About Me: I am an assistant professor in CSUSB's Child Development department. I'm originally from Northern California & I completed my undergraduate degree there (Santa Clara University). In undergrad, I worked in a professor's research lab and gained experience in what professors/psychologists do (I highly recommend this, especially for students who are considering going into a Master's or Ph.D. program!). After undergrad, I went to get my Ph.D. in developmental psychology (Boston College), where I gained research expertise in adolescent development, young people contributing to positive changes in their communities (i.e. civic engagement), and developing awareness of systems of inequities in society (i.e. critical consciousness). After grad school, I did a postdoc (a position that helps you gain experience in between getting your Ph.D. and becoming a professor) at Arizona State University, where I got the opportunity to work on a large research project & facilitate partnerships between local schools/school districts and university professors. Throughout this time, I have developed partnerships with schools, community organizations, youth workers, and young people themselves. As a fairly new member of the CSUSB and San Bernardino community, I am working to learn more about my communities and find ways to partner meaningfully with local youth/youth-led organizations. I am a first-generation college student and am happy to be here to support our students in navigating these systems and contexts!
Currently Serving as:
- Co-Advisor for the Child Development Club
- Child Development Awards Committee Chair
- Child Development Alumni Committee Chair
- Representative on the SRCD (Society for Research in Child Development) Student & Early Career Council
B.S., Santa Clara University in Psychology
Ph.D., Boston College in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology
Postdoctoral Fellowship with T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics, Arizona State University
CD 2285 (Effective Interactions, Activities, and Programs with School Age and Adolescent Children)
CD 4498 (Advanced Child and Family Development)
CD 6648 (Advanced Social-Emotional Development)
To meet with me for any reason, please come to my office hours (in person or on Zoom) or book an appointment with me (follow this link to my calendar).
Fall 2023 Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Research and Teaching Interests
Through my research, teaching, mentorship, and community partnerships, I aim to promote equity in society and positive development in young populations. With a focus on adolescents and young adults, I study: 1) civic engagement (positive contributions to one’s communities and society); 2) critical consciousness (cognitive awareness of social inequities and active work to dismantle them); and 3) socialization (support, encouragement, mentorship) of critical civic engagement by teachers, mentors, and programs. Civic engagement supports positive outcomes; for example, youth who contribute to their communities report greater sense of purpose and meaning in life. Not all civic engagement has a positive community impact, though. In order to build a more just society, it is important to foster civic engagement that has a critical lens, such that it combats rather than upholds systems of oppression. In my research and work with students, I prioritize community partnerships and seek out ways of returning my research to the community.
I conduct my research and scholarly activities as a part of a shared research lab called EnAct: Engaging Action in Young People. In collaboration with Dr. Manpreet Dhillon Brar and students at CSUSB, in partnerships with institutions within the community, the EnAct lab focuses on promoting and supporting civic engagement in various forms (e.g., digitally, volunteering, activism, political) in different contexts (e.g. institutions, political, communities). We do our work with the goal of improving intergroup relations with attention to diversity, social identities, intersectionality, and equity. Some of the values include mentorship, community action, critical consciousness, accessibility, and collaboration.
I teach courses on adolescent development, and regularly teach CD 3398 (Advanced Child and Family Development). In my courses, I prioritize building community within the classroom, but also connecting our work to implications for collaborating with community partners.
Some Recent Publications
Fabes, R. A. & Morris, S. L. (2023). Development of prosociality across middle childhood. In T. Malti & M. Davidov (Eds.), Handbook of prosociality: Development, mechanisms, promotion (145-162). Cambridge University Press.
Suzuki, S., Morris, S. L., Johnson, S. K. (2022). Profiles of civic assets among youth of color: Relations with civic action. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2022.101476
Suzuki, S., Morris, S. L., & Johnson, S. K. (2021). Using QuantCrit to Advance an Anti-Racist Developmental Science: Applications to Mixture Modeling. Journal of Adolescent Research, 36(5), 535–560. https://doi.org/10.1177/07435584211028229
Wortham, S., Love-Jones, R., Peters, W., Morris, S., & García-Huidobro, J. C. (2020). Educating for Comprehensive Well-Being. ECNU Review of Education, 3(3), 406-436. https://doi.org/10.1177/2096531120928448