Current Fellows

The Greater Good Science Center offers annual fellowships to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students whose research relates to the Center’s mission. Our fellowship program seeks scholars from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, with a particular focus on the social-behavioral sciences.

Learn more below about the exceptional young scholars who comprise our current and past crops of fellows.

Current Graduate Fellows

  • Ockemia Bean

    Ockemia Bean

    Ockemia Bean, a doctoral student at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, earned a dual bachelor’s in psychology and interdisciplinary studies from Cal. Advancing her undergraduate thesis to current work, she tests roles of perceived fairness and acceptability in Black wealth. As a GGSC fellow, Ockemia will focus on which nonverbal nudges make others feel more included professionally and socially and if perceptions of nonverbal nudges vary if targets or recipients aren’t white. A longstanding challenge social-perception research faces in social/organizational psychology is that our “scientific criterion” is based predominantly on white researchers, stimuli, and perceivers. Ockemia hopes to be a part of a revolution, testing the boundaries of generalizability.

  • Lindsey Burnside

    Lindsey Burnside

    Lindsey Burnside is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley studying well-being, coping with discrimination, and residential segregation. Prior to graduate school, she earned her bachelor’s degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience from the University of Michigan. During her tenure as a GGSC fellow, Lindsey will investigate contextual factors of discrimination experiences that impact well-being, and potential protective factors.

  • Alejandro Comparo-Oliart

    Alejandro Comparo-Oliart

    Originally from La Paz, Bolivia, Alejandro is a third-year doctoral student in social-personality psychology. Before Berkeley, he attended two community colleges before earning his B.A in psychology from Shepherd University and subsequent M.A in social-personality psychology from American University. His current research focuses on the health-related impacts and underlying processes of intersectionality and culture-identity interactions among minoritized communities. As a GGSC fellow, he aims to unravel the diverse positionalities that undocumented immigrants occupy within today’s socio-structural climate in the U.S (e.g., having vs. not having temporary protection from deportation) and how they influence different dimensions of their well-being (e.g., mental, social, physical).

  • Lindsey Deringer (Libby Fee Research Fellow)

    Lindsey Deringer (Libby Fee Research Fellow)

    Lou Deringer is a first-year doctoral student in social-personality psychology at UC Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley, Lou earned her B.A. in English literature from Colorado College and an M.S. in narrative medicine from Columbia University. Lou’s research broadly focuses on the interpersonal impacts of changes in the self-concept. As the Libby Fee Graduate Research Fellow, Lou will be exploring how the self-transcendent emotion of awe may impact the process of perspective taking and subsequent feelings of social connectedness—with a particular focus on how this phenomenon may take place in elderhood. The goal of this research is to offer an accessible pathway for bolstering social cohesion in elderhood by learning how we may come to understand those around us in deeper, more meaningful ways.

  • Laura Guzman

    Laura Guzman

    Laura is a sixth-year student in the social-personality psychology Ph.D. program at UC Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley, she worked as a high school math and science teacher at Josephinum Academy in Chicago. Outside of work, Laura spends much time rock climbing and training for triathlons or marathons. As a GGSC fellow, Laura will study the role of culture in shaping 1) people’s judgments of what is appropriate behavior (norm violations), and 2) the behavioral cues that people look for—consciously or subconsciously—to form their judgments of others’ traits (e.g., warmth and competence traits), as well as the implications of such judgments for intergroup relationships.

  • Esther Howe

    Esther Howe is a doctoral candidate in clinical science in the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley. Esther’s research aims to describe and predict within- and between-day dynamic psychological experiences associated with the onset of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder. As a GGSC research fellow, Esther will investigate the moment-to-moment impact of social support on the post-traumatic stress symptoms of recent survivors of sexual assault. Findings from this work may inform the development of peer-to-peer early interventions for sexual assault survivors. Esther has a B.A. in gender studies from Grinnell College, and M.A. in psychology from UC Berkeley.

  • Martha Ortega-Mendoza

    Martha Ortega-Mendoza

    Martha Ortega Mendoza is a doctoral candidate at the Berkeley School of Education. She holds a B.A. in Latin American and Latino studies from UC Santa Cruz, and an M.A. in education from UC Berkeley. Martha is interested in questions around graduate education, in particular, the day-to-day experiences of first-generation, low-income, and undocumented graduate students. Her dissertation builds on the scholarship focused on undocumented students by uplifting the academic, campus climate, and financial experiences of undocumented Latinx graduate students. In her spare time, Martha loves to visit different coffee shops and restaurants with her partner.

  • Eli Susman

    Eli Susman

    Eli Susman is a clinical science Ph.D. student in Professor Allison Harvey’s Lab at UC Berkeley. Eli aims to develop efficient and accessible interventions by leveraging the wisdom and science of contemplative practice and the science of habit formation to foster compassion and freedom from human suffering. As a GGSC research fellow, his team will test whether self-compassionate touch plus evidence-based tools for promoting habit formation is superior to self-compassionate touch alone and whether improved outcomes result from strengthened practice habits. Results may inform cost-effective methods to improve outcomes of self-compassionate touch and of contemplative practices more broadly.

  • Georgia Young

    Georgia Young

    Georgia Young is a second-year doctoral candidate in the Beery and Bentley Labs in the Integrative Biology department. She received her B.S. in biology from Duke University and worked as a student research assistant with the Amboseli Baboon Research Project. As a GGSC fellow, she will focus on the intersection of social behavior, illness, and empathy using the prairie vole as a study system. Using hormone assays and neuroscience techniques, she will investigate why social contact may increase while an individual is ill and how prosocial affiliative behavior may affect immune function.

Past Fellows


  • Jon Kabat-Zinn, It is a great good and a great gift
    “It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all.”

    Jon Kabat-Zinn, author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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