reform, education and mental health, and intends to work at the intersection of these fields by advocating for at-risk youth involved in the child welfare and criminal justice systems. Her current research interests include studying policies and intervention methods within mental health facilities, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system. She plans to pursue a J.D. degree after receiving her B.A. 

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 is currently pursuing a J.D. at Berkeley Law to further her understanding of the ways that mental health and opportunity contribute to a person’s exposure to the criminal justice system.

Surina Khurana

Data Manager

Surina is a second-year undergraduate student intending to study Public Health and Economics. She seeks to better marginalized communities, specifically by addressing health disparities and inequalities. She eventually hopes to pursue a career in the health care industry.

Dorothy Han

Data Assistant

Dorothy is a junior majoring in Public Health. She is interested in working with underserved communities, particularly in the medical field via trauma informed intervention. Her current research interests include finding ways to minimize the disparities facing mentally ill and incarcerated individuals in both the healthcare and justice system. Dorothy plans to pursue both a MD and MPH after graduating from Berkeley.

Sarah Gist

Research Assistant

Sarah is a third year Social Welfare major, minoring in public policy. She is passionate about juvinile justice reform and holistic approaches to supporting at risk youth as an alternative to incarceration. She seeks to assist in developing stronger paths for marginalized communities to advocate for themselves when it comes to forming the same policy effecting their everyday lives. Though still exploring post bachelor options, she will pursue a career relating to social justice policy and legal practices. 

Chloe Punsalan

Research Assistant

Chloe is a second-year undergraduate at UC Berkeley. She is pursuing psychology as her primary major and either a secondary major or minor in Public Health. After graduating from Cal, she hopes to pursue a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Her broad research interests include: exploring how traumatic events in early life influence psychopathology, assessing differences in treating mental health issues in various ethnic groups, and investigating societal stigma surrounding mental health and disorders.

Alina Yu

Research Assistant

Alina is a second-year student studying Psychology and Public Health at UC Berkeley. She is also passionate about preventions of psychological disorders in different communities. Outside of school and research, She also enjoy her work with platforms offering health education and online counseling. For future plans, She intends to pursue the joint program of MSW and MPH in graduate school and later get the LCSW license. 

Anika Djukic

Research Assistant

Anika is a second-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Psychology and Legal Studies. She is passionate about equal access to and protection under the law, child welfare, educational equity and mental health. She is interested in doing research on the intersection between law, mental illness and psychology. After graduating, she plans on either pursuing a J.D. degree or a Psy. D. in Clinical Psychology.  

Desiree Romero

Research Assistant

Desiree is a fourth-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley majoring in Social Welfare. She is passionate about working with vulnerable populations and engaging in research that works towards dismantling the various social inequities present in our society at the institutional level. Her broad research interests include health and healthcare disparities, behavioral health, and criminal justice reform. After graduating and gaining experience in the workforce, she plans to pursue a Master's degree in Public Health and/or Public Policy.

May Lim

Research Assistant

May Lim is a Master of Public Policy candidate in the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Psychology. She has worked for local elected officials in both Seattle and LA and is interested in criminal justice policy, having worked extensively in prison advocacy around the issues of education and immigration.

Isaac Avila-Vargas

Research Assistant

Isaac is in his final year as an undergraduate majoring in Public Health at UC Berkeley. He is passionate about working with underrepresented, underserved and marginalized communities. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he plans to attend medical school and obtain his MD with a specialty in Family Medicine or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Kathryn Schmidt

Research Assistant - Sonoma

Kathryn has been a Research Assistant with the Interventions project based in Sonoma, for the past two years. She graduated from Sonoma state University with a degree in psychology. She has always had a love for knowledge and research, and sharing what she has learned. Her research interest center around cognition, in specific anxiety. Kathryn hopes to one day gain her PhD to continue on as a Professor so that she 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. 

Priscilla Martin

Research Assistant - San Francisco

Priscilla is the San Francisco Research Assistant for the Interventions Project. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is interested in evaluating the psychological perspectives that contribute to the incarceration of youth and the subsequent outcomes of remediation. Priscilla intends on pursing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Forensic Psychology. 

Amanda Sadri

Survey Researcher

Amanda is the Survey Researcher for the Reducing Institutional Violence Project at Napa State Hospital. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at UC Riverside and is finishing her Post-baccalaureate certificate at UC Irvine. Amanda plans to persue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus on individual and environmental factors influencing delinquency and the effects of incarceration on adolescent development.