Bullying Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Lab

Lab Members

Dr. Cixin Wang

Cixin Wang

Dr. Cixin Wang is an Associate Professor of School Psychology in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park (Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education). She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. She then completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University in 2013. Her research interests focus on bullying prevention and mental health promotion among children and adolescents. Her research seeks to: (1) better understand different factors contributing to bullying and mental health difficulties, including individual, family, school, and cultural factors; (2) develop effective prevention and intervention techniques to decrease bullying at school; and (3) develop school-based prevention and intervention to promote mental health among students, especially among culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students.

Diksha Bali

Diksha picturee

Diksha is very excited to be a third-year at UMD’s School Psychology program. Ethnically North Indian, she grew up in South India and the Middle East. She moved to Philadelphia to study for undergraduate degrees in Business and Creative Writing, and then her MSEd degree in Quantitative Methods and Human Development (counseling concentration) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her past research includes designing surveys to evaluate community programs; running qualitative and quantitative analyses for community-based research projects; and analyzing large datasets such as the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) for policy decisions. She would like to work on the links between poverty, marginalization, mental health, and inter- and intra-group conflict; and disseminate culturally appropriate, school-based interventions to mitigate and reduce economic inequity and marginalization. Finally, Diksha has been practicing meditation techniques and yoga since she was a toddler. She is interested in introducing others to these relaxation techniques and using them as an intervention where applicable. She is acutely aware of how meditation, mindfulness and yogic principles do not belong to any one people, movement, or religion – but does encourage people to learn more about the Eastern roots of many mindfulness practices in the Western world today from native sources, to prevent cultural appropriation and increase understanding.

Dr. Yeram Cheong

Yeram Picture

Dr. Yeram Cheong received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Cheong's research seeks to address the importance of understanding individuals' development in cultural and social context. Dr. Cheong’s research interests include the cultural context and family processes in children’s development and learning among historically underrepresented and immigrant families. She also explores the ways in which first-generation college students (i.e., students who are first in their family to complete college) draw support from family and peers in their academic adjustment and identity development. As a Calvin J. Li postdoctoral fellow, she hopes to extend her research program to understand socialization processes among Asian immigrant families and to engage in community-based research that has implications for improving home-school relationships and wellbeing of the Asian American children and families.

Sara Gliese

Sara Picture

Sara Gliese is a third-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UMD. Sara received her B.S. in Psychology from UMBC, and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from UMD. Her research interests include youth mental health, parent-child communication, and peer relationships.

Mazneen Havewala

Mazneen Havewala Picture

Mazneen is a fourth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program. Mazneen earned her first Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2008 in India, after which she worked as a Clinical Psychologist for two years. She moved to the United States in 2011, and got her second Master’s degree in Personality and Social Psychology from the American University, Washington, DC in December 2012, after which she worked as a research assistant in various capacities. In 2016, she started working at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) as a research coordinator for Dr. Julia Felton for a study investigating the effects of distress tolerance and daily life stressors on internalizing symptoms in adolescents.  She then worked as a clinical interviewer for the Temperament Over Time Study in Dr. Nathan Fox’s Child Development lab.  She is very interested in studying the effects of parental influences and culture on child development, with a specific focus on child and adolescent internalizing symptoms.

Ami Patel

Ami Kumar headshot

Ami Patel is a second-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UMD. Ami received her B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2015 and her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Temple University in 2017. Upon graduation, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Dr. Thomas Power, Dr. Jennifer Mautone, and Dr. Ricardo Eiraldi at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on school-based research studies. Ami is interested in culturally responsive interventions, social-emotional learning, and mental health impacting Asian American students.

Kate Sullivan

Kate Sullivan Headshot

Kate Sullivan is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at UMD. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include bullying and aggression and increasing access to school-based mental health services. 

Jocelyn Yao


Jocelyn Yao is a fifth-year student in the school psychology program at UMD. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include bullying prevention among children and adolescents and school climate.

Xinyi Zhang

Xinyi Zhang Photo

Xinyi Zhang is a fourth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UMD. She earned her Master of Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received her undergraduate education from the University of Hong Kong and Yale University (as a visiting international student). Her research interests include cross-cultural parenting and youth mental health. She is currently working on a project looking at ethnic-racial socialization among Chinese Americans.   

Qianyu Zhu

Qianyu Zhu Headshot

Qianyu Zhu is a fifth-year doctoral student in the School Psychology Program at UMD. She earned her B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Mental Health Education from Beijing Normal University. Qianyu worked for 6 years as a psychological teacher in a  high school in China. Qianyu is in interested in school climate and school-based mental health services.