The Team Behind Finding Focus

Jonathan Schooler.jpg

Jonathan Schooler

Director

Dr. Schooler is a Distinguished Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences. He has authored over 200 scientific publications with over 35,000 total citations. His research has been supported by more than a dozen governmental agencies and private foundations. He teaches courses in Mindfulness, Cognitive Psychology, Memory, and Consciousness.

Michael Mrazek.jpg

Michael Mrazek

Director of Research at CMHP, UC Santa Barbara
Research Affiliate, UT Austin

Dr. Mrazek has spent his career researching the best ways to teach mindfulness and cultivate a truly reliable happiness. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and he is the author of Presence of Mind: A Practical Introduction to Mindfulness & Meditation. His work has been featured widely in international press, including the New York Times, Forbes, Men's Health, Time Magazine, and Scientific American.

Alissa Mrazek.jpg

Alissa Mrazek

Assistant Research Professor at UT Austin

After conducting a 4.5-year post-doctoral fellowship at UCSB where she co-created Finding Focus with the CMHP team, Alissa accepted a faculty position in the Psychology Department at UT Austin. Her Applied Psychology Lab continues to collaborate closely with CMHP. Alissa’s research program seeks to develop and evaluate psychological interventions that enhance focus and emotional regulation. Alissa is also a co-author of Presence of Mind: A Practical Introduction to Mindfulness & Meditation.

Alexander Pasch.jpg

Alexander Pasch

Research Associate & Director of Strategic Partnerships

Alexander graduated from UT Austin with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Neuroscience. He is interested in understanding the nature of well-being from philosophical, psychological, and economic perspectives. His interests in mindfulness meditation and positive psychology brought him to Finding Focus. Alexander works to foster relationships with education leaders to share Finding Focus with more schools. He also likes to blog at alexanderpasch.com.

Justine Johnson-Yurchak.jpg

Justine Johnson-Yurchak

Research Associate & Director of Research Partnerships

Justine graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Psychological Brain and Sciences and a double minor in Applied Psychology and Statistical Sciences. In the future, she plans to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology in order to eventually become a licensed therapist and work with teenage youth. Her interests include how to increase one’s subjective well-being through the use of positive coping strategies such as journaling, mindfulness, and emotion regulation. Currently, Justine coordinates the research process for teachers collaborating on research projects with Finding Focus.

Bailey Dow.jpg

Bailey Dow

Research Associate & Director of School Partnerships

Bailey graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Psychological & Brain Sciences and a minor in Applied Psychology. The overarching theme of her research interests is to promote mental health literacy and prevent/address mental health concerns. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant to cultivate prosocial skills among students at local elementary schools and to uncover the benefits of peer review and critical thinking in the student learning process.

Kat Carino.jpg

Kat Carino

Research Associate & Director of UX

Kat graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a minor in Digital Humanities. Her background is in learning science and she wrote an undergraduate thesis on the effects of intention on interleaved study practice under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth Ligon Bjork. Kat's work is anchored in utilizing a strong understanding of people to create interesting and accessible experiences. Kat is especially interested in the ways that the computer and the brain interact and intertwine.

Ari BW.jpg

Ari Kirk

Video and Motion Graphics Editor

Ari is an expert video and motion graphics editor with a unique style that blends contemporary viewer engagement strategies with best practices from educational psychology. She creates fluid and attention grabbing videos that stimulate effective learning. Ari is the founder of Visionari Media LLC, an organization dedicated to the production of exceptional visual media for education, business, and entertainment applications. Her media content has reached audiences exceeding 50 million viewers.

Pete Carr BW.jpg

Peter Carr

Lead Engineer

Peter is a software engineer primarily focused on crafting a scalable and complete frontend experience. As a core full-stack engineer, he has helped take several tech startups to successful acquisitions. Pete now focuses on creating user-friendly and scalable applications that are performant across mobile and web devices.

Alex Delagard.jpg

Alex Delegard

Lead Software Architect

Alex is a full-stack software engineer with a passion for all aspects of development. He has expertise in both NodeJS and React, and he has spent the last few years successfully scaling up a health and wellness company to 20+ million users.

Board of Advisors


Richard Mayer
Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Andrew Maul
Associate Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UCSB

Steve Cole
Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA

Michael Furlong
Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UCSB

Shelly Gable
Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Barry Giesbrecht
Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Scott Grafton
Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

Shane Jimerson
Professor, Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, UCSB

Art Kramer
Director, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology, U of IL Urbana-Champagne

Brenda Major
Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences, UCSB

George Michaels
Executive Director, Instructional Development, UCSB

Mark Shishim
Director, Academic Initiatives, UCSB