Faculty

Full-Time Faculty


Saera Khan

Department Chair
(415) 422-5794

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.

Benjamin Levy

Department Chair
(415) 422-6429

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.

Education:

PhD, University of Oregon

Pamela Balls Organista

Senior Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Faculty Excellence; Professor
(415) 422-6894

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.

Education:

PhD in Clinical Psychology

Violet Cheung

Professor
(415) 422-4373

Dr. Violet Cheung 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 uses big data analytic...

Education:

UC Berkeley, PhD in Psychology, 2007

Expertise:

Anxiety, Fear and Anger, Public Sentiments, Big Data Analytics

Kevin Chun

Professor
(415) 422-2418

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 investigator...

Education:

PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, BS, Psychology, Santa Clara University, Psychology Internship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Expertise:

acculturation, bicultural efficacy in health management, immigrant health disparities, Asian American psychology, multicultural psychology, ethnic minority mental health, family psychology

J. Garrett-Walker

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6432

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...

Education:

PhD, Graduate Center of City University of New York, BA, University of San Francisco

Aline Hitti

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-2175

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...

Education:

PhD, Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland

Marisa Knight

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4374

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.

Education:

PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

Edward Munnich

Professor
(415) 422-5098

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.

Education:

PhD, University of Delaware

Alexander Ochoa

Assistant Professor

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.

Education:

PhD, Saint Louis University, Family Therapy, MA, Antioch University, Clinical Psychology, BA, Occidental College, Psychology

John Pérez

Professor
(415) 422-6641

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...

Education:

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

Saralyn Ruff

Associate Professor
(541) 510-3127

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...

Education:

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

Indre Viskontas

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6151

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 MotherJones.com, American Scientist, Vitriol Magazine, and other publications. Her first book, How Music...

Education:

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

Lisa Wagner

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5828

Lisa S. Wagner, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco.  She completed her BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, and her PhD in Social and Personality Psychology at the University of Washington. Through a grant from National Institute on Aging, 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...

Education:

PhD, Social and Personality Psychology, University of Washington, BA, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

Joyce Yang

Assistant Professor

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...

Education:

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


Mark Bauermeister

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6151

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.

Education:

PhD, Iowa State University

Davina Chan

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6151

Dr. Davina Chan obtained her PhD in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches in the Psychology Department and in Theological & Religious Studies, as well as in the PsyD program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Her clinical and teaching interests include East Asian meditation practices, Asian American psychology, cognitive psychology, and biological psychology. In addition to her teaching, Dr. Chan is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Mel Ciena

Adjunct Professor of Developmental Psychology
(415) 422-5334

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...

Education:

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

Jeremy Doughan

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6275

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 graduate...

Education:

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clinical Psychology, VA Boston Healthcare System, 2008, Internship, Clinical Psychology, Miami VA Healthcare System, 2007, PsyD, Clinical Psychology, Minnesota School Professional Psychology, 2007, MA, Clinical Psychology, Minnesota School Professional Psychology, 2003, BA, Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1998

Kathrine Gapinski

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6151

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...

Education:

Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellowship, PhD in Clinical Psychology, Yale University

Expertise:

Psychology of gender, Psychology of sexuality, Clinical psychology, Abnormal psychology

Lauren Haack

Adjunct Faculty
(415) 422-6151

Lauren Marie Haack, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist whose work focuses on cultural influences to mental health conceptualization, assessment, and treatment, and accessible and culturally appropriate evidence-based services for vulnerable youth and families. In addition to teaching courses at USF since 2013, She serves as Assistant Professor and Attending Psychologist in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences. She is a member of the International Society...

Education:

PhD, Clinical Psychology, Marquette University, MS, Clinical Psychology, Marquette University, BA, Psychology, Clemson University

David Ziegler

Adjunct Professor

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...

Education:

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

Emeriti Faculty


Michael Bloch

Professor
(415) 422-4894

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...

Education:

PhD, 1989

Expertise:

Brain and Behavior, Human Neuropsychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Learning and Memory, Cognition, Psychology of Reading and Dyslexia, Psychology of Dreaming, Statistics, General Psychology

Susan Heidenreich

Professor Emerita
(415) 422-2175

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.

Education:

PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Gerdenio Manuel S.J.

Professor
(415) 422-4705

Fr. Gerdenio (Sonny) Manuel, S.J. is Director of USF's Saint Ignatius Institute and Professor of Psychology. He is also the Provincial Assistant for Higher Education and Prefect of Studies for the California Province of the Jesuits. 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 Priests published by Paulist Press. His teaching interests...

Education:

BA, University of San Francisco, MA in Divinity, Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, PhD in Psychology,Duke University, Clinical internship at Cambridge City Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Colin Silverthorne

Professor Emeritus
(415) 422-2419

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.

Education:

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