University of California, San Francisco & Berkeley Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars

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(2013-2015) Cohort 11 Scholars

Parissa Jahromi Ballard, PhD
Parissa Jahromi Ballard, PhD

Parissa Jahromi Ballard is a doctoral candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on understanding positive social development during childhood and adolescence. In her dissertation, she examines the psychological characteristics and social conditions that support civic engagement among youth from immigrant backgrounds. She believes that civic engagement can contribute to healthier lives and that unequal access to civic opportunities is an important equity issue for young people. As a RWJ scholar, she hopes to investigate whether civic engagement promotes physical and psychological health among adolescents, under what conditions, and by what mechanisms. Parissa grew up in Maryland, earned a B.A. and an M.A. in psychology from Wake Forest University, and spent a year in the Netherlands as a Fulbright fellow before moving to California. Her favorite activities include traveling, looking for reasons to travel, and planning trips. She also enjoys hiking, tennis, dancing, and yoga.

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Lindsay Hoyt, PhD
Lindsay Hoyt, PhD

Lindsay Hoyt is interested in social, psychological, and behavioral contributions to positive health and wellness. In particular, her work examines positive health across adolescence, a sensitive period of development when individual experiences can have longstanding effects on lifelong health. In her dissertation, she explores the relationship between positive psychological well-being, pubertal timing, and biomarkers of stress and health. As a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar, she will be seeking new methods to measure and promote positive health for youth. Lindsay is a strong proponent of multidisciplinary and policy-relevant research. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, with a double major is Psychology and Peace Studies. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University in the Department of Human Development and Social Policy, as well as an active member of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research. Lindsay also enjoys a number of activities that promote her own well-being, especially running, photography, and hiking.

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Keely Muscatell, PhD
Keely Muscatell, PhD

 

Keely A. Muscatell is a social neuroscientist whose research focuses on elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms that link the social environment and health. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, as she employs theory and methods from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychoneuroimmunology. Keely’s dissertation explored the neural processes that are engaged when we experience social stress, and how those neural systems link with stress-induced changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine activity and gene expression. She has also examined how social status affects neural processes related to understanding others and perceiving threat in the environment. As a Health & Society Scholar, Keely will investigate how other social-environmental factors, such as experiencing discrimination or being of low socioeconomic status, are represented by the brain and translated into physiological changes that affect health. She will explore the neural mechanisms by which biobehavioral risk factors affect disease progression and quality of life in breast and ovarian cancer. Keely received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in June 2013, an MA in Psychology from UCLA in 2009, and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon in 2006. When not in the lab, Keely can be found reading Dave Eggers, visiting microbreweries with family at home in the Pacific Northwest, or watching college football.

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(2012-2014) Cohort 10 Scholars

Ezequiel M. Galarce, PhD
Ezequiel M. Galarce, PhD

Ezequiel M. Galarce is interested in understanding the effects of early adversity on the development of health and risk behaviors. More specifically, he is currently examining the effects of childhood food insecurity on the development of food consumption patterns throughout the life course. In this effort, he is studying how insufficient and unreliable food sources may affect the cognitive antecedents of food related behavior; either in a purely direct manner, and also through the effects of food insecurity on maternal stress. Dr. Galarce attempts to tackle these problems from biological, psychological and ecological perspectives, combining secondary data analysis with animal and human laboratory experiments. Ultimately, he attempts to help answer a critical question to population health:Why do some population subgroups present more difficulties in maintaining healthy lifestyle choices than others? Ezequiel earned a Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences in 2009 from the Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a license in Clinical Psychology earned in 2000 in Argentina.

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Matt Killingsworth, PhD
Matt Killingsworth, PhD

Matt Killingsworth studies the nature and causes of human happiness, and is the creator of www.trackyourhappiness.org, a project that uses smartphones to study happiness in real-time in the course of everyday life on a large scale.  Recent research has examined a variety of topics, including the relationship between happiness and mind-wandering, the percentage of daily experiences that are intrinsically valuable, and the degree of congruence between the causes of momentary happiness and of one's overall satisfaction with life.  Currently, Matt is a doctoral candidate in psychology at Harvard University.  Prior to graduate school, he worked in the software industry as a product manager.  Matt received his B.S.E. from Duke University with majors in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Economics.  When not working on his research, you might find Matt wandering around the city or countryside taking pictures, in the kitchen cooking, at the gym, or trying a new restaurant.

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