Sylvia Branca, PhD

Sylvia Branca

Lecturer, Child & Adolescent Development

Faculty Fellow of Assessment, SJSU Peer Connections

Sylvia Branca is a Lecturer in the Department of Child & Adolescent Development and the Department of Psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. Her earlier research examined parenting and parent-child relations. Her more recent research and professional activities focus on better understanding elements of effective pedagogy in large classes and ways faculty can promote a sense of belongingness in students. Dr. Branca’s driving belief is that learning is a lifelong process that unites us all!


  • Ph.D., Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.A., Psychology, San José State University
  • B.A., Psychology, San José State University

Recent Publications

  • Branca, S. H. & Slusser, E. (in press). Through a more discerning lens: Understanding college student expectations and experiences over the course of a semester. College Student Journal.

Recent Presentations

  • *Vargas, K., & Branca, S.H. (2021). Machismo and Its Relationship with Violence Against Women in Latinx Societies. Poster presented at the virtual (remote) Spartan Psychological Association Research Conference, San José, CA.
  • Branca, S. & Slusser, E. (2020). Understanding Student Expectations and Experiences in Large Classes. Paper presented at the Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning, Lilly Conference. San Diego, CA.

  • *Mann, M. & Branca, S.H. (2019). Understanding teacher-child interactions in early care settings. Poster presented at the University of New Mexico McNair Scholars Conference, Albuquerque, NM. *Denotes student author.

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • 2016, Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA) Award – San Jose State University. Does Parental Emotion Regulation Mediate the Relationship Between Authoritarian Beliefs and Attributions for Children’s Behavior?

Recommended Reading

Personality Playlist

Listen to Sylvia's playlist below and access all of the personality playlists on our Lurie College of Education Spotify account