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Our Team

Jennifer Eberhardt

Jennifer Eberhardt, Ph.D., is Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Psychology, and Faculty Co-Director of SPARQ. She studies the psychological association between race and crime and the dehumanization of Black Americans in contemporary society. Through interdisciplinary collaborations and innovative methods—from laboratory studies to novel field experiments—her work demonstrates the consequences of these racial associations and biases in criminal justice, education, and business. Dr. Eberhardt is the author of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do, a recipient of the MacArthur “genius grant,” and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Contact:

Hazel Rose Markus, Ph.D., is Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Psychology, and Faculty Co-Director of SPARQ. She studies how cultures, including those of nation or region of origin, gender, social class, race, ethnicity, religion, and occupation shape—and are, in turn, shaped by—people’s thoughts, feelings, motivations, and actions. She applies this cultural psychology framework to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools, workplaces, and other important contexts in people’s lives, and to catalyzing culture change. Dr. Markus is the co-author of Clash!: How to Thrive in a Multicultural World and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Contact:

MarYam Hamedani

MarYam Hamedani, Ph.D., is Managing Director and Senior Research Scientist at SPARQ. She studies and puts into practice strategies to help people live, work, and thrive in today’s increasingly diverse and divided world. At SPARQ, she works on improving police-community relations, promoting racial literacy, educating people about social differences, and designing empowering schools and programs for underrepresented students. The former Associate Director of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), Dr. Hamedani is also a Stanford Ph.D. alum in psychology. Contact:

Alia Crum

Alia Crum, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology and SPARQ’s Director of Health. She studies how changes in subjective mindsets can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. She researches how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to improve organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness. Dr. Crum is also the director of the Mind & Body Lab at Stanford. Contact:

Rebecca Hetey

Rebecca Hetey, Ph.D., is Associate Director of Criminal Justice Partnerships and Research Scientist at SPARQ. She is an expert on race and the criminal justice system and focuses on strategies to improve police-community relations. At SPARQ, Dr. Hetey works closely with law enforcement across California on research and training initiatives. She received her Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford, where she was advised by SPARQ Faulty Co-Director Jennifer Eberhardt, and her B.A. from Yale University. Contact:

Xuan Zhao

Xuan Zhao, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at SPARQ. She studies how to help people connect, offer and appreciate different perspectives, foster meaningful conversations and positive interactions, and create inclusive environments. She also works on how people interact with/via humanlike technologies and their downstream consequences. Prior to SPARQ, Dr. Zhao was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she also collaborated with The Second City to design communication and inclusion workshops using improv techniques. She received her Ph.D. from Brown University. Contact:

Kristyn Jones

Kristyn Jones, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at SPARQ. Her research interests include visual evidence and how social identities and memory errors bias perception and judgments. At SPARQ, Dr. Jones works on criminal justice projects to create a more equitable legal system. Her primary research focus involves leveraging research and training initiatives through partnerships with law enforcement agencies to improve police-community relations. Dr. Jones was formerly a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at Vera Institute of Justice and a Researcher at the Data Collaborative for Justice. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Contact:

Camilla Griffiths

Camilla Griffiths, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at SPARQ. Her research explores how people develop beliefs about racial outgroup members through their interactions with institutions, including in education, criminal justice, and media. Dr. Griffiths' primary research interrogates how teachers' psychological states at work influence their perceptions of, relationships with, and instruction of students of color. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Stanford University. Contact:

Amrita Maitreyi

Amrita Maitreyi is a Research Associate at SPARQ. She received a B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University, and previously worked as Lab Manager and Research Coordinator of the Mind, Culture, and Society Lab at Stanford. At SPARQ, she works on projects about fostering economic mobility and improving police-community relations. Contact:

Clarissa Gutierrez

Clarissa Gutierrez is the Lab Manager at SPARQ. She is interested in furthering community responsive research and designing culturally relevant interventions that foster psychosocial well-being, educational access, and belonging among BIPOC youth and first-generation students. She mentors SPARQ’s team of undergraduate research assistants and engages in projects that measure the impact of youth empowerment programs and build inclusion and intergroup understanding in diverse classrooms and communities. Contact:

Postdoc and Professional Research Affiliates

Tobin Belzer

Tobin Belzer, Ph.D., is a Research Affiliate at SPARQ. As an applied sociologist, her research and program evaluations have focused on young adults and teens, education and experiential education, leadership training, organizational culture, congregational studies, Jewish identity, character development, gender, inclusion, media and technology, and arts and culture. Dr. Belzer is a Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) at the University of Southern California. Contact:

Vinod Prabhakaran

Vinod Prabhakaran, Ph.D., is a Research Affiliate at SPARQ. His research brings together natural language processing techniques, machine learning algorithms, and social science methods to address large-scale societal issues such as racial disparities in policing, workplace incivility, gender bias and stereotypes, and abusive behavior online. Dr. Prabhakaran works as a Research Scientist at Google on issues around Ethical AI and ML Fairness. Contact:

Jordan Starck

Jordan Starck, Ph.D. is an IDEAL Fellow in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. His research investigates organizational diversity commitments, racial bias, and racial inequality, often in the context of education. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology & Social Policy from Princeton University. Contact:

Chunchen Xu

Chunchen Xu, Ph.D. received her doctorate in Micro Organizational Behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is interested in the social and psychological impact of technology, especially the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many sectors. Her current work explores how cultural beliefs affect the design and deployment of AI technology across the globe. Contact:

Justine Zhang

Justine Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at Stanford University. Her research focuses on developing computational methods to analyze conversations. She received her Ph.D. in Information Science from Cornell University. Contact:

Graduate Student Research Affiliates

Xiao Ge

Xiao Ge is a doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. She studies how emotion mediates reframing in creative problem-solving and how to effectively leverage emotions in technology-mediated work across cultures.

Cinoo Lee

Cinoo Lee is a doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. She researches culture, inequality, narratives, and how to foster a more structurally and psychologically inclusive culture and system.

Maggie Perry

Maggie Perry is a doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. She researches inequality, bias, and mindsets in criminal justice. Maggie was previously a research associate at SPARQ.

Ellen Reinhart

Ellen Reinhart is a doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. She studies how race shapes perception in the criminal justice system and how people perceive social inequality across cultures. Ellen was formerly SPARQ's research manager.

Nay San

Nay San is a doctoral student in Linguistics at Stanford. His research focuses on making speech and language technologies more robust and accessible for typically under-served populations (e.g. speakers of endangered languages).

Kiara Sanchez

Kiara Sanchez is a doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. Her research focuses on understanding and improving cross-race relationships and conversations about race in friendships, education, and social media.

Rachel Song

Rachel Song is a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of Washington. She studies how people's conceptualization of racism and diversity impact collective action. Rachel was previously SPARQ’s research manager.

Daphna Spivack

Daphna Spivack is a law and doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. She studies racial bias in discretionary decision making in the civil and criminal legal systems.

Marie Tano

Marie Tano is a doctoral student in linguistics at Stanford. She studies how language can often be used to uphold hegemonic ideologies related to racism and sexism.

Catherine Thomas

Catherine Thomas is a doctoral student in social psychology at Stanford. She studies how to leverage social and cultural insights to improve economic development interventions.

SPARQlab Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

SPARQlab Winter 2019 RAs

SPARQ’s research assistants are an essential and valuable part of our team. Learn more about how to become a research assistant.


Visit our Alumni page to see where some of our former members are now.