Graduate student scholarship and research round-up

Congratulations to our hardworking graduate students. Below is a recent round-up of scholarships, fellowships, and research activities. 


Scholarships and Fellowships

Elizabeth Baker - Ph.D. student, School Psychology
Richard R. Kokes Endowed Fellowship Fund

Elizabeth Baker

Elizabeth (Liz) Baker is a second-year School Psychology Ph.D. student whose research interests are focused on the identification of neural correlates of social communication and reward processing in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She is currently examining reward processing to measure treatment efficacy of a social skills intervention for adolescents with ASD and exploring predictors of adaptive behavior in neurodevelopmental disorders. She hopes to continue this work to improve social outcomes and disseminate research findings from diverse families of the Inland Empire.


Yesenia De Leon - M.Ed., Higher Education Administration and Policy
Justin Lai Endowed Scholarship

Yesenia DeLeon

Yesenia De Leon is a proud first-generation Latina, born and raised in San Bernardino. She attended UCLA for her undergraduate studies, and is currently pursuing an M.Ed. in the Higher Education Administration and Policy program at UCR’s Graduate School of Education. Yesenia serves as Moreno Valley Regional Coordinator of the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) at UCR. In this role, Yesenia provides pre-admission advising to high school students to help them pursue and achieve a post-secondary education. Yesenia wants to continue to grow as a student affairs professional, and eventually hopes to become a director, creating innovative programs and resources for first-generation and low-income students to help bridge the gap. 


Carlos Galan - Ph.D. student, Higher Education Administration and Policy
Dr. Douglas Mitchell & Dr. Tedi Mitchell Endowed Graduate Student Award

Carlos Galán

Carlos A. Galan is a first-generation college student from Salvadoran descent. Currently, he is a second second-year Ph.D. student in Higher Education Administration and Policy at the University of California, Riverside. Before joining UCR, he attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). At UCLA, he earned a bachelor’s degree in History and Public Policy. At USC, he completed a master’s degree in Educational Counseling in Higher Education. Carlos' research interests are informed by his personal and professional experiences. During the last five years, he managed a college access program where he worked with low-income high school youth as they applied and transitioned into higher education. At UCR, Carlos' research efforts are focused on college access and college readiness for underserved youth, Central Americans and Latinos in higher education, and decision making in higher education.


Ruiwen Zheng – Ph.D. candidate, School Psychology
Robert C. Calfee & Nel Little Calfee Endowed Doctoral Student Fellowship: Awarded to students in the doctoral program of GSOE who have completed their oral examinations and are entering the dissertation stage of their program.

Ruiwen Zheng

Ruiwen Zheng’s K-12 educational journey inspired her to pursue a career where she can support the academic, social-emotional, and vocational success of children and adolescents. UCR's School Psychology program has helped Zheng move towards this career goal, advancing her understanding and implementation of evidence-based practices in schools. Zheng says that she is grateful and proud to be a part of the program and GSOE with so many wonderful faculty and students passionate about education and science.

Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship 

The GAANN fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, aims to increase the amount of graduate students obtaining doctoral degrees in areas of national need. The GSOE GAANN supports students with an interest in psychometrics, a field of study concerned with the science of measurement.

Below are the 2019-20 fellowship recipients:

  • Bhawandeep Bains, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Danielle Cravalho, Ph.D. candidate, School Psychology
  • Katie Fullerton, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Melissa Klaib, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Megan Ledoux, Ph.D. student, Special Education
  • Ainsley Losh, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Elissa Monteiro, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Elina Veytsman, Ph.D. student, School Psychology
  • Valencia Youkhanna, Ph.D. candidate, School Psychology


Research and Publications

Special education doctoral students Zaira Jimenez  and Aya Shhub recently presented at the Pacific Coast Research Conference, an annual research meeting for researchers concerned about teaching, learning, and schooling for students with mild to moderate disabilities.

Zaira Jimenez


Aya Shhub


Zaira, Shhub, and fellow GSOE graduate student Danielle A. Cravalho co-authored the following paper, “How Grades 4 to 8 Teachers Can Deliver Intensive Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Interventions to Students With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder”, published in Beyond Behavior, with GSOE's Dr. Michael Solis.


Several School Psychology doctoral students presented their research at the annual National Association of School Psychologists conference in Baltimore, MD. 


NASP 2020

Poster presentations: Anacary Ramirez, Ruiwen Zheng, Bhawandeep Bains, Laura Alba, Ashley Pfenning, Nina Mandracchia, Brian Jones, Michelle Heyman, Danielle Cravalho, Luisana Suchilt, Tyler Womack, Jessica Mercado Anazagasty.
Paper presentations: Laura Alba & Barbara Katic


Ainsley Losh, third-year school psychology Ph.D. student, and Megan Ledoux, third-year special education Ph.D. student, presented a paper session, “Connecting STRs and Parent-Child Interactions to Academic Engagement for Young Students with ASD”, at the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) Annual Convention in Long Beach.

Research Round Up



Are you a GSOE student with research, awards, or any updates to share? Email us here.