RISE Lab members

Dr. Picho’s Advisees

Maha Alqous

Maha is a second-year student, majoring in Educational Psychology. Her research interests encompass stereotype threat, and its potential impact on the advancement of women in academia at university institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Yusra- Ali

Yusra is a third year, majoring in Educational Psychology. Her research focuses on test anxiety among high school students in Saudi Arabia, and the potential short and long-term effects of anxiety on student achievement in the Kingdom.

RISE lab Members

Deyonna Grant

​Deyonna is a doctoral student in the department of Psychology at Howard University where she majors in Developmental Psychology. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Temple University, Pennsylvania.  

Grant’s research focuses on the experiences, attitudes, and processes that  contribute to the mental withdrawal of marginalized students from academic settings. In particular, Grant ‘s line of research centers on academic engagement, disaffection, disengagement, disidentification, and teacher-student relationship quality amongst minoritized students.

Dantavious Hicks

​Dantavious has Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Johns Hopkins University’s Program. Hicks’s research focuses on counselors’ ability to broach or discuss the contextual dimensions of race, ethnicity, and culture during the counseling process. His other research interests include multicultural orientation, social justice, anti-racism in counselor education, and identity development.

Darryl Diptee

Darryl is a PhD student at University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, whose research investigates how underrepresented students in STEM might better negotiate their academic excellence within oppressive social systems. His work suggests that many promising students who would otherwise excel, remove themselves from STEM fields not because of their lack of intellectual ability, but due to unpleasant physiological responses they experience while engaging in STEM. He presents undesirable somatic markers such as a tightening of the throat, a pounding heartbeat or sweaty palms as renderings of embodied cognition. He is designing a body-based intervention to mitigate such negative bodily effects over time, allowing students to form new, healthy relationships with STEM.


Marie Plaisime, PhD

Degree: PhD in Medical Sociology, Howard University (2021).

Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher- Harvard University
Overview: At Harvard University, Dr. Plaisime will continue her research implicit bias in physicians and residents in healthcare, and its impact on inter-racial patient interactions. She will also support similar research in the aforementioned areas.

Brielle Brookins, PhD

Degree: PhD in Social Psychology, Howard University (2020)

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow- Washington D.C. Public School District
Overview: Dr. Brookins is leading the charge in developing additional professional development options for K-12 teachers in schools that are a part of an improvement plan designed by the District.