Alumna named Berns Scholar

Jenny Zanger wins $5,000 scholarship

Jenny Zanger, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in psychological science this summer, has been named this year’s recipient of the Roberta M. Berns scholarship. 

The $5,000 award honors an undergraduate in the School of Social Ecology who works on issues related to social media, digital technologies, and child and adolescent development. The award committee was impressed with Zanger’s research, testing a mental health navigator designed to assess and intervene in mental health symptoms and loneliness.

As an undergrad, she worked with Jessica Borelli, professor of psychological science, as a research assistant on the study. She was in charge of participant communication and scheduling as well as working with the computer science team to help participants troubleshoot the devices they used for the study. 

Zanger, now a graduate student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, is working on her Psy.D. in clinical psychology. 

“Psychology has always been a subject I could never get tired of learning about,” she says. “I’m incredibly lucky to have found a subject I’m passionate about early on in my academic career.”

The late Roberta M. Berns worked in the School of Social Ecology as a lecturer until her death in 2015. Her late husband, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Michael Berns, and her family then established an endowment to create the Roberta M. Berns Memorial Student Scholarship Fund. Because of their generosity, the school annually awards the $5,000 scholarship to deserving students.
— Mimi Ko Cruz