Department Chair

Kalmanovitz Hall G56

Saera Khan is a social psychologist who received her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research explores the social cognitive processes involved in the reliance of stereotypes for judgment and the consequences of these prejudicial judgments for stigmatized groups. She also studies the role of identity and culture in the formation of moral judgments. She teaches Psychology Practicum, Social Psychology, and Advanced Research Methods.

Ben Levy is a cognitive neuroscientist who received his PhD from the University of Oregon. His research focuses on memory and cognitive control, with a particular interest in understanding why we forget. He teaches biological psychology, research design, and learning, memory and cognition.
  • PhD, University of Oregon

Full-Time Faculty

Harney Science Center 244

Pamela Balls Organista, has a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her areas of research include health issues in underserved populations, ethnic minority psychology, community-based research, and preventive interventions.

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology
Kalmanovitz Hall G60

Dr. Violet Cheung (ORCiD 0000-0003-2706-025X) is a professor in the department of psychology at the University of San Francisco. Her research on mass emotions started after 9/11 while she was completing her doctorate degree at UC Berkeley. She examined angry responses to the terrorist attack and how the public sentiment precipitated the U.S. to go to war. She now focuses on anxious and fearful responses in the new contexts of cyber insecurity, the migrant crisis, and the COVID pandemic. She also...

  • UC Berkeley, PhD in Psychology, 2007
  • Anxiety, Fear and Anger
  • Public Sentiments
  • Big Data Analytics
Kalmanovitz Hall G61

Kevin M. Chun, PhD, is professor of psychology and co-founding faculty member of USF’s Asian American Studies and Critical Diversity Studies programs. Professor Chun uses community-based research methods to study acculturation effects on Asian American immigrant health and psychosocial adjustment. His research program aims to improve acculturation theory and measures, and develop health interventions that reduce immigrant families’ acculturation stress.

Prof. Chun was co-principal...

  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BS, Psychology, Santa Clara University
  • Psychology Internship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System
  • Acculturation
  • Bicultural efficacy in health management
  • Immigrant health disparities
  • Asian American psychology
  • Multicultural psychology
  • Ethnic minority mental health
  • Family psychology

J. Garrett-Walker is an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of San Francisco. She earned a B.A. from University of San Francisco and a PhD from the Graduate Center of City University of New York.

Professor Garrett-Walker is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on multiple identity development for Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) emerging adults. She utilizes quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine the...

  • PhD, Graduate Center of City University of New York
  • BA, University of San Francisco
Kalmanovitz Hall G47

Aline Hitti is an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of San Francisco. She completed her doctoral degree in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology from the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on children’s and adolescents’ social cognitive and moral development in intergroup contexts. She has authored and co-authored several chapters on social exclusion and intergroup peer relations, highlighting how morality is applied in these social contexts...

  • University of Maryland College Park, PhD in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
  • Johns Hopkins University, MS in Mathematical Sciences
  • Johns Hopkins University, BS in Mathematical...
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Developmental sciences
  • Minoritized youth

Marisa Knight, PhD, specializes in cognitive neuroscience. She teaches biological psychology and research design, and her research is focused on the interplay between motivation, emotion and cognitive functioning across the lifespan.

  • PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
Kalmanovitz Hall G45

Edward Munnich, PhD, is a cognitive psychologist. He received his degree from the University of Delaware. He teaches research design; learning, memory and cognition; and related courses. His research focuses on whether, and to what extent, statistics influence people's beliefs and preferences about personal and public policy issues.

  • PhD, University of Delaware
Kalmanovitz Hall G58

Dr. Ochoa received his PhD from Saint Louis University. His research focuses on values in sports, specifically looking at the impact of a system on value transmission.

  • PhD, Saint Louis University, Family Therapy
  • MA, Antioch University, Clinical Psychology
  • BA, Occidental College, Psychology
Kalmanovitz Hall G47

John Pérez received his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Yale University and completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at UCSF. His research focuses on exploring how diverse people use religious and spiritual resources (e.g., prayer, support from religious communities) to cope with stressful life events and chronic illnesses. In addition, he studies health promotion interventions among low-income, underserved Latinos, especially depression prevention and cancer prevention via faith-based...

