Faculty

Full-Time Faculty


Lisa Wagner

Department Chair
(415) 422-5828

Lisa S. Wagner, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of the Gerontology Minor, and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Aging at the University of San Francisco (USF). 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.  Prof. Wagner has conducted research on stereotyping and prejudice for the past 20 years. Through a grant from the National Institute on...

Education:

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

Violet Cheung

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4373

Dr. Violet Cheung is an associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of San Francisco. Her research on mass emotions started 15 years ago while she was completing her doctorate degree at UC Berkeley. She examined angry responses to the 9/11 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 and the migrant crisis. Her research was funded by the...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Kevin Chun

Professor
(415) 422-2418

Kevin M. Chun, PhD, is professor of psychology and co-founding faculty member of USF Asian American Studies and Critical Diversity Studies programs. Prof. Chun’s research program examines acculturation effects on Asian American immigrant health and psychosocial adjustment using community-based research methods. His primary research goals include improving conceptual models and measures of acculturation, and identifying health interventions that reduce acculturation stress and improve immigrant...

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

Ja'Nina Garrett-Walker

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6432

Ja’Nina Garrett-Walker is an Associate Professor in the department of Psychology at the University of San Francisco. She earned her BA from University of San Francisco and her PhD from the Graduate Center of City University of New York. She is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on multiple identity development for Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) emerging adults. Prof. Garrett-Walker 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

Saera Khan

Professor
(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.

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

Benjamin Levy

Associate Professor
(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

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

Edward Munnich

Associate 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

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

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4376

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 serving at-risk youth, and at A Home Within as Program Director. She maintains a small private practice, focused on the treatment of adolescents and maltreated youth.  Saralyn’s research agenda is largely rooted in her clinical experiences, focused on mental...

Education:

MEd, Counseling, Family and Human Services, University of Oregon, MEd, Couples and Family Therapy, University of Oregon, PhD, Human Development and Family Studies, Purdue University

Colin Silverthorne

Professor
(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

Indre Viskontas

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6151

Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, Professor Indre Viskontas works at the intersection of art and science. Her scientific work has been featured in Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia, Nautilus, and Discover Magazine. She has also written for MotherJones.com, American Scientist, and other publications. Her first book, How Music Can Make You Better, was published by Chronicle Books in April 2019, and within a week was the best-selling music appreciation book on Amazon. She’s...

Education:

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

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
(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:

MA and PhD in Psychological Studies and Developmental Psychology, Stanford University, BA and MA in Experimental Psychology, California State University

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 Riseman

Adjunct Professor
(415) 422-6151

Dr. Kathrine Gapinski received her PhD in clinical psychology from Yale University, where her research focused on eating disorders and social perceptions of weight. Her teaching interests include general psychology, gender, sexuality, and abnormal psychology.

Education:

PhD in Clinical Psychology, Yale University

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


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