Julia Lesnick

Julia is a first year MSW-PhD student. Her research focuses on understanding how mental and behavioral health services can be applied to support thriving of young people impacted by the carceral system, foster care, and struggling with their mental health. The goal of her work is to partner with youth and community leaders to expand accessibility to services, resources, and opportunities that promote youth wellbeing and support the transition to adulthood. Her specific areas of inquiry include understanding and addressing structural causes of youth crime, community-based and positive youth development responses to youth justice, and youth leadership in systems advocacy and social service decision making.

Currently, Julia is a graduate research assistant for the Youth-Justice Node of the Life Course Intervention Research Network. Prior to UCLA, Julia graduated from Cornell University in 2018 with her B.S. in Human Development and a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At Cornell, her scholarship focused on research-practice partnerships, and adolescent relationships and mental health. She also worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension to develop trauma-informed care training for afterschool programs, and taught in a degree program for incarcerated students. After graduating, she worked at NYC’s child welfare and juvenile justice agency, and at a community-based service provider on the evaluation and quality improvement of youth leadership and mental health programs.

Chaoyue Wu

Chaoyue Wu is a first-year doctoral student in Social Welfare. She graduated with her LL.B. in social work from Beijing Institute of Technology and her M.A. in social policy from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include school violence, child maltreatment, child development, mental and behavioral health, and quantitative research methods.

Before joining the PhD program at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, she worked as a research assistant on diverse projects in different Chinese societies (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), examining the risk factors for violence involvement and the negative impacts of victimization experience on mental and behavioral health among marginalized children and adolescents.