Miriam Pinski

Miriam is a doctoral student in Urban Planning, concentrating in transportation planning and policy. Her research focuses broadly on travel and the built environment, transportation economics and finance, law enforcement and transportation, and mobility among vulnerable demographic groups including women, older adults, and people with low incomes.

Jihyun Oh

Jihyun Oh earned her BA in Social Welfare at the Catholic University of Korea, her MA in Social Welfare at Seoul National University, and her MSW at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle. Prior to entering the UCLA doctoral program, in 2006-2011, she worked for various projects regarding measuring national minimum cost of living and producing Korean Welfare Panel Study data in the Division of Basic Social Security Research at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (a government-funded think tank). After completing her MSW, in 2017-2018, she interned in Partners for Our Children (UW-affiliated child welfare research center) in Seattle. Drawing on her research and practicum experiences in both Seoul and Seattle, Jihyun’s main research interest is child welfare and its association with relevant factors from both institutional and intergenerational contexts including parenting quality. Through her doctoral study at UCLA, Jihyun hopes to develop more comprehensive and systematic analysis that can contribute to improvements in child support policy and practice.

Ryan Dougherty

Ryan J. Dougherty’s research explores how political and social systems shape the ways that mental health services are delivered and experienced. Broadly, he aims to understand how governments can most ethically respond to the inequities experienced by people labeled with a serious mental illness, such as poverty, homelessness, and mass incarceration. To do so, Ryan explores ethical dilemmas that emerge in service delivery, particularly between providers and clients, and how broader political discourses shape decision-making in these scenarios. His dissertation examines how coercion in involuntary outpatient commitment is negotiated between treatment providers, the courts, and clients in relation to delivering psychiatric medications.

Ryan does applied research to impact mental health scholarship, policy, and practice. He specializes in qualitative methods and serves as a lead ethnographer for the UCLA Center for Social Medicine and Humanities, an interdisciplinary research team that works in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. He also serves as a qualitative researcher for the Recovery-Oriented Care Collaborative, a practice-based research network that connects researchers and providers to produce research relevant to pressing issues in services. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary research and draws from theories in sociology, anthropology, and disability and mad studies. Ryan aims to pursue his interests in the philosophy of science and qualitative methodologies to support social workers in addressing complex social problems.

Kenya L. Covington

Kenya L. Covington conducts empirical research that examines social and economic inequality associated with the structural makeup of metropolitan areas. Her work suggests ways to better utilize social and urban policies that likely mitigate disparities in economic opportunity and well-being overall.

For over a decade she was professor of urban studies and planning at California State University Northridge and concluded her tenure as full professor. In 2015 she was named Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

Professor Covington teaches courses on Housing Policy, Introduction to Public Policy, Research Methods, Forces of Urbanization, Social Inequality and Urban Poverty. She joined the Public Policy faculty at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2017. 

Dr. Covington actively participates in APPAM, Urban Affairs, ACSP and the Population Association of America. Over her career, Dr. Covington’s articles have appeared in the Journal of Urban Studies, Brookings Institution Policy Briefs, Journal of Urban Affairs, the International Journal on Economic Development, the Harvard Journal on Legislation, the National Urban League’s 2003 and 2004 publication titled The State of Black America, and The Review of Black Political Economy, among other publications.

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.

Yiwen (Xavier) Kuai

Yiwen is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin. His research interests include housing affordability, housing inequality, neighborhoods and poverty, gentrification, transportation, urban economics, and international development. His current research projects include topics on federal and state housing policies, evictions, parking, inequality, gentrification, policing, and social networks. Yiwen is also a research affiliate of Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, Ziman Center for Real Estate, and Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Recent Publications

Nelson, K., Gromis, A., Kuai, Y., Lens, M. Spatial Concentration and Spillover: Eviction Dynamics in Los Angeles Neighborhoods, 2005-2015. Housing Policy Debate, forthcoming.

Lens, M., Nelson, K., Gromis, A., Kuai, Y. 2020. The Neighborhood Context of Eviction in Southern California. City & Community, forthcoming (Early View Online).

Ellen I. G., Horn, K., & Kuai, Y. 2018. Gateway to Opportunity? Disparities in Neighborhood Conditions Among Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Residents. Housing Policy Debate, 28(4): 572-591.

Lens, M., Stoll, M. A., & Kuai, Y. 2019. Trends in Misdemeanor Arrests in Los Angeles: 2001-2017. Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

Monkkