Student Profile

Antoinette Banks

Ph.D. Student - Learning and Mind Sciences


P.h.D., University of California, Davis, Learning & Mind Sciences
Expected September 2026

B.A., University of California, Davis, Cognitive Science
June 2022

A.A., Los Angeles City College, Social & Behavior Science
May 2020

A.A., Los Angeles City College, Natural Science & Mathematics
Graduated Magna Cum Laude
May 2020

Research Experience

2022–Present, Graduate Research Assistant
Dr. Lauren Lindstrom, University of California, Davis
Participate in coding and analyzing interview transcripts from University students with disabilities. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Rahul Ganguly at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia.

2021–2022, MIND Institute, Research Assistant
Dr. Leonard Abbeduto, University of California, Davis
Developed and conducted UX|UI usability testing based on experimental theories using surveys and interviews.

2020–Present, Cognition in Context Lab, Research Assistant
Dr. Yuko Munakata, University of California, Davis
Conducted a meta-analysis of cognitive development and parental scaffolding techniques using a machine learning approach and presented results in multiple conferences.



Banks, A. (2019). Better Than A Diagnosis: A Single Parents Guide to Autism. Happie Life. Los Angeles. Author


Banks, A., (2022, in review). Modeling the Ecosystem of Special Education and Planning for a Control Network Process in the Push for Successful Student Outcomes. Journal of Computational Social Science.

Banks, A., Yonehiro J., Placido, D. & Munakata, Y. (2021, November) Scaffolding Development: A meta-analysis of the role of parents in shaping children’s executive function development. University of California, Los Angeles, National Ronald E. McNair Journal.

Presentations and Invited Workshops

Guest Speaker, Equitable Deployment of AI for students in special education Yass Prize, Cleveland, Ohio. (October 2023)

Panelist, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Chancellor’s Board of Advisors Meeting, Davis, California. (October 2023)

Panelist, Designing for Social Impact, New Schools Venture Fund, New York.

Panelist, Defining Entrepreneurship, Education, and Motherhood, Team One, Moonshot Speaker Series, Los Angeles, California. (May 2023)

Guest Speaker, Defining Entrepreneurship, Education, and Motherhood, Team One, Moonshot Speaker Series, Los Angeles, California. (March 2023)

Oral Presentation, How to Increase Parental Agency in IEP Meetings with A Mobile App, Expert IEP CAL-TASH Conference, Los Angeles, California. (February 2023)

Oral Presentation, Giving Voice to Black and Brown Parents of Children with Exceptionalities with a Mobile App, Expert IEP. UC SPEDDR Conference, UC Riverside, Riverside, California. (December 2022)

Oral Presentation, Understanding the IEP System as a Process for Parents of Black, Indigenous and People of Color Culture, Sankofa, Black Parent Alliance, MIND Institute. (October 2022)

Student-Parent Panelist, Underrepresented student success & excellence, UC Regents Public Engagement Committee, University of California, Davis. (April 2022)

Oral Presentation, The Deployment of Equitable-AI in Special Education Classes, ASU+GSV Summit, San Diego, CA. (April 2022)

Guest Lecturer, Parenting and Advocacy of autistic children, Educating Children with Disabilities. University of California, Davis. (February 2022)

Oral Presentation, A meta-analysis of the role of parents in shaping children’s executive function development, University of California, Los Angeles National McNair Conference. Los Angeles, CA. (June 2021)

Oral Presentation, Redefining Parental Scaffolding for Children Interventions, University of California, Davis, National Ronald E. McNair Symposium. Los Angeles, CA. (May 2021)

Honors, Awards and Funding


Black Ambition Grand Prize Winner
Pharrell Williams’ nonprofit initiative Black Ambition is dedicated to supporting Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. $1,000,000.

Yass Prize Quarterfinalist
The Yass Prize celebrates the most influential education changemakers through innovative ways. $100,000.

Ford Foundation Fellowship
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Ford Foundation seeks to acknowledge scholars of diverse backgrounds with promising research proposals, scholarly research, and commitment to Professorship. $27,000.

UC Davis School of Education 2023 Academic Distinction Award


The Legacy Lab Award
Honoring of a BIPOC student that carries extreme promise in the avenues of affecting change in the fields of their choosing. The award is given to a scholar with extreme promise of leaving a legacy. $15,000.

Leslie A. Campbell Outstanding Senior Award
One award offered for a graduating senior who has demonstrated scholastic achievement, innovation, and pioneering support for African Diaspora Student Success. $200.

Robert J. Glushko Award
Top award given to only two undergraduates in Cognitive Science who have contributed to the scholarly advancement and innovation of the Cognitive Science domain awarded by Cognitive Science Department of the University of California, Davis. $500.

NewSchools Learning Differences Recipient
Received national funding for the alpha and beta builds of my app, Expert IEP, to support students in special education using AI/ML. $150,000.


Leadership Fellow
A competitive process ensuring distinct leadership training for effective leaders in conflict resolution and financial management administered by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

National Inventors Forum Sponsored Attendee
Hosted at the University of California, Davis, this convention is designed for faculty and postdocs in computer science and engineering looking to further unpack innovation in academia. $1,500.

Big Bang Winner in Social Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial competition with over 50 teams competing in health, agricultural, social entrepreneurship, and the People’s Choice award where the top prize is $10,000 across each category. $10,000.

Professional Affiliations

Educating All Learners Alliance
An uncommon alliance of national and local education, disability and civil rights organizations to address and reimagine organizations, approaches, systems, and learning environments. (2022)

Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
Graduate student member of the international Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. (2021)

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Mu Kappa Chapter
An international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women. (2021)

Soroptimist International
A global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. (2020)

Professional Training

Python, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, IBM (2023)

Social and Behavioral Research Best Practices for Clinical Research;
Biomedical Research
, CITI (2022)

Professional Service

Organizer, Umoja Program, Los Angeles City College (2018-2020)
Organized programs and college tours for the scholastic advancement and self-actualization of African-American students.

Professional Experience

Graduate Student and Student Parent Researcher
Women’s Resource Center, UC Davis
Support community program for student parents, facilitate parental advocacy, provide ongoing feedback to the Chancellor’s Office for student-parent retention.

Autism Outreach Director, Hope So Bright (2017-2020)
Oversaw program and behavior plan development, and implementation of support programs through partnerships and grants.

Logistics and Constituent Insight Manager, Church of God in Christ: World Missions, West Angeles (2012-2019)
Gathered and analyzed global constituent behavior, coordinated
marketing content teams, and humanitarian relief efforts.


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