Judith L. Perrigo

Professor Perrigo draws from her personal background as a Salvadoran immigrant and her 15 years of  applied clinical work with children and families to inform her scholarship. Specifically, Judy’s research focuses on the wellbeing of young children – birth to five years old – with emphasis on holistic and transdisciplinary prevention and early intervention (PEI) initiatives with underserved, vulnerable, and marginalized populations. Dr. Perrigo has worked on projects that involve international and domestic child welfare, developmental delays and disabilities, IDEA Part C early intervention services, neuro-cognitive development, early childhood education, and neighborhood wellness that intersect with underserved children, families, and communities of color. Dr. Perrigo’s work has been funded by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), CSWE Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), Maternal and Child Health Bureau, as well as non-profit organizations like Whole Child International (WCI) and foundations like Tikum Olam Foundation. 

 

Dr. Perrigo is currently working on the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC) longitudinal and large-scale experimental study that is funded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Dr. Perrigo is exploring the role of parental involvement among low socioeconomic status (SES) students who close the low/high-SES achievement gap. Recently, Dr. Perrigo launched a research study to explore how CHECC families are coping with education-related parental involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

In community, Dr. Perrigo serves as an endorsement panel reviewer for the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health at WestEd Center for Prevention & Early Intervention. Dr. Perrigo also provides reflective practice supervision at El Centro de Amistad. She serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Health Promotion Practice, Maternal and Child Health Journal, and Children and Youth Services Review Journal.

 

Professor Perrigo teaches both SW210B: Foundations of SW Practice II and SW231A: Advanced Social Welfare Practice.

Tranishia James

Tranishia James is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her interests are in cultural issue, eliminating racial disproportionately and disparity in the child welfare system, trauma informed social work practice and assisting at-risk adolescents with attaining higher education. 

 

As a Field Education Consultant with the California Social Work Education (Cal-SWEC) program, Tranishia works with first and second year students training them to become professional public child welfare social workers and is involved in recruiting child welfare candidates. 

 

Prior to coming to UCLA, Tranishia worked with children and families in L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for 10 1/2 years. She was a supervisor in Emergency Response (child abuse investigations); as well as a Coach Developer, teaching skills development trainings for Supervisors and Children’s Social Workers. While at DCFS, Tranishia also worked as a Field Instructor training/supervising UCLA and USC social work interns. 

Dominique A. Mikell

Dominique Mikell Montgomery obtained her BA in Philosophy with Honors from the Graduate School of Education from Stanford University and her AM degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She worked as a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow at Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia as an extended foster care implementation researcher. Dominique’s research interests include the experiences of individuals and families impacted by the child welfare system, Black studies, state-violence and participatory and interpretive research methods.

Jennifer A. Ray

Jennifer Ray is currently a fifth-year doctoral student in the Social Welfare program at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her scholarship centers on childhood adversity, family relations, and interventions aimed at reducing behavior problems among young children in African American families.

Jennifer’s current work examines the associations between and among adverse experiences in early childhood, nonresident father involvement, and child behavior problems in socially and economically disadvantaged African American families.

Prior to joining the Social Welfare program at UCLA, Jennifer worked as a clinician providing community mental health services to high-risk children and families in Los Angeles county. She has also worked on community-based research with the UCLA Social Justice Partnership and the UCLA Labor Center.

Jennifer completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and received her MSW from the University of Southern California.

Latoya Small

Latoya Small’s scholarship is informed by her work in clinical social work practice and community-based research.

Her research focuses on health disparities, specifically, the intersection of mental health, treatment adherence, and HIV among women and children in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her global research addresses the urgent need for theory-driven, empirically-informed, and sustainable psychosocial HIV treatment approaches for perinatally HIV-infected youth in South Africa.

In the U.S., Dr. Small examines how poverty-related stress, parenting, and mental health interact and relatedly impact adherence in HIV medical services among Black and Latina mothers in urban communities. An extension of her work examining vulnerable youth includes mental health and discrimination among transgender young people.

Dr. Small takes a collaborative approach in her scholarship, recognizing that traditional intra-disciplinary boundaries can impede the development of effective and sustainable research interventions. Her work aims to produce accessible, evidence-informed interventions that bolster youth development and maternal health.

Jody Heymann

Dr. Heymann established and will continue to lead the first global initiative to examine health and social policy in all 193 UN nations. This initiative provides an in-depth look at how health and social policies affect the ability of individuals, families and communities to meet their health needs across the economic and social spectrum worldwide. In addition to carrying out award-winning global social policy research, Heymann carried out some of the original studies on the risk of HIV transmission via breast milk to infants in Africa, the impact of HIV/AIDS on tuberculosis rates in Africa, and how labor conditions impact the health and welfare of families globally.

She has authored and edited more than 200 publications, including 15 books. These include Changing Children’s Chances(Harvard University Press, 2013), Making Equal Rights Real (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Lessons in Educational Equality (Oxford University Press, 2012), Protecting Childhood in the AIDS Pandemic (Oxford University Press, 2012), Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder (Harvard Business Press, 2010), Raising the Global Floor (Stanford University Press, 2009),Trade and Health (McGill Queens University Press, 2007), Forgotten Families (Oxford University Press, 2006), Healthier Societies (Oxford University Press, 2006), Unfinished Work (New Press, 2005), Global Inequalities at Work (Oxford University Press, 2003), and The Widening Gap (Basic Books, 2000).

Deeply committed to translating research into policies and programs that improve individual and population health, Dr. Heymann has worked with government leaders in North America, Europe, Africa and Latin America as well as a wide range of intergovernmental organizations including the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, the World Economic Forum, UNICEF and UNESCO. Central to her efforts is bridging the gap between research and policymakers. She has helped develop legislation with the U.S. Congress as well as with UN agencies based on the implications of her team’s research results. Dr. Heymann’s findings have been featured on CNN Headline News; MSNBC; Good Morning America; Fox News; National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” “Fresh Air” and “Marketplace;” in The New York TimesWashington Post; Los Angeles Times; Business Week; Inc; Portfolio; Forbes India and USA Today, among other internationally and nationally syndicated programs and press.

Hector Palencia

Mr. Palencia graduated with a B.A. in English and a Religious Studies minor from the University of California, Irvine. From there he was granted an M.A. in Systematic Theology (with honors) from Berkley’s Graduate Theological Union, with another Masters degree in Social Welfare from U.C.L.A.

Mr. Palencia put his graduate studies to work in the field of gang resistance diversion programs, Mr. Palencia has numerous professional qualifications in addition he has presented on Social Welfare and Gangs, Criminalization of Homelessness, Working with Trauma in Youth, and Gang Round Table Discussions.

Mr. Palencia’s work history demonstrates a compassion borne out of his spiritual endeavors and a capacity for working with marginalized young offenders. He comes to UCLA from El Rancho unified where he served as one of the mental health liaison’s responsible for district wide mental health services which included coordinating services with partnering agencies as well as responding to crisis and working specifically with tier three students. For 4 years, he was with the East Whittier City School District overseeing middle school diversion programs, created partnerships with community agencies to meet needs not being addressed for students, and he became successful in writing numerous grants including the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant initiative. In his career, he has worked in hospice and as drug and alcohol counselor handling at-risk youth case loads.