HDGG Spring 2021 Newsletter!

Delivered to your inbox quarterly, we will highlight upcoming talks and events both on and off the Davis campus, recognize publications, awards, and accomplishments of the Graduate Group, and provide you with updates from the broader developmental community.


We are excited to acknowledge our HDGG graduates!


Ph.D. students


 M.S. students



Congratulations to Diego Catalan Molina and Elizabeth Morgan, who were awarded the Judy Erwin Award for Excellence in Development. This award is given each year to outstanding students who have made contributions to HDGG and UC Davis.

Elizabeth Morgan has accepted a tenure track position with California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) and will start in the fall! Congratulations, Elizabeth!

More Congratulations!


Congratulations to Tseng Vang and Dr. Daniel Choe, who are part of the first cohort of scholars and mentors selected as part of the SRCD'Towards 2044: Horowitz Early Career Scholar Program. Tseng is a fellow with the program, and Dr. Choe is a mentor. Click here to learn more about the program and read their full bios!

Chase Boyer (2nd year Ph.D. student) was selected to receive the 2021-2022 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship! 

Joe Venticinque (3rd year Ph.D. student), HDGG alum Raj Chahal, Sarah Beard (4th year Ph.D. student), Dr. Paul Hastings, and Dr. Amanda Guyer published a new study titled Neural responses to implicit forms of peer influence in young adults. Read
here to know more about this study!

Xiaoya Zhang (4th year Ph.D. student), Kristina Sayler (3rd year Ph.D. student)and Dr. Jay Belsky published a new study titled Differential susceptibility 2.0: Are the same children affected by different experiences and exposures? Read
here to know more! 
Xiaoya Zhang, Kristina Sayler, HDGG alum Sarah Hartman, and Dr. Jay Belsky also published a new study titled Infant temperament, early-childhood parenting, and early-adolescent development: Testing alternative models of Parenting X Temperament interaction. Read
here to know more about this study!

Sarah Beard (4th year Ph.D. student), Dr. Hastings, Dr. Ferrer, Dr. Robins, and Dr. Guyer's new paper titled Neural response to social exclusion moderates the link between adolescent anxiety symptoms and substance use was just accepted in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and NeuroImaging!

Welcome to the new students who will join our HDGG family this Fall!

Ph.D. students

Andrea Cordero, Madeline Olwert, Marika Sigal, Rose Tran, and Jenniffer Villarreal

M.S. students

Van Pham and Rachel Wilson

Reflections on the academic year of 2020-2021



HDGG Chair Dr. Amanda Guyer
HDGG Chair Dr. Amanda Guyer

"What a year this has been!  HDGG students have shown such incredible resilience in spite of the myriad challenges of the pandemic and enduring racial injustice in this country.  I am in awe of how HDGG students have managed their many responsibilities - their coursework, teaching, and research, not to mention supporting the needs of their friends and families as well as their own. HDGG is committed to maintaining a program that supports the well-being of all its members. We are optimistic about the resumption of research and teaching activities through the coming months, and hope to gather as a community once again in the fall!"




Sarah Beard
Sarah Beard

"This year was difficult, but I'd like to remember to cherish the little things, such as spontaneous happy hours with friends! I will miss working in sweatpants, but I will NOT miss the lost time in-person with loved ones ;)" - Sarah Beard




Andrea Buhler-Wassmann
Andrea Buhler-Wassmann

"I started meditating every morning and it is a great way to increase self-awareness, regulate my emotions, and get ready to start my day." - Andrea Buhler-Wassmann





"It was great to see the UC Davis community come together during this difficult time." - Tseng Vang

Tseng Vang
Tseng Vang







Brown Bag










Spring quarter Brown Bag talks


4/15Jody Zhou, Grad Student, HDGG: Variable Selection Comparison of LASSO and Stepwise Regression in Low-dimensional Data

4/29: Vanessa LoBue, Professor, University of Rutgers: Human Responses to Threat: A Developmental Approach

5/6: Sarah Hudson, Grad Student, HDGG: Tracing Relations Between Striatal Grey Matter Volumes, Stress & Depression Longitudinally In Adolescent Girls

5/13: Angelica Carranza, Grad Student, HDGG: Associations between socioeconomic status, intrinsic motivation, achievement motivation, and neural response to reward in a sample of Mexican-origin youth

5/20: Misha Haghighat, Grad Student, HDGG: Stability and Change in Growth Mindset During the Adolescent to Emerging Adulthood Transition: Findings Among Mexican-American Youth 

5/27: Dr.Natalie Brito, Assistant Professor, NYU: Putting Things in Perspective: Investigating the role of early maternal experiences and child neurocognitive development

6/3: Chase Boyer, Grad Student, HDGG: Mexican-origin mothers' emotional and behavioral responses to toddler distress behavior: A within-person approach

All talks were recorded. Please contact Dr. Amanda Guyer if you would like to view them.

HDGG Career Panel on April 8th 
On April 8th, HDGG Career Panel was held together with the UC Davis Internship and Career Center. Our HDGG alum Rashelle Musci, Abby Schachner, Dawnté R. Early shared their professional journeys.

HDGG Mascot Reveal!

HDGG Mascot


We are excited to share our selection of a new mascot to represent our HDGG community. Please welcome the Human Development Bike! 

It represents human development moving across the lifespan in the bicycle capital of Davis. We look forward to seeing it at future conferences and events!