Larissa M. Gaias, PhD


My name is Larissa Gaias. I am an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to joining UML, I completed an Institute of Education Sciences postdoctoral fellow at the School Mental Health Assessment, Research, & Training (SMART) Center at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In 2018, I received my PhD in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University.

My research focuses on integrating an equity lens into the development, implementation, and evaluation of school-based interventions to reduce pervasive racial/ethnic disparities in educational outcomes. Primarily, I focus on the reduction of individual and institutional racial biases and the ways those biases manifest in practice and policy. My expertise lies in how school contexts can better support social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health/well-being of students who have been historically marginalized, particularly youth of color and youth affected by violence.

I am passionate about building collaborations across research, practice, and policy. I deeply value opportunities to collaborate with districts, schools, educators, community organizations, and policy makers to develop feasible, sustainable, effective, and equitable strategies for supporting students.