Skip to main content



Principal Investigator: Andres Pinedo, Ph.D. 

Dr. Andres (Andy) Pinedo is an assistant professor of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Professor Pinedo completed his doctoral training at the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D. in Eduction and Psychology. In his primary line of research, he investigates how young people understand, feel about, and act upon inequality, and how those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are shaped by the contexts they inhabit. His work appears in journals such as Child Development, Cultural and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and Psychological Science, and has informed local policy-making. Dr. Pinedo is accepting graduate students this cycle in the Community Research and Action program in Vanderbilt University’s Department of Human and Organizational Development. You can email him at to inquire about graduate study in the Youth and Society Lab.

Research Assistant: Vincent Castillo

I am a sophomore double majoring in Human & Organizational Development and Medicine, Health, & Society. Generally, I am interested in learning more about how healthcare systems intertwine with and impact individuals. In the Youth and Society Lab, I am excited to learn more about how young people grapple with inequality and engage in collective action to better understand how various structures can be changed to support youth’s healthy development.

Research Assistant: Miguel Kamgaing Kamgaing

I am a freshman double majoring in Human and Organizational Development and Public Policy interested in elucidating the factors that perpetuate inequality and how mindfulness can help to mitigate their impact. I plan to use the skills gained in the Youth and Society Lab in a future career in policy where I can contribute to progressive change in society.


Research Assistant: Andre Moneda

I am a Community Development and Action master’s student at Peabody College. My experience growing up in the Philippines and moving to New Zealand in childhood has shaped my interest in the youth sector. I am interested in the development of cultural identity in migrant youth through engagement with indigenous and other cultural worldviews. I aim to apply the experience gained in the Youth and Society Lab in shaping future civic engagement activities to ensure policies are inclusive of all cultures.


Research Assistant: Spandana Pavuluri

I am a freshman majoring in Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. Given my experience in Youth Participatory Action Research and involvement in the Kentucky Student Voice Team, I am passionate about the role students have in improving and influencing education decision making. As a member of the Youth and Society Lab, I aim to leverage mixed methods research within schools to better understand students’ cognition surrounding inequality and critical consciousness. Ultimately, I am passionate about using research to influence educational practice and reform.


Research Assistant: Tala Saad

I am a freshman majoring in Human and Organizational Development and Political Science. Having spent much of my time in high school engaged in youth organizing, I am intrigued by the drivers of student engagement in collective action to create change in their communities. As a member of the Youth and Society Lab, witnessing a flood of legislation across the country aimed at censoring education, I look forward to producing research that can inform policy surrounding how we can effectively educate youth about inequalities and injustices.