Jianchao Lai

Advisor: Prof. Todd Franke, UCLA

Jianchao Lai is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Social Welfare of the Luskin School of Public Affairs. She received a Bachelor’s of Social Work from Nanjing University and Master’s of Social Work from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon completing her undergraduate and graduate programs, she worked at various government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community agencies related to the early childhood development and prevention of adverse childhood experiences. Her current research uses exploratory mixed methods design to investigate the unique factors of the Asian American population with regard to case reporting and substantiation of child maltreatment incidents.

Awards:

  • Adam Smith Fellowship (2017-2018), Mercatus Center, $5000
  • Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (Summer 2017), UCLA, $6000
  • Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (Summer 2018), UCLA, $6000

Research Interests:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Asian Americans
  • Racial/ethnical differences in child welfare resources and outcomes
  • Challenges among Asian American children and families
  • Qualitative and quantitative social research methodology

Brenda A. Tully

Brenda A. Tully is a 5th year Social Welfare PhD student at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in New York City and a BA in Speech Communication from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Her research examines the experiences of young adults aging out of the foster care system with specific interest in their transition to housing.  She is currently analyzing qualitative data she collected in a study investigating housing security and insecurity among young adults formerly in foster care, which was funded by the Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. Social Justice Award.  Brenda is the United States doctoral student representative to the International Research Network on Transition to Adulthood from Care, which convenes in Brasov, Romania in October 2019.  While in Romania, Brenda will present “So I was trying to adapt”: Developing contextual understanding of foster care alumni housing experiences in Los Angeles to the International Colloquium of Social Sciences and Communication hosted by the University of Transylvania.  Prior to matriculation in the PhD program, Brenda worked as a licensed clinical social worker in New York City for 20 years.  Her research is informed in part by her experiences at Good Shepherd Services, where she helped launch the Chelsea Foyer, a transitional, supportive housing program for young people aging out of foster care and experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  The program is designated an Emerging Approach to addressing homelessness among former foster youth by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.