Accessibility statement

Jessie Shepherd


Jessie Shepherd is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from California, USA and a current PhD student in the Education Department. Jessie has 12 years of community mental health experience along with six years of experience supporting new therapists’ development through her work as a supervisor and adjunct faculty. As a researcher, Jessie focuses on issues of equity impacting wellbeing for high-risk groups and emotional resilience in the population. Her PhD research is on pedagogical practices regarding refugee and migrant girls social and emotional learning.



Previous Education

  • University of York, York, United Kingdom               

          September 2019 – September 2020

          Masters of Social Justice and Education, with Distinction

Masters focusing on Social Justice education, intercultural communication, and empirical research into social justice issues in education in the UK. Dissertation focused on            how Teacher Emotional Well-being impacts students social-emotional development.


  • John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, California           

           October 2008 – September 2010

           Masters of Family Therapy

Thesis: Key Dynamics Affecting Diagnosis for Unlicensed MFT Trainees

Study among MFT trainees, interns, and pre-trainees on racial, gender, sexual orientation and biases; conducted data analysis using Microsoft office; designed assessment used to measure responses to video stimuli.


  • San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

          Fall 2004 – Fall 2006

BA, English, Creative Writing

PhD Research

Title: Teachers’ Perceptions and Pedagogical Practices Regarding Social and Emotional Learning for Refugee and Migrant Girls.

My research is to better understand primary school teachers' perspectives, skills, and values related to teaching social and emotional skills (or mental wellbeing curriculum) to female refugee and migrant students.

The hope is to build a case that reinforces the need for more teacher training and support around refugee and migrant social and emotional skills development. I think this research could have an impact in wellbeing support and mental ill-health prevention for refugee and migrant girls.

Ultimately this research is about increasing wellbeing and resilience in high-risk populations, and better understanding how to decrease mental ill-health in school aged children.



  • Professor Vanita Sundaram and Dusana Dorjee, PhD
  • TAP Member: Ioana Cismas


  • Shepherd, J. (2021). Equity of Instruction in the Social and Emotional Learning of Refugee and Migrant Students: A Scoping Review. Protocol Registration.
  • Moe-Byrne, T., Shepherd, J., Merecz-Kot, D., Sinokki, M., Naumanen, P., Hakkaart-van Roijen, L., Van Der Feltz-Cornelis, C. (Submitted 2021). The effectiveness of digital health interventions on employees with work-stress, physical or mental health problems at the workplace: A systematic review. PLOS Digital Health.
  • Shepherd, J., Olaya, B., Gevaert, , Van Aerden, K., Vanroelen, C., Borrega Cepa, O., González Recio, L., M. Bernard, R., Vorstenbosch, E., Cristobal Narvaez, P., Felez-Nobrega, M., de Miquel, C., Merecz-Kot, D., Staszewska, K., Sinokki, M., Naumanen, P., Hakkaart-van Roijen, L., van Krugten, F., de Mul, M., Maria Haro, J., van der Feltz-Cornelis, C. (Submitted 2021). Design, development, and usability testing of a digital intervention to improve mental health, wellbeing, and productivity in the workplace (EMPOWER). Design of a digital intervention for workplace stress and mental health. PLOS Digital Health.



  • Choosing to Focus on one or all Genders When Conducting Education Research. Researching Gender & Sexuality in Educational Settings: An event for PGRs and ECRs. 11 March 2022


Teaching & Research Experience

Teaching experience

Contract Lecturer

  • Ohlone Community College, Fremont, California, 2019-2020                        
  • California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California, 2017-2020
  • University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California, 2019 (one term)
  • The Wright Institute, Berkeley, California, 2016-2019


Research Experience

  • Department of Health Science, Research Support Officer, University of York, 2020-Current

Contact details

Jessie Shepherd
PhD Researcher (PhD in Education)
Department of Education