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Our Team

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Jennifer Eberhardt, Ph.D., is William R. Kimball Professor at the Graduate School of Business, Professor of Psychology and (by courtesy) of Law, 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 Executive 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 creates opportunities for researchers and practitioners to learn from one another in mutually beneficial partnerships. Her expertise is in harnessing the power of culture to support organizational and societal change and disrupting cultural defaults that lead to bias and inequality. 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 Social 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 changed through intervention to improve organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness. She directs the Mind & Body Lab and is co-editor of the Handbook of Wise Interventions: How Social Psychology Can Help People Change. 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 Social Psychology at Stanford, where she was advised by SPARQ Faculty Co-Director Jennifer Eberhardt, and her B.A. from Yale University. Contact:

Camilla Griffiths

Camilla Griffiths, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist at SPARQ. Her research explores how people develop beliefs about themselves and others through their interactions with institutions, including in education and media. Dr. Griffiths is particularly interested in how race shapes teacher and student experiences in school, and how racial representation on television shapes viewer attitudes. She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Stanford University, and her B.S. from the University of Virginia. Contact:

Xiao Ge

Xiao Ge, Ph.D., is the Program Manager at SPARQ. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford where she researched how emotions and feelings that accompany work on ill-defined design problems can be harnessed by engineers and designers to enable and extend the creative process. Prior to that, she worked as an innovation consultant to develop, launch, and run systematic human-centered design programs in industry. 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:

Julia Proshan

Julia Proshan is the Research Manager at SPARQ. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Civic Studies from Tufts University, where she researched the psychological bases of racial disparities in plea bargaining and the criminal justice system more broadly. She mentors SPARQ’s team of undergraduate research assistants and engages in projects analyzing the role of race in police-community relations and the impact of racial representation in the media. Contact:

Postdoctoral Program Fellows

Efraín García Sánchez

Efraín García Sánchez, Ph.D., is the Economic Mobility Fellow at SPARQ. His research examines how individuals perceive, understand, and respond to social and economic inequality. He is interested in the psychosocial processes shaping people's attitudes toward policies aimed at reducing poverty and inequality. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Granada, Spain. Contact:

Cinoo Lee

Cinoo Lee, Ph.D., is the Tech Fellow at SPARQ. Her research delves into how cultures, structures, and advanced technology impact our capacity to build a thriving diverse society. She studies this influence in both digital and real-world contexts, while also examining how these two settings interact. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.A. from Rice University. Contact:

Ronda Lo

Ronda Lo, Ph.D., is the Media Fellow at SPARQ. Her research focuses on how culture and diverse contexts (with an emphasis on region-based cultures, religion, and race) shape social cognition and well-being, and how an understanding of cultural processes can be used to foster positive intercultural interest, perceptions, and interactions. She received her Ph.D. from York University and her B.S. from the University of Toronto. Contact:

Mikaela Spruill

Mikaela Spruill, Ph.D., is the Criminal Justice Fellow at SPARQ. Her research investigates how judgments and decisions at the individual-level sustain systemic inequities. She works at the intersection of psychology and law to study the cognitive processes and social contexts facilitating large-scale racial disparities. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, her M.A. from Wake Forest University, and her B.S. from The College of William and Mary. Contact:

Chiara Gasteiger

Chiara Gasteiger, Ph.D., is the SPARQ Health Fellow in the Mind & Body Lab, directed by Dr. Alia Crum. Her research examines how social environments influence the development of mindsets and how psychosocial forces can be harnessed to optimize people's mindsets about illness and improve health outcomes. She is also interested in how changes in subjective mindsets can alter physiological mechanisms. Contact: 

Cintia Hinojosa

Cintia Hinojosa, Ph.D., is the SPARQ Education Fellow in the Dweck-Walton Lab, directed by Dr. Greg Walton. They design psychologically wise interventions in adolescent health, education, and public policy. They study how explanations of social problems as rooted in systems of oppression impact prosocial behavior and policy attitudes. They received their Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Contact: 

Professional and Postdoctoral Research Affiliates

Golijeh Golarai

Golijeh Golarai, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist Affiliate at SPARQ. She studies the neural mechanisms of automatic vs. controlled processes that shape social interactions, interpersonal judgments, and decision making using behavioral and neuroimaging methods. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate at the Stanford Medical School and Psychology Department. Contact:

Xuan Zhao

Xuan Zhao, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist Affiliate 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. Dr. Zhao received her Ph.D. from Brown University and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is currently Co-Founder and CEO at Flourish Science. Contact:

Kristina Gligoric

Kristina Gligorić, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Computer Science at Stanford. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). Kristina researches computational approaches to understanding and improving human behavior, well-being, and social good, both online and offline. Contact:

Catherine Qing

Catherine Qing is a Research Assistant at SPARQ. She is pursuing her M.S. in Symbolic Systems at Stanford and received her B.S. in Psychology and Informatics from Indiana University. She has researched class-based biases in pain perception and contributed to research on racial biases towards protesters. Contact:

Nay San

Nay San, Ph.D., is a Research Affiliate at SPARQ. His doctoral research focused on making speech and language technologies more robust and accessible for digitally-underserved languages and user populations (e.g., speakers of endangered languages). Dr. San works as an AI/ML Engineer at rime, building inclusive text-to-speech models capable of generating a range of diverse accents and genres. Contact:

Chunchen Xu

Chunchen Xu, Ph.D., received her doctorate in 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:

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 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Fairness. Contact:

Graduate Student Research Affiliates

Sai Auelua-Toomey

Sakaria Laisene Auelua-Toomey is a doctoral student in Social Psychology at Stanford. He studies the ways in which the dynamic between context and meta-beliefs can reinforce racial inequality. 

Clarissa Gutierrez

Clarissa Gutierrez is a doctoral student in Developmental & Psychological Sciences at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She studies how identity and culture influence historically underrepresented students’ belonging and academic outcomes. Clarissa was previously SPARQ’s lab manager.

Maggie Harrington

Maggie Harrington 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.

Ria Kalluri

Ria Kalluri is a doctoral student in Computer Science at Stanford. She studies the concepts and values being encoded in the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence (AI), such as political stances about how to shift power and to whom. 

Lucy Li

Lucy Li is a doctoral student in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. She uses natural language processing methods to measure how social groups are discussed and represented in American school curricula, such as history textbooks and English literature.

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.

Nicky Sullivan

Nicky Sullivan is a doctoral student in Developmental & Social Psychology at Stanford. He studies how children learn about race and racism, especially in the context of parent-child conversations. 

SPARQlab Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

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.