Psychology and Child Development

College of Liberal Arts

Weekly Announcements

Student Advisory Committee

For more information about the Psychology & Child Development Department's Student Advisory Committee, please email the department or call 805-756-2033.

New Student Peer Mentors

Our PSY/CD Mentors provide our new majors with advice related to the major requirements, relevant opportunities on and off campus, and possible career paths. These mentors each work with a team of several students in our PSY/CD 102 Orientation course, helping strengthen community within our major and serving as friendly faces as our new majors navigate their time at Cal Poly.

PSYCD 2020-21 Student Peer Mentors are:


Allie Aarrestad (she/her/hers), Psychology

Allie Aarrestad
  • From Seattle, WA
  • Career interest: Clinical Child Psychologist (with an interest in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, and Applied Behavior Analysis)
  • President, Psychology Club
  • Favorite thing about SLO: The proximity to the beach along with the amazing slocals!



Shannon Agnes (she/her/hers), Child Development 

Shannon Agnes
  • From Valencia, CA
  • Career interest: Low Incidence Special Education Teacher
  • Involved in Poly Child Development Club; Cal Poly HNRS Program; SLO Parks and Rec Before and After School Program; Inclusion Aide; Cal Poly Triathlon Team
  • Favorite thing about the PSYCD Department: All of the supportive peers and staff members in the department



Quentin Alzate (he/him/his), Psychology

  • From Los Angeles, CAQuentin Alzate
  • Career interest: Therapist; Psychiatrist
  • Involved in Latino Club
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: The atmosphere; students tend to be so helpful and caring that you do not ever feel alone. 



Madison Anderson-Au (she/her/hers), Psychology

Madison Anderson-Au
  • From Cupertino, CA
  • Career interest: Teacher, UI/UX Designer, Entrepreneur
  • Involved in Chinese Students Association (CSA), CSA Harmonics, UM, CP Dance Program
  • Favorite thing about SLO: I love going to the beach and hiking, and there are so many awesome beaches and hiking trails in SLO.



Candace Cabrera she/her/hers), Child Development

Candace Cabrera
  • From San Jose, CA
  • Career interest: Guidance counselor, teacher, therapist
  • Village Market associate
  • Favorite thing about SLO: Close beaches



Kylie Capella (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Nevada City, CAKylie Capella
  • Career interest: Music therapy, teaching, counseling, performing
  • Involved in That's the Key a cappella, Cal Poly choirs, Rolld ice cream, Spain study abroad
  • Favorite things about SLO: The access to hikes and beaches and other outdoor activities



Lauren Carter (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • Lauren CarterFrom San Diego, CA
  • Career interest: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapise (LMFT) or Master in Social Work (MSW); Foster Care Social Worker
  • Involved in ASI Children's Center, Delight Cal Poly, CRU Central Coast, Poly Child Development Club
  • Favorite thing about SLO: The nature! I love hiking, surfing, going to the beach, camping, and watching sunsets all over SLO.



Ella Commerce

Ella Commerce (she/her/hers), Psychology 

  • From San Diego, CA
  • Career interest: PhD Clinical Psychology; Quantitative Psychology/Research Methods 
  • Involved in Research in Psychology Dept; Research in Statistics Dept; Study Session leader; Cal Poly Orientation; Intramural sports 
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: I've found that the 'Learn By Doing' motto leads to a lot of peer collaboration and support instead of competition, which I really enjoy! 



Nicole Cronin

Nicole Cronin (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Sacramento, CA
  • Career interest: Clinical Psychologist; Neuropsychologist; Psychiatrist
  • Crew lead at Campus Market
  • Favorite thing about SLO: I love the SLO community - events such as the Thursday night farmers' markets are great for bringing everyone together. 



Aaron Fukuoka

Aaron Fukuoka (he/him/his), Psychology

  • From Sunnyvale, CA
  • Career interest: Government work, Speech pathologist
  • Favorite thing about PSYCD Faculty: Welcoming in office hours 
  • Favorite thing about SLO: Study/play friendly weather



Lauren Garabedian (she/her/hers), Psychology

Lauren Garabedian

  • From Irvine, CA
  • Career interest: PA (Physician Assistant) in neurology; Genetic Counselor; College Professor; Animator
  • Involved in research with Dr. Bennion; PSY Research Track; Student Assistant job for PSY 252; Creating new political activism club called M.O.S.A.I.C
  • Favorite thing about SLO: the many outdoor activities SLO offers and the cute cafes



Tatiana Garcia (she/her/hers), Psychology 

Tatiana Garcia
  • From Ventura, CA
  • Career interest: School Psychologist; Speech Language Pathologist
  • Involved in Poly Child Development Club (PCDC); PSI CHI; Cal Poly Salsa Club; Newman Center 
  • Favorite thing about SLO: The scenic sunsets and exploring beautiful hiking spots, such as Montaña de Oro and Bishops Peak!



