People

Erika Hansen, Research Partnership Coordinator

Erika brings over seven years of experience in communications, project management, relationship building, and sustainability to her role as Research Partnership Coordinator at the Innovations for Youth research hub at the University of California, Berkeley. In her most recent role, Erika managed two virtual communities, built out the tech stack and LMS for an online course and community of practice, and developed data and brand visualizations to support client work. Previously, she worked alongside Pre-K through 12th grade teams to implement on site garden-based education...

Esmeralda Michel, Research Partnership Coordinator

Esmeralda Michel (she/her/they) is a Research Partnership Coordinator on the CalHOPE team. She has previously worked in Oakland Unified School District, where she supported district-wide student leadership initiatives and student-led campaigns on well-being & civic engagement. She has also worked with the National Education Association and the National Center for Youth Law in research and policy-oriented capacities. Esmeralda is passionate about collaborative research to policy initiatives that uplift student and teacher voices and she is eager to continue supporting...

Ashley N. Metzger, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ashley N. Metzger (she/her), Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for Innovations for Youth (i4Y) at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Metzger studies the behavioral health of neurodivergent children and youth in schools and the processes of school transformation to promote wellbeing. As a Fellow, she works on the research and evaluation team for CalHOPE Student Support, an effort to build statewide infrastructure to promote thriving in California schools. Dr. Metzger recently received a William T. Grant Foundation Officers' Research Grant, to help understand...

Kamryn S. Morris, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kamryn S. Morris (she/her) is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar with Innovations for Youth (i4Y) at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Morris earned her Ph.D. in Family and Human Development, where she was a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) T32 Predoctoral Fellow with training in prevention, dissemination, and implementation science. Her research seeks to promote thriving among Black youth through supporting school belonging and improving school climate. Using qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods, her program of research examines social (e.g., teacher-...

Addison Duane, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Addison M. Duane (she/her), Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Innovations for Youth (i4Y) at the University of California, Berkeley. As a former elementary school teacher, Dr. Duane uses community-engaged and participatory approaches to investigate trauma in schools. Specifically, her program of research simultaneously illuminates and amplifies children’s cultural strengths while also investigating the cascading impacts of racial trauma on children’s learning and development. Through her research and teaching, she partners with children and educators to identify ways...

Megan Mitchell, Research Partnership Director

Megan Mitchell (she/her) brings over a decade of experience in the social sector to the Research Partnership Director role. She began her career as a Biology teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, prioritizing inclusive, data-driven instruction, drawing from her own experiences as a student in a low-performing public school. With an M.S. in Community Development from UC Davis, Megan gained critical tools for addressing systemic change and conducting community-based research. She has gone on to spearhead evaluation and research for a national school health and...

Demond Hill

Headshot of Demond Hill

Education PhD (2024 Expected)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Dissertation: “Emotions at Play: Exploring the Social Dimensions of Emotions among Black Children across Educational Spaces”

Committee: Bianca Baldridge (co-chair), Susan I Stone (co-chair), Dacher Keltner, Nikki Jones, Kris Gutierrez, and Linda Burton

M.A. Educational Policy...

Valentín Quiroz Sierra, Jr.

Headshot of of Valentín Quiroz Sierra, Jr.Education Ph.D. (expected 2024)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Dissertation Title: An Analysis on the Perceptions of Youth Suicide and Risk Assessment Tools in Sacramento's Native American Community

Committee: Dr. Adrian Aguilera (Chair), Dr. Paul Sterzing, Dr. Peter Nelson

MSW (2020)

University of California, Berkeley...

Luyi Jian

Headshot of Luyi Jian

Education PhD (2024 Expected)

University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Areas of Focus: Intervention for At-Risk and Justice-Involved Youth

Policy Evaluation in Juvenile and Criminal Legal Systems

Graduate Certificate in Applied Data Science, awarded by the School of Information, UC Berkeley

M.S.W. (2019)

Washington University in St....

Alumni in Action: Julie Miller (MSW '12)

Julie Miller (MSW '12) explores fulfilling and meaningful aging in documentary film

Julie Miller (MSW '12) first decided to enter the field of social work to help improve the quality of life for vulnerable individuals by linking them with resources, services and opportunities as well as to promote social justice through advocacy and community organization. She also retains a very unique perspective of her chosen profession. “One of the parts I love about social work is that I’m able to act as a witness and documentarian,” she says. “I can hold a space for someone...