About Us

Transitions is a project of the University of California, Berkeley. It is a collaboration between the Research Group on Adolescence (led by Dr. Ron Dahl), Common Sense Education and Innova Schools in Peru and Mexico. Our goal is to design, implement and evaluate school programs to encourage the responsible and positive use of digital media and the development of social-emotional skills.

DR. RON DAHL , Director of the Institute for Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Ron Dahl is the director of the Institute for Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley where he is a Professor in the School of Public Health and the Joint Program of Medicine. He is a pediatrician and developmental specialist. Over the years, his research has focused on the development of sleep and wake regulation, affect regulation, and the development of behavioral and emotional problems in childhood and adolescence. Currently, his work focuses on adolescence as a period of development and a unique opportunity for intervention for the prevention of behavior and health problems. His research is interdisciplinary and seeks to link basic and applied research in social and affective neuroscience issues to have an impact in the educational, clinical and public policy spheres. Dr. Dahl has published extensively on child and adolescent development, sleep disorders, children’s emotional and behavioral health, adolescent brain development, and the policy implications of his work. In recognition of his career, he was elected as a member of various scientific societies: the Association for Psychological Science, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York Academy of Sciences. of Sciences) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is founding editor of the leading journal in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and was president of the Society for Research in Child Development.


Dr. Lucía Magis Weinberg is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. She investigates how technology is transforming adolescence in Latin America, and designs educational programs to foster the development of digital citizenship and socio-emotional skills. Dr. Magis Weinberg trained as a doctor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she also made a specialization in Applied Statistics. She later moved to the UK as a Conacyt Fellow, and completed her Masters and PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, focusing on adolescent neurodevelopment. In graduate school she investigated how different contexts (the presence of peers or the possibility of obtaining rewards) influence adolescents’ ability to regulate their thoughts and behavior, using psychological and neuroimaging experiments. In the educational field, Dr. Magis Weinberg has extensive experience as a tutor and mentor of low-income secondary school students, and has worked with various organizations that seek to promote access to higher education and in particular in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (The Brilliant Club, in2scienceUK, Clubes de Ciencia México y Mujeres en STEM, Futuras Líderes, from the US-México Foundation). She is the Executive Editor and co-founder of Neuroméxico, the leading science outreach site in Latin America. She is currently a Candidate for the Conacyt National System of Researchers.

Team at UC Berkeley

DANIELA MUÑOZ LOPEZ, Laboratory Manager and Research Assistant

Daniela Muñoz Lopez is the laboratory manager for the Adolescent Research Collaboration at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2021, where she received a B.A in Psychology and minored in Early Development and Learning Sciences. Daniela is interested in understanding the risk and protective factors faced by children from underserved and underrepresented communities. Through this project, she hopes to better understand how social networks and the use of technology can affect adolescents and the risk and protective factors associated with social media.


Estelle Berger is a former lab manager for the Adolescent Research Collaboration at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from Brown University with a BA in 2016, where she majored in Urban Studies. After working in various industries, she completed the Psychology Graduate Program at UC Berkeley in December 2019. During his time at Berkeley, she has committed to studying adolescent development and the connections between the use of digital media, the social context and mental health. She is currently doing her doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the University of Oregon.


Christopher Gys is the former lab manager. He received a BA in Hispanic Studies from Bowdoin College. For the next two years, he worked as an English teacher in Ishikawa, Japan. He is interested in the influences of technology, age, and culture on social-emotional development in adolescents, and hopes to better understand the relationship between digital media use and well-being.

ELIZABETH SHERWIN, Graduate Student Research Assistant

Elizabeth Sherwin is a graduate student at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
She is currently completing the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology / Biostatistics. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Spanish from the University of Santa Clara. Before the
Master’s degree, Elizabeth worked one year with Maya Health Alliance in Tecpán, Guatemala, and three years as Clinical Research Coordinator in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Stanford. Elizabeth is
interested in studying epidemiology through life cycles; with a focus on adolescence already
which is a critical period in human development. She enjoys analyzing scientific information and has
a passion for communicating results to research participants and the public in

YAILIN ALVAREZ, Research Assistant

Yailín Alvarez is a third-year student at the University of California Berkeley. She is currently studying psychology and legal studies as an undergraduate.She is interested in understanding the relationship between adolescent development and socio-cultural factors. Through this project, Yailín hopes to better understand the connections between the use of social media and adolescent development.