Jane Gilchrist (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Newport Beach, CAJane Gilchrist
  • Career interest: Marriage and Family Therapist; Community College PSY Professor
  • Involved in Peer tutoring, QCARES team, spin classes at the Recreation Center, finding good coffee shops and restaurants in SLO, hiking Madonna Mountain, and exploring the trails around Architecture Graveyard
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: The friendly and positive campus atmosphere and how the sun is shining outside every day in the Fall and Spring!



Macy Gordon (she/her/hers), Psychology

Macy Gordon
  • From Paradise Valley, AZ
  • Career interest: Sport Psychologist; Mental Performance Coach
  • Involved in Women's Beach Volleyball; Athletes InterVarsity: Bible Study Team Leader
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: I love attending sports games and supporting my fellow student-athletes. 



Lauren Hansen (she/her/hers), Psychology

Lauren Hansen
  • From Stockton, CA
  • Career interest: School Psychologist
  • Involved in Research in the Psychology & Child Development department with Dr. Bennion; Cru Central Coast Community Group Leader; Orientation Leader for the Week of Welcome 
  • Favorite thing about SLO: San Luis Obispo is a city full of opportunities to plug into the community. I love Farmers' Market in downtown Thursday nights, and going line dancing is something my friends and I do weekly! 



Natasha House (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • From San Diego, CANatasha House
  • Career interest: Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) 
  • Involved in ASI Children's Center
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: The sense of community I feel wherever I go



Rebecca Iniguez (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • Rebecca IniguezFrom Los Angeles, CA
  • Career interest: Lawyer - Corporate or IP 
  • Involved in Greek Life - Sigma Kappa; CAP SLO
  • Ask me about: Cal Poly Scholars, Greek Life, volunteer opportunities off campus, effective study habits



Katie Johansen

Katie Johansen (she/her/hers), Psychology 

  • From Novato, CA
  • Career interest: Clinical or counseling psychology
  • Involved in Cal Poly Club Ultimate Frisbee
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: The vast range of opportunities and organizations to get involved in 



Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • From Danville, CA
  • Career interest: School Psychologist; LMFT; Child Psychologist; Behaviorist; Early Childhood Educator 
  • Involved in Greek Life, Panhellenic, Student Assistant for the Office of the Registrar, Poly Child Development Club
  • Ask me about balancing the rigor of Cal Poly, working, and being involved in a social organization; Going to Office Hours; Working on Campus; Greek Life



Nina Kitapan

Nina Kitapan (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Alameda, CA
  • Career interest: Teaching, School Counseling, School Administration
  • Involved in Philipino Cultural Exchange (PCE)
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: Being able to meet and make great friends. 



Chi Lao (she/her/hers) , Psychology

Chi Lao

  • From Cupertino, CA
  • Career interest: PhD in clinical psychology; work with a nonprofit mental health agency
  • Involved in Cal Poly Badminton Club, Chinese Students Association (CSA), Urban Movement, volunteer at SLO Botanical Garden
  • Favorite thing about SLO: I love the sand dunes at Montaña de Oro and the weekly farmer's market!



Danica Lewis (she/her/hers), Psychology 

Danica Lewis
  • From Los Angeles, CA
  • Career interest: Neuropsychologist; clinical psychologist; research ways to help people affected with Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, or Dementia; research the long-term effects of TBIs 
  • Involved in QCARES research assistant with Dr. Bettergarcia, Mindfulness Club, Tutoring, Front desk at the Agrarian Hotel, Grad school applications/studying for the GRE
  • Favorite thing about the PSYCD Department: The faculty of the PSY/CD Department are super understanding and unbelievably supportive.  



Catie Logan (she/her/hers), Psychology

Catie Logan

  • From Walnut Creek, CA
  • Career interest: Marketing; Forensics/criminology; Something business-related 
  • Involved in Restorative Partners, Future study session leader, intramural soccer, Psi Chi 
  • Favorite thing about SLO: Being so close to the beach.



Berni McClelland (she/her/hers), Psychology

Berni McClelland
  • From Salinas, CA
  • Career interest: Social work, research, and policy
  • Involved in Greek life, University Honors Program, Study Abroad, working on- and off-campus
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: Everyone at Cal Poly is very driven and wants to help make the university a better place.



Kaity Nat (she/her/hers), Psychology

Kaity Nat
  • From Grass Valley, CA
  • Career interest: Child Trauma Therapist; Eating Disorder Therapist; Social Work
  • Involved in Peer Wellness Programs (PULSE), Psychology Club, Peoples Kitchen (Homeless Shelter), Student Health Advisory Committee, Nanny, In the process of becoming a Mentor with Family Care Network
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: I love the "Learn By Doing" motto. Many of my favorite classes stuck by this motto and the material was so much easier and more fun to learn. When you get hands on experience, you feel so much more prepared to go to grad school or enter the working world.