  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Yale University
  • NIMH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco

Zachary Reese's research focuses on social comparison, competition, and close relationships. He teaches Research Design, Writing in Psychology, Social Psychology, and African-American Psychology.

  • University of Michigan, PhD in Psychology, 2022
  • University of Michigan, MSc in Psychology, 2018
  • Goucher College, BA in Psychology, 2016
Kalmanovitz Hall G43

Professor Ruff received a Master in Education, a Master in Couples and Family Therapy, and a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies. She worked in Solano County at a nonprofit clinic as a Program Supervisor and Lead Clinician, at A Home Within as Program Director, and in private practice -- all focused on the treatment of adolescents and maltreated youth.

Saralyn’s research agenda is largely rooted in her clinical experiences, focused on mental health interventions for maltreated...

  • Purdue University, PhD Human Development, 2012
  • University of Oregon, MEd, Couple and Family Therapy, 2006
  • University of Oregon, MEd, 2003

Maria Cristina Samaco-Zamora is a Clinical Psychologist. She completed her doctorate degree from Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. Her areas of interest are Wellness Psychology and Personality. She has worked with children and adults in the areas of intelligence assessments, psycho-emotional assessment, and various forms of therapy.

  • Ateneo de Manila University, PhD in Clinical Psychology, 2013
  • Ateneo de Manila University, MA in Counseling Psychology, 2008
  • Ateneo de Manila University, BA in Psychology, 2005
  • Psychology
  • Clinical psychology
Kalmanovitz Hall G55

Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, Professor Viskontas works at the intersection of art and science. She has published more than 50 original papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity. Her scientific work has been featured in Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia, Nautilus, Nature: Science Careers, and Discover Magazine. She has also written for, American Scientist, Vitriol Magazine, and other publications. Her first book, How Music...

  • PhD, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California - Los Angeles
  • MM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • BSc, University of Toronto
Kalmanovitz Hall G58

Lisa S. Wagner, PhD is professor of psychology and director of the gerontology minor at University of San Francisco. Professor Wagner has conducted research on stereotyping and aging for the past 25 years. Through a grant from National Institute on Aging and with support from USF, her research has examined age-related stereotypes and older adults’ experience of stereotype threat. Her recent research promotes intergenerational interactions between younger and older adults and examines effects of...

  • PhD, Social and Personality Psychology, University of Washington
  • BA, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan
Kalmanovitz Hall G48

Joyce P. Yang, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned her doctoral degree as a clinical scientist from the University of Washington. She received her postdoctoral research training in the Advanced Fellowship Program in Mental Illness Research and Treatment at Stanford University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the National Center for PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She completed her predoctoral clinical internship...

  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Washington, 2017
  • MA, Experimental Psychology, Boston University, 2008
  • AB, Psychology and Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, 2007

Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Mark Bauermeister's interests include examining the macro-micro social relationships determining human behavior, environmental health, human ecology, social movements, and change. Current research includes examining the influence of social structure upon human emotion, behavior, and mental health. Dr. Bauermeister teaches social psychology.

  • PhD, Iowa State University
Kalmanovitz Hall G36

Dr. Mel Ciena is a New Yorker who has been teaching at the University of San Francisco since 1991. He has been honored with the Distinguished Lecturer Award twice, the Dean's College Service Award, and the Sister Vickie Sui Award for outstanding Service all at the University of San Francisco.

Dr. Ciena is multilingual in French, English, and Spanish. His research interests include motivation and orientation in second and third language acquisition and how children learn from a cognitive and...

  • Stanford University, MA and Ph.D in Psych Studies and Developmental Psychology, 1998
  • California State University, San Jose, BA and MA in Experimental Psychology, 1974
Kalmanovitz Hall G65

Dr. Jeremy Doughan is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology and affiliate faculty in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco. He teaches courses in General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology and Clinical Psychology.

