Applied Social and Community Psychology Graduate Students

 Julia Brasileiro, MPH 

Julia is a PhD student and member of the Teen Health Lab in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University. She holds B.A. and MPH degrees in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on understanding how psychosocial factors intersect with adolescent sexual health. In addition, she is interested in using behavioral and implementation science theories to adapt and implement programs to improve adolescent sexual health and wellbeing.

 Whitney Becker

Whitney entered the program in Fall 2020 after spending six years as an elementary school educator. She holds a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in education with a concentration in literacy. It is her experience in the classroom that led her to an interest in research related to mindsets, specifically failure mindsets and mental health as well as the role of relationships as they pertain to mindsets.

 G. Perusi Benson

Perusi Benson entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program in Fall 2019 after graduating with a BS in Psychology from UNC Chapel Hill in 2016. They are a graduate research assistant in Dr. Vanessa Volpe's Black Health Lab. Their research interests include increasing health care access and utilization for Black transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals and communities through collaborative and equitable research practices.

 Alexis Briggs, M.A.

Alexis entered the program in Fall 2019 and is a member of the Hope Lab. Originally from Virginia, Alexis received dual bachelor degrees in Psychology and African American Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Spring 2017, and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Boston College in Spring 2019. Alexis’s research interests include processes of liberation and development for Black youth.

 Jeffrey Hurst

Jeff entered the program in 2020 after graduating from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Psychology. Broadly he is interested in improving adolescents' sexual health with a particular emphasis on online sexual health such as pornography use and sexting. He is also interested in the role that parents have in their children's sexual development and hopes to develop an intervention that increases parents’ efficacy in talking to their children about sexual health.

 Hannah Javidi

Hannah (she/her) entered the program in Fall 2018 after graduating with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Hannah is a member of the Teen Health Lab and is broadly interested in using technology to develop, implement, and disseminate online interventions that promote adolescent sexual health. Specifically, her work aims to improve affirmative consent knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and self-efficacy among youth. Hannah’s favorite part of her job is teaching Psychology of Gender to undergraduate students at NC State. She also enjoys thrift shopping, singing too loudly, reality TV, and spending time with her Siamese cat, Winnie.

 Eva McKinsey

Eva entered the program in 2019.  She has done research on various topics, in diverse contexts, and using a multitude of research methods, including: participatory action research on housing and homelessness in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi; secondary research on military personnel issues with the Congressional Research Service; and experimental studies within the criminal legal context. She has recently directed her research to better understanding tools, methods, and interventions that have potential in shifting us away from our reliance on retributive justice. Her current work focuses on the transformative potential of trauma education in the criminal legal context. She is also a committed learner and advocate of transformative justice, anti-racism, and mutual aid philosophy – in sum, how to be in right relationship with one another.

 Courtney Wade, M.Ed.

Courtney (she/they) entered the program in 2019 after obtaining their M.Ed. in Counseling from NC State University and working in community and correctional mental health settings for over five years. Courtney's current work is grounded in Disability Justice, Transformative Justice, and abolitionist movements. They focus on cultural strategy, collective access, and digital design justice. They also founded the Disability, Autistic, Mad, & Neuroqueer (DAMN) Solidarity Project.

Anitra Alexander 

Anitra entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in Fall 2021 and is a member of The Hope Lab. Anitra obtained a B.S in Psychology from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Youth Development from Clemson University. In her research, Anitra is interested in examining the lived experiences of Black adolescents and the psychological and sociological factors that impact healthy community engagement, including racism and discrimination.

Sydney Earl

Sydney (she/her) entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program at North Carolina State University in 2021 after completing her B.S. in Psychology at Brigham Young University. Sydney is a member of the Mindset Lab and is broadly interested in mindsets and their overlap with obesity- and diet-related health outcomes and health disparities. Sydney ultimately plans to use her research to inform policy and interventions that can effectively disrupt inequity and help people everywhere live healthier lives.

Jordyn McCrimmon

Psychological Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Broadly, she is interested in improving aspects of adolescent sexual well-being, with a particular interest in the influence of culture on adolescent sexual development. Additionally, she hopes to design sexual health interventions focused on minority youth. In her spare time, Jordyn enjoys spending time with friends, watching tv, and cooking.

Julia Ross

Julia Ross entered the Applied Social and Community Psychology program in Fall 2021 and is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Volpe’s Black Health Lab. She completed her B.S in Psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Julia uses an intersectionality lens to study how discrimination poses risks to Black community health in the United States to reduce health disparities. She is also interested in utilizing a strength-based approach when researching how Black people cope with everyday experiences that impact their health.

Shannon Oneal

Shannon (he/his/him) is a second-year Ph.D student in the Applied Social and Community Psychology program. Shannon earned a B.A. in Psychology from N.C. State in 2014. In 2016, Shannon moved from Raleigh to Bangkok, Thailand where he was language lecturer at Chulalongkorn University. With training in school psychology, Shannon is now a Project Manager and Research Assistant with Helps Education Fund. HEF is a non-profit that provides evidence-based academic interventions to underserved students through community-engagement. Shannon's current research focuses on implementation and evaluation of virtual interventions and the impacts of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other areas of interest include mindfulness, impulsivity, and community-level interventions.