CHUN-CHI (SARAH) YANG, Research Assistant

Chun-Chi (Sarah) Yang, a former high school teacher for 20 years in Taiwan, is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of California, Berkeley, preparing for her pursuit of a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. From her teaching experience, she became interested in how emotional disorders, particularly depression, develop and manifest in childhood and adolescence. She is focused on investigating how factors of sleep, culture and technology impact the regulation of emotions and emotional disorders in adolescent girls.

HANNAH FABIAN, Research Assistant

Hannah Fabian is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Currently, she is a developer for an undergraduate research lab, with a focus on creating educational applications for Spanish-speaking students. She is also a teaching assistant/grader for a network security course at Lehigh. The technology stack that she currently works with includes JavaScript, Pug/CSS, Node.js, MongoDB, and Linux (Ubuntu). After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she would like to attend graduate school to advance her knowledge in the field. Outside of academics, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and exercising.


Victoria is a doctoral student in clinical and developmental psychology at the University of Oregon. She is interested in adolescent social cognitive development (understanding of the self and others) and mental health outcomes, particularly internalizing disorders. Victoria has a special interest in the development and wellbeing of Latinx youth in the United States and Latin America. Victoria is eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with the brilliant Transitions team on important scientific questions. Click here to view Victoria’s website.

YI-HENG (RYAN) TSAI, Research Assistant

Yi-Heng (Ryan) Tsai is a second-year master’s student at the Department of Psychology at National Taiwan University (NTU). He is currently exchanging to the University of California, Berkeley from the Fall of 2021 to the Spring of 2022. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from NTU. His research interest mainly focuses on the information seeking and explorational behaviors underpinning the self-identity formation processes from adolescence to emerging adulthood. Yi-Heng is passionate about integrating multiple methodologies to have a sophisticated measurement of the human mind and enjoys communicating this information with the public. Through this project, Yi-Heng hopes to further explore the dynamic relationships of subjective motivation and effort under the impact of the pandemic.

DESIRÉE LLAMAS, Research Assistant

Desirée Llamas is a general health psychologist, researcher and teacher at the University of Málaga (UMA, Spain). As a doctoral student, she belongs to the “Laboratorio de Emociones” research group at UMA, directed by Pablo Fernández-Berrocal. Desirée does research on well-being and emotional intelligence in adolescence. She is interested in knowing how gender and different social variables impact adolescent development and her mental health. Through this project, Desirée hopes to broaden her knowledge about adolescence in different populations and establish international connections between the Transitions team and the “Laboratorio de Emociones.”

Team in Lima, Peru


Clinical psychologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Currently, she is pursuing a second specialization in clinical psychoanalysis. Clinical experience in evaluation and psychological counseling individually and in groups to adults in a psychiatric hospital. She is also working for a non-profit organization that focuses on psychological care for children from low-income educational institutions. Interest in mental health and in knowing how technology can have an impact on the psychological and social sphere of people. As a result of this project, she has been able to know how important social networks are in adolescents and how relevant it is to raise awareness about the regulation of their use and become aware of having a more responsible use.

MARCELA DAMONTE, Research Assistant

Marcela Damonte has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). She is currently working on her undergraduate thesis on acquiring an aspect of Spanish syntax in children aged 4 to 6 years. She also works as a teaching and research assistant at PUCP. She is interested in the linguistic, psychological and educational development of children and adolescents. While working for this project, Marcela discovered that within her interests are the development, translation, and adaptation of educational materials. She plans to do her graduate studies in educational psychology.

STEFANNY IBARRA, Research Assistant

Stefanny Ibarra has a degree in Linguistics from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM), and is currently doing a Master’s degree in Linguistics at PUCP. She has worked on various linguistic and applied linguistics research projects during her undergraduate and graduate years of study. This project is of special interest, since it is closely related to her Bachelor thesis in which she addressed the relationship between the level of syntactic complexity and how the use of social networks could affect the development of the writing of the teenagers. Her areas of interest are the acquisition of mother tongues and second languages, neurolinguistics, computational linguistics related to the acquisition and systematization of languages, and the correlation between the use of technology and language.

CAMILA BOSSANO, Research Assistant

Camila Bossano is a specialist in Education and Socio-Emotional Development. She is an administrator from the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences and has a master’s degree in Social Development from the Graduate Institute Geneva. She has managed education projects in the public, private and NGO sectors, both inside and outside of Peru. She led the Personal Development area of Innova Schools Peru where she developed the tutoring program for the network of more than 50 schools and was in charge of the implementation of the “Transitions” project in collaboration with UC Berkeley.

Team Alumni

  • Alexa (Ally) Zimbalist
  • Josh Leskar
  • Karina Valdespino