Meet Our Students

Child and Adolescent Development (ChAD) students are deeply engaged in their communities and committed to social justice with their students. Learn about a few of our current and recent students below for a better understanding of who they are and how they are becoming transformative early childhood educators.

Luiza Batista De Assumpcao Santana, 2022 ChAD Honors Student

A Shoutout to Kristina Smith, 2022 Student Research Competition Winner

Luz Nicacio

Recent alumni Luz Nicacio was featured in the SJSU story "Transforming the Way We Teach" for her role on our Lurie College of Education Strategic Plan committee.

“I saw how influential my voice was in deciding the college’s direction,” says Nicacio. “Being on the committee showed me that my college values the opinions of its students and does care about us.”

Learn about our 2021 Early Childhood Teacher Scholarship recipients - Athena, Martha, and Cyra - as they share their experiences in our Child and Adolescent Development and how it has shaped them going forward.

Undergraduate student Vinson Vũ's research presentation proposal “Resilient Superstars: How We Can Support the Futures of Trans+ Young Adults” has been accepted for the 2021 NASPA Western Regional Conference.

Alaysia Palmer was selected as a finalist for the 2021 SJSU Student RSCA Competition for her research project "Growing Up with a Sibling with Autism: College Students' Perspectives."

Kristina Smith

“The pandemic has given me the opportunity of connecting and networking.  As soon as everything transitioned to Zoom, I found myself talking to my advisors and professors more than I did when we were in person.  This helped me gain stronger relationships with my professors and mentors.  Through reaching out, I was given an opportunity to be a research assistant and have been given great career advice.”

Kristina Smith was featured by SJSU as an extraordinary graduate. Read the feature on the SJSU Newsroom blog.

Undergraduate students Alaysia Palmer and Vinson Vũ were recipients of the Lurie College Student Research Award. Listen to them discuss their experiences with their research projects and faculty mentors as well as how these experiences have shaped them going forward.

Undergraduate student Vaishnavi Sunkari is a co-host of the student-led dialogue series Emancipatory Education Now. Watch the recent dialogue that Vaishnaivi led with students from across the SJSU Lurie College of Education around inequality and access in education.

Undergraduate student Jacqueline (Jackie) Lopez Rivas was selected as the student speaker for the Fall 2020 SJSU Lurie College of Education Graduation Celebration. Watch the full recording of the ceremony above and watch her remarks at 26:30.

Bachelor's student Jacqueline (Jackie) Lopez Rivas and minor student Vinson Vũ were co-hosts of the student-led initiative, Emancipatory Education Now. Watch the recording of the dialogue Vinson led around cultivating belonging.

Melody Mann

Congratulations to recent undergraduate alumni Melody Mann, whose research article “Understanding Child Noncompliance in the Early Care Setting” was published in the SJSU McNair Scholars Program Research Journal. Read the article at

Learn more about undergraduate student and ChAD Club Officer Kattia Martinez, who discussed the opportunities that exist for learning and connecting in a remote learning environment as part of the Spring 2020 Lurie College Learning Showcase.

Dahyeon Jung

Graduate student Dahyeon Jung and faculty Kim Tsai were featured on the SJSU College of Graduate Studies blog for their working relationship while Dahyeon is completing her thesis. Read the feature at Student-Mentor Spotlight: Dahyeon Jung and Dr. Kim Tsai

Learn more about undergraduate alumni and current Counselor Education graduate student Janeth Canseco, who reflected upon her experiential learning opportunities and the importance of community and connections as part of the Spring 2020 Lurie College Learning Showcase.

 Julia Doan

Undergraduate student and Early Childhood Student-Alumni Network (ESAN) officer Julia Doan was featured on the Lurie College blog for the research she conducted with faculty around children's early understanding of numbers and math. 

Learn more about recent undergraduate alumni Cheryl Lin, who reflected upon her final semester as a student and the lessons she learned during the transition to remote learning as part of the Spring 2020 Lurie College Learning Showcase.

Undergraduate student Jennifer Villegas Lopez received the Florian and Grace Niemcziek Endowment for the 2019-2020 academic year. Learn more about her experiences in academic and student life.

Undergraduate students Isabel Rangel Hernandez and Edith Urbano were co-researchers of the student-driven Faces of Learning project during the 2019-2020 academic year. Learn more about their experiences in the video above and learn more about the project as a whole at

Undergraduate students Luz Nicacio and Liliana Adler received support to attend the annual Latinx Leads conference. Learn more about how their experiences at the conference have shaped them going forward.