UGSP Core Committee Members



ReJoyce Green
UGSP President

ReJoyce is a 5th year doctoral student in the Clinical area. She was previously the co-chair of the Undergraduate Outreach Committee. ReJoyce aims to continue promoting the goals of UGSP by creating an inclusive supportive environment for students from various underrepresented backgrounds in graduate education. She is also interested in identifying and addressing needs specific to underrepresented students to help UGSP become a greater resource for underrepresented graduate students. ReJoyce is excited to serve as President and hopes to continue to support the legacy of Founding UGSP Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jenessa Shapiro. 

Maira Karan
UGSP Vice President

Maira is a 4th year doctoral student in the Developmental area. She is passionate about realizing the needs of underserved youth, and creating a space for underrepresented students within the fields of psychology and neuroscience. As a motivated and committed board member, she looks forward to continuing to enhance the goals and efforts of UGSP to help those who need it most. 

Ritika Rastogi
UGSP Secretary

Ritika is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Developmental area. 

Gerald Higginbotham 
UGSP Treasurer

Gerald is a 5th year doctoral student in the Social area. “UGSP is a community of friends and colleagues that serves as a space to explore and affirm one’s multiple identities, both as a scholar and as a whole person.”


Committee Chairs


Pete Fisher
UGSP Brown Bag Committee

Pete is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Social area. He is interested in elevating the voices of underrepresented students and making sure all students feel like they can belong and thrive. Pete’s research focuses on developing interventions to motivate members of privileged groups to be better allies.


Stephanie Yu
UGSP Undergraduate Outreach

Stephanie is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Clinical area. Her research is focused on adapting, disseminating, and implementing evidence-based practices to reduce mental health disparities for underserved, diverse populations in community settings – such as through school-based approaches or stigma interventions. As such, she is committed to spreading education and resources to underrepresented high school students, in order to increase their access to knowledge about higher education or non-traditional trajectories that fit their needs for success.

Claudia Aguirre
UGSP Undergraduate Outreach

Claudia is a 4th year doctoral student in the Behavioral Neuroscience area. As a first-generation college student and Latina, she is familiar with the academic and personal struggles that come with being from and underrepresented and disadvantaged background, but has been fortunate to have found her passion for research early during her undergraduate studies. As part of the Undergraduate Outreach Committee, she hopes to be able to provide undergraduates with the information and resources they will need to be successful during their undergraduate studies at UCLA and thereafter.

Lauren Tiongco-Hofschneider 
UGSP Transfer Outreach

Lauren is a 4th year graduate student in the Health Psychology area. Her work mainly focuses on the eating behaviors of low-income groups. Lauren loves teaching undergraduates about psychological research methods and wants all students to have an equal opportunity to receive a graduate education. She has worked closely with incoming and current transfer students through the DiSH lab‘s summer intensive program and her position as Co-Chair of the UGSP Transfer Student Outreach Committee. 

Kimberly Martin
UGSP Transfer Outreach

Kimberly is a 4th year doctoral student in the Social area. Kimberly is passionate about improving intergroup relations and the experiences of underrepresented students. She is dedicated to student mentorship and shedding light on the multiple pathways available to students as they journey toward and through higher education.  


Sara Rocha
UGSP High School Outreach

Sarah is a 2nd-year doctoral student in the Developmental area. Her research focuses on how economic hardship influences development. She is interested in connecting local high school students with resources to support their pursuit of higher education and encouraging students to consider getting involved in psychology & research. 

Danielle Currin
UGSP High School Outreach

Danielle is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Clinical area. 


Vivian Byeon
UGSP Social Committee

Vivian is a 2nd year doctoral student in the Clinical area. Her research is focused on examining organizational and system-level factors that support the mental health workforce and impact the adoption and sustainment of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in community mental health settings. She is passionate about supporting underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in psychology through cultivating a welcoming and encouraging departmental culture.


Courtney Heldreth

Courtney Heldreth
UGSP Founder

“UGSP is important to me because it makes me feel supported by others like me who might have unique experiences in graduate school. UGSP is an important community that encourages the potential and promise of those from underrepresented groups by giving back to others in a meaningful way.”


Jenessa Shapiro

Jenessa Shapiro
Founding UGSP Faculty Sponsor

“UGSP is important to me because it provides a supportive, welcoming community for students from underrepresented groups. What is impressive about UGSP is that it is student-initiated and student-run. As a result, UGSP genuinely understands, and can address, what is needed and wanted by underrepresented students in psychology. UGSP is clearly committed to making a difference in the pipeline– committing time, energy and resources to the graduate students in psychology, to the undergraduate community, and to the community at large. I hope to see you at the next UGSP event!”