Rachel Nebel (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • From Calabasas, CARachel Nebel
  • Career interest: Clinical Child Psychologist
  • Involved in Kappa Alpha Theta, Greek Life, Orfalea College of Business Sales Minor, Chabad of Cal Poly, Cal Poly Hillel, Order of Omega, Cal Poly Dance Marathon, Poly Child Development Club
  • Favorite things about SLO are the genuine people.



Megan O'Grady (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • Megan O'GradyFrom Danville, CA
  • Career interest: Human Resources; Teacher
  • Involved in Her Campus at Cal Poly; Research with Advisory Board Chair, Fran McIntyre; Greek Life 
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: Cal Poly is a community that almost feels like a family.



Erin Peterson

Erin Peterson (she/her/hers), Psychology 

  • From San Diego, CA
  • Career interest: PhD with hopes of being a professor, doing research, and maybe having my own clinical practice on the side too
  • Involved in CP Orchesis Dance Company,  CP Dance Program, CP Honors Program, Psychology Club, Psi Chi, Cognitive Neuroscience Research, EOP Tutoring, WOW Leader, Infant and Toddler Daycare Teacher, and individuals with special needs in the SLO community
  • Favorite thing about SLO: the proximity to the beach, the many hiking trails around, and the beautiful weather



Maddie Phillips

Maddie Phillips (she, her, hers ), Psychology

  • From Gig Harbor, WA
  • Career interest: Human Resources; Childcare servicest
  • Involved in Working at the Children's Center on campus, Social Media Coordinator, Red Cross Volunteer, Greek Life, Lots of hiking and yoga
  • Favorite thing about the PSYCD Department: Such great communication and a great community of people and professors to rely on!



Lily Sanz

Lily Sanz (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Orange, CA
  • Career interest: Clinical psychologist, social worker, psychology professor
  • Involved in working at Woodstock's Pizza
  • Favorite thing about Cal Poly: "Learn by doing" allows students to fully immerse themselves into real-life applications of the topics they learn throughout their time at Cal Poly



Victoria Siaumau (she/her/hers), Child Development

Victoria Siaumau

  • From Long Beach, CA
  • Career interest: Child Psychologist; Psychology Professor 
  • Involved in Ethnic Studies Research, Psychology research, Campus Dining (Einstein's Bagels), Dance Marathon, ScribeAmerica (I worked at a Pediatric Clinic as a medical scribe)
  • Advice for new majors: Ask professors about their research and their education path! Many professors have been kind enough to mentor me and help me figure out my career path as my interests have changed. 



Tyla Slakey (she/her/hers), Child Development

Tyla Slakey
  • From Santa Cruz, CA
  • Career interest: Guidance Counselor or Clinical Social Work
  • Involved in Cru Central Coast, Internship at Arroyo Grande High's Counseling Department 
  • Favorite thing about SLO: Scout Coffee, Firestone, and the location! 



Kaitlin Tabor (she/her/hers), Child Development

  • From Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Kaitlin Tabor
  • Career interest: Child Life Specialist; Occupational Therapist
  • Involved in Cru Central Coast, Orientation, Active Church Greeting Team
  • Favorite thing about SLO: I love the small town feeling of SLO and how it begins feeling like home so quickly. And of course, I love how beautiful it is.



Natalie Thomas (she/her/hers), Psychology

Natalie Thomas
  • From El Segundo, CA
  • Career interest: School Psychology; School Counseling
  • Involved as Research Assistant, Volunteer at French Hospital, Volunteer at SLO Hotline, Volunteer at Cal Poly Safer
  • Ask me about: Time management; Cal Poly Safer; Working on campus



Jacob Van Dam (he/him/his), Psychology

Jacob Van Dam
  • From San Jacinto, CA
  • Career interest: Neurology
  • Involved in Campus Crusade, PULSE, PolyFit, Psychology Research with Dr. Bennion, AMSA
  • Favorite thing about SLO: Being in SLO, you are always close to the beach, hiking trails, downtown shopping, and all sorts of other adventures!



Jenna Wilson (she/her/hers), Psychology

  • From Livermore, CAJenna Wilson
  • Career interest: Pediatric Registered Nurse
  • Involved in Cal Poly Dance Team; American Medical Student Association club; WOW as a group leader; volunteer work at French Hospital Medical Center; Hospice volunteering; tutoring children who struggle academically and socially who may also have developmental and/or learning disabilities like ADHD, an autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, etc. 
  • Ask me about: balancing school, social life, and being a student athlete; how to register/plan your schedule; organizational tips; study tips and how to keep your GPA up!



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