Doctoral Students

                                                                                                                     

Sarah Alonzi

Sarah is a first-year graduate student in the Health Psychology program hoping to minor in Quantitative Psychology. Broadly, she is interested in identifying psychological factors that affect treatment adherence and healthcare utilization, study design and methodology, and improving patients’ and caregivers’ experiences with end-of-life cancer care. Sarah’s research interests were shaped by her work on reducing misperceptions of palliative care for cancer patients in the Deep South, using meta-analysis to understand the effect of novel therapies on health-related quality of life in food allergy patients and families, and developing COVID-specific measures amid the pandemic. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, SCUBA diving,  and going to music festivals. 

Brittany Drake
Brittany Drake

Brittany is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology. She is interested in understanding how individual responses to stressors vary across a lifespan to facilitate or undermine coping and wellbeing. Her current research uses linguistic analysis to examine the influence of interpersonal context on emotional expression about chronic illness and interpersonal loss. She is also committed to forming coalitions within and outside the academic setting to communicate and apply pertinent scientific findings. Outside of school, she enjoys playing and listening to music, woodturning, and fostering senior special needs dogs.                                      

Megan Hoch
Megan Hoch

Megan is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology. Her program of research at UCLA examines how people diagnosed with cancer cope throughout the disease course, from the time of diagnosis throughout survivorship. Megan’s current research is examining factors that moderate the association between coping and mental health outcomes in cancer populations, such as illness appraisals of control and chronicity. Megan has also been studying the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on health maintenance behaviors and mental health outcomes in cancer survivors. Outside of school, Megan enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her two rescue cats. 

James MacDonald
James MacDonald

James is a graduate student in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Health Psychology. His research is focused on cognitive processes related to the experience of diagnosis and treatment of chronic illness that confer risk for and protect against psychological distress. He is also interested in developing cognitive-behavioral interventions to alleviate distress and improve health behaviors in individuals living with chronic illness. Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer, tennis, and golf as well as hiking and going to the beach.

Kimberly Martin
Kimberly Martin

Kimberly is a graduate student in Social Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology. She examines the impact of prejudice and the importance of history with a specific interest in understanding ways to reduce anti-Black racism. Her current research investigates potential sociocultural contributors to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, perceptions of and emotional reactions to police brutality, and the experiences of Black Americans in healthcare. Outside of research, Kimberly enjoys dancing, yoga, cooking, and creating new recipes to enjoy with family and friends.  

Praise Owoyemi

Praise is a second-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program. Broadly, her research focuses on sociocultural and dispositional variables that impact coping with a chronic or terminal illness. Similarly, Praise investigates mental health outcomes in individuals from immigrant and racial minority groups who are facing health adversity. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her cat, pretending to cook, and watching scary movies.

Edgardo Ramirez
Edgardo Ramirez

Edgardo is a California-born-Iowa-raised, first-generation graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program who is passionate about cancer health equity, workforce development, and advocacy. Broadly, his research interests lie at the intersection of social determinants of health, sociocultural factors, and health-related and psychological predictors of adjustment among underserved communities experiencing chronic illness. He also has a particular interest in Latinx health. Outside of school, he enjoys running, binging a good show, and exploring the Latin alternative music scene wherever he goes.