Akira Gutierrez Renzulli

(She, her, hers)

Graduate Student

Email: aguti236@fiu.edu

Program: Clinical Science

Keywords: Adversity, trauma, social-emotional learning, school readiness, parenting, trauma-informed care

Research Areas

Akira is a doctoral student in the Clinical Science program at Florida International University and a member of the School READY Lab. Her professional experiences include teaching in inclusive classrooms, providing clinical services to children with disabilities, and supporting educators in integrating social-emotional learning in schools and classrooms. Akira’s current research interests broadly focus on investigating the implications of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma on academic, behavioral, and social-emotional development among children and youth. She is also interested in the development and implementation of trauma-informed, evidence-based practices in community settings to support youth with high incidences of ACEs and/or trauma, specifically as it relates to (1) developing and maintaining positive relationships with their primary caregivers and other adults, (2) building positive social-emotional skills, and (3) preparing for academic success.


Lerner, R. M., Harris, E., M. Yalin, C., Rubin, R. O., Gutierrez, A. S., & Greenman, K. N. (2016). Adolescent development, theories of. In Harold L. Miller (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology (pp. 10-14). SAGE: Thousand Oaks, California.

Callina, K.S., Mueller, M.K., Buckingham, M.H., & Gutierrez, A.S. (2015). Building hope for positive youth development: Research, practice, and policy. In E. P. Bowers, G. J. Geldhof, S. K. Johnson, R. M. Hershberg, L. J. Hilliard, J. V. Lerner, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Promoting positive youth development: Bridging the gaps between research, practice, and policy (pp. 71-94). New York: Springer

Lerner, R. M., Wang, J., Chase, P. A., Gutierrez, A. S., Harris, E. M., Rubin, R. O., & Yalin, C. (2014). Using relational developmental systems theory to link program goals, activities, and outcomes: The sample case of the 4‐H Study of Positive Youth Development. New directions for Youth Development, 2014(144), 17-30.


Gutierrez, A.S., Cervantes, D.J., Buckley, K., Paek, J., & Fournier, R. (2020, December 10-12). “Little things like that [help] us connect on a different level”: A qualitative exploration of teachers’ and students’ experiences with building positive relationships [Paper presentation]. In A.S. Gutierrez (Chair), Exploring drivers of students' sense of belonging and its importance in fostering student success in diverse populations [Symposium]. Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic Meeting, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. (Conference canceled)

Hart, K. C., Poznanski, B., Cheatham-Johnson, R., Gregg, D., Zambrana, K., Gutierrez, A.S., Flores, H., Sotolongo, L., Chou, T., Moses, J., Villodas, F., & Villodas, M. (November, 2020). Utilizing the Summer Treatment Program Model to Promote School Readiness in Young Children Living in Urban Poverty. In S. Tannenbaum (chair), STPs in the Real-World: Exploring Adaptations to Improve Access and Feasibility while Maintaining High Quality Care. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, Philadelphia, PA.

Gutierrez, A.S. & Jacobs, F. (2020, February). Making a match: Exploring the association between ethnic match and program utilization in a home visiting program. Poster presented at the Miami International Child & Adolescent Mental Health Conference, Miami, FL.

Buckley, K., Gutierrez, A.S., & Subedi, S. (2018, October). A developmental framework for measuring student agency. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Gutierrez, A.S., Hilliard, L.J., & Batanova, M. (2017, April). Partners in learning: How researchers can support the needs of teacher “Participant-Partners.” Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.


FIU Clinical Science PhD Program, Mentor: Dr. Katie Hart
MA, Applied Child Development, Tufts University
BA, Child Development, Tufts University