Dr. Doughan received his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota. He subsequently received his master's and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. During his...

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clinical Psychology, VA Boston Healthcare System, 2008
  • Internship, Clinical Psychology, Miami VA Healthcare System, 2007
  • PsyD, Clinical Psychology, Minnesota School...
Kalmanovitz Hall G55

Professor Kate Gapinski received a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University, where her research focused on eating disorders and social perceptions of weight. She also worked in a lab dedicated to gender research for several years. After completing postdoctoral work in behavioral medicine at Stanford University, she became a founding partner in an evidence-based clinical psychology practice in San Francisco, where she currently treats individuals and couples. In addition, she has...

  • Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, Yale University
  • Psychology of gender
  • Psychology of sexuality
  • Clinical psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
Kalmanovitz Hall G55

Lauren Marie Haack, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist with interests focused on 1) cultural influences to mental health conceptualization, assessment, and treatment, 2) accessible and culturally attuned evidence-based services for traditionally underserved youth and families worldwide, and 3) behavioral health provider experience, training, and consultation. In addition to teaching courses at USF since 2013, she serves as director of the STRIVE lab ( and associate...

  • Clinical Psychology Fellowship, University of California San Francisco (UCSF)
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, Marquette University
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, Marquette University
  • BA, Psychology...
  • ADHD
  • Global mental health
  • Evidence-based mental health services

Dr. Ziegler completed his PhD in Systems Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he took a cutting-edge multimodal neuroimaging approach to examine the effects of healthy aging and Parkinson’s disease on cognitive control systems in the brain.

In addition to his appointment at USF, Dr. Ziegler is Director of the Technology Program for Multimodal Biosensing at Neuroscape and is a Specialist in Neurology at UCSF with...

  • PhD, Systems Neuroscience, MIT, 2011
  • BS, Psychobiology, Denison University, 1999

Faculty Emeritus

Professor Bloch is a cognitive neuropsychologist who received his PhD in 1989. His research investigates hemispheric asymmetry and integration in normal and disabled populations, as well as the effects of certain olfactory stimuli on hemispheric processing. He is also an Educational Therapist, working with a variety of students with learning differences including dyslexia, ADD, and nonverbal learning disabilities.

Prof. Bloch's teaching interests include Brain and Behavior, Human...

  • PhD, 1989
  • Brain and Behavior
  • Human Neuropsychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Learning and Memory
  • Cognition
  • Psychology of Reading and Dyslexia
  • Psychology of Dreaming
  • Statistics
  • General Psychology
Kalmanovitz Hall G52

Susan Heidenreich, PhD, is an experimental psychologist, who earned her degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the Faculty Coordinator for the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Minor. She teaches biological psychology, psychological statistics, sensation and perception, and psychology of human sexuality. Her current research in neuroscience uses psychophysical methods to investigate eye movements and visual perception.

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Loyola Jesuit Community

Fr. Gerdenio (Sonny) Manuel, S.J. is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology. After retiring from teaching at USF, Fr. Manuel has been staff psychologist at South of Market Health Center in San Francisco caring for the medically underserved and also works in his own part-time private practice.

Fr. Manuel's areas of scholarship include coping with stress and traumatic life events and the relationship of psychology, faith, and religious life. He is the author of Living Celibacy, Healthy Pathways for...

  • BA, University of San Francisco
  • MA in Divinity, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
  • PhD in Psychology, Duke University
  • Clinical internship and Advanced Clinical Fellow at Cambridge City...
Kalmanovitz Hall G58

Dr. Silverthorne is a social/organizational psychologist. He has authored several books and published numerous numerous articles in refereed journals. His recent research has focused on testing the applicability of organizational behavior theories, especially leadership, across cultures. In addition, other current research is exploring the benefits of yoga for brain injured individuals.

  • PhD, (Social Psychology), University of Cincinnati, 1970
  • MA, (Psychology), University of Cincinnati, 1968
  • BSc, (Psychology and Mathematics with Statistics), University of London, 1966