Jennifer A. Ray

Jennifer Ray is currently a second year student in the social welfare doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Jennifer also completed her BA in Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and received her MSW from the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the social welfare program, Jennifer worked as a clinician at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services providing community mental health services to high-risk children and families in Los Angeles County. Jennifer is interested in research on non-resident father involvement and interventions aimed at reducing behavior problems among young children in African American families.

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.

 

 

Meredith Phillips

Phillips studies the causes and consequences of educational inequality. She specializes in the causes of ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in educational success and how to reduce those disparities. Her current research projects include a random-assignment evaluation of the efficacy of two low-cost college access interventions; an ethnographic longitudinal study of adolescent culture, families, schools, and academic achievement; an analysis of classroom environment surveys; and a study of promising school-based practices for improving students’ achievement.

Phillips co-founded EdBoost, a charitable, educational non-profit whose mission is to reduce educational inequality by making high-quality supplemental educational services accessible to children from all family backgrounds. EdBoost develops and refines interventions and curriculum at its learning center, implements interventions in educational settings, and then tests promising interventions using rigorous evaluations. Phillips also co-founded the Los Angeles Education Research Institute (LAERI), a Los Angeles-based research-practice partnership that collaborates with L.A. Unified.

Phillips currently serves on the National Academy Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity. She previously served on the National Academy Committee on the Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education. Phillips is a past recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship as well as the dissertation award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her A.B. from Brown University.

Google Scholar Citations

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Using Research to Improve College Readiness: A Research Partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and and the Los Angeles Education Research Institute
Author: Phillips, Meredith, Kyo Yamashiro, Adina Farrukh, Cynthia Lim, Katherine Hayes, Nicole Wagner, Hansheng Chen

Parenting, Time Use, and Disparities in Academic Outcomes
Author: Phillips, Meredith

Ethnic and Social Class Disparities in Academic Skills: Their Origins and Consequences
Author: Phillips, Meredith

Culture and Stalled Progress in Narrowing the Black-White Test Score Gap
Author: Phillips, Meredith

How Did the Statewide Assessment and Accountability Policies of the 1990s Affect Instructional Quality in Low-Income Elementary Schools?
Author: Phillips, Meredith, Jennifer Flashman

Social Reproduction and Child-rearing Practices:  Social Class, Children’s Agency, and the Summer Activity Gap in Low-Income Elementary Schools
Author: Chin, Tiffani, Meredith Phillips

School Inequality:  What Do We Know?
Author: Phillips, Meredith, Tiffani Chin

The Black-White Test Score Gap
Editor: Jencks, Christopher, Meredith Phillips

SELECTED REPORTS

College Going in LAUSD: An Analysis of College Enrollment, Persistence, and Completion Patterns
Author: Phillips, Meredith, Kyo Yamashiro, Thomas A. Jacobson

College Readiness Supports in LAUSD High Schools: A First Look
Author: Phillips, Meredith, Kyo Yamashiro, Carrie E. Miller

Michelle Talley

Michelle Talley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose main area of focus is working with youth and families as it relates to Public Child Welfare. Other areas of interest are issues dealing with domestic violence, substance use, education, and attachment in youth and families.

As a field consultant with the Inter-University Consortium, a collaborative effort of Southern California social work programs that trains social workers in the area of child welfare, Ms. Talley works with first and second-year MSW students placed in the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Ms. Talley has also worked as a mental health clinician dealing with children impacted by abuse and neglect within their family nucleus. Most of the children and families worked with were also dealing with substance use/abuse, criminal issues, education, poverty, and mental health issues in which adversely impacted their family dynamics. Ms. Talley has also worked as an adoption social worker with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. The focus was to locate families and individuals who were interested in providing a permanent home for children in the Child Welfare system.

Aurora P. Jackson

Dr. Jackson’s scholarship examines the interrelationships among economic hardship, parental psychological well-being, parenting in the home environment (including involvement by nonresident fathers), and child developmental outcomes in families headed by low-income, single-parent mothers with young children.

Dr. Jackson’s research on current and former welfare recipients has been funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Center on Minority Health Disparities, and a visiting scholarship at the Russell Sage Foundation.

Her work is published in American Journal of Community Psychology, Child Development, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Social Service Research, Race and Social Problems, Social Service Review, Social Work, and Social Work Research.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Minority Parents’ Perspectives on Racial Socialization and School Readiness in the Early Childhood Period
Anderson, A. T., Jackson, A. P., Jones, L., Kennedy, D. P., Wells, K., Chung, P. J. (2015). Minority parents’ perspectives on racial socialization and school readiness in the early childhood period. Academic Pediatrics, 15, 405-411.

Nonresident Fathers’ Involvement with Young Black Children: A Replication and Mediational Model
Jackson, A. P., Choi, J. K., Preston, K. S. J. (in press). Nonresident fathers’ involvement with young black children: A replication and mediational model. Social Work Research.

Single Mothers, Nonresident Fathers, and Preschoolers’ Socioemotional Development: Social Support, Psychological Well-Being, and Parenting Quality
Jackson, A. P., Preston, K. S. J., & Thomas, C. A. (2013). Single mothers, nonresident fathers, and preschoolers’ socioemotional development: Social support, psychological well-being, and parenting quality. Journal of Social Service Research, 39, 129-140.

Nonresident Fathers’ Parenting, Maternal Mastery and Child Development in Poor African American Single-Mother Families
Choi, J. K., & Jackson, A. P. (2012). Nonresident fathers’ parenting, maternal mastery and child development in poor African American single-mother families. Race and Social Problems, 4, 102-111.

Fathers’ Involvement and Child Behavior Problems in Poor African American Single-Mother Families
Choi, J. K. & Jackson, A. P. (2011). Fathers’ involvement and child behavior problems in poor African American single-mother families. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 698-704.

Single Parenting and Child Behavior Problems in Kindergarten
Jackson, A. P., Preston, K. S. J., & Franke, T. M. (2010). Single parenting and child behavior problems in kindergarten. Race and Social Problems, 2, 50-58.

Poor Single Mothers with Young Children: Mastery, Relations with Nonresident Fathers, and Child Outcomes
Jackson, A. P., Choi, J. K., & Franke, T. M. (2009). Poor single mothers with young children: Mastery, relations with nonresident fathers, and child outcomes. Social Work Research, 33, 95-106.

Parenting Efficacy and the Early School Adjustment of Poor and Near-Poor Black Children
Jackson, A. P., Choi, J. K., & Bentler, P. M. (2009). Parenting efficacy and the early school adjustment of poor and near-poor black children.Journal of Family Issues, 30, 1399-1455.

Low-Wage Employment and Parenting Style
Jackson, A. P., Bentler, P. M., & Franke, T. (2008). Low-wage employment and parenting style.Social Work, 53, 267-278.

Employment and parenting among current and former welfare recipients.
Jackson, A. P., Bentler, P. M., & Franke, T. M. (2006). Employment and parenting among current and former welfare recipients. Journal of Social Service Research, 33, 13-26.

Single mothers’ self-efficacy, parenting in the home environment, and children’s development in a two-wave study.
Jackson, A. P. & Scheines, R. (2005). Single mothers’ self-efficacy, parenting in the home environment, and children’s development in a two-wave study. Social Work Research, 29, 7-20.

Maternal gambling, parenting, and child behavioral functioning in Native American families.
Mumper, S. L. & Jackson, A. P. (2007). Maternal gambling, parenting, and child behavioral functioning in Native American families. Social Work Research, 31, 199-210.