Saira Rab

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Expertise: Educational psychology, First-generation students, Student engagement and social presence, Intersection of psychology and technology


Saira Rab, an assistant professor-in-residence with UNLV's Department of Psychology, studies technology use by diverse college student populations, international students, and pre-service teachers. She also teaches upper-level courses on topics including research methods and the psychology of learning, as well as freshman-level liberal arts courses that emphasize individual differences, self-efficacy, and self-regulation of college students.

Rab has experience in multicultural and multimethodology research and pedagogy with service learning. Her most recent line of research seeks to examine the psychological impact of social media and other technology on college students.

Prior to UNLV, Rab taught undergraduate courses at several Texas institutions on psychology and human development and family sciences. As an undergraduate psychology research assistant of the George Marsh Applied Cognition lab through the Ronald E. McNair Scholar program, Rab published articles on topics such as social media and psychiatric disorders, 3-D learning, and social presence.

In addition to teaching and research, the first-generation, minority faculty member mentors undergraduate and graduate student researchers, and serves as a faculty advisor and committee member at UNLV. Her professional goals include supporting at-risk students to achieve higher education and success throughout their academic journeys.

Rab has certificates in effective college education and university teaching from the Association of College and University Educators, and has won the University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award for Group Teaching. Her role as fundraising director for the Young Nonprofit Professional Network Southern Nevada board allows her to also serve as a liaison for UNLV students seeking job opportunities in nonprofit sectors. Additionally, Rab is a member of organizations including the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science. 


  • Ph.D., Educational Psychology and Individual Differences, University of Houston
  • B.A., Psychology, CSU Dominguez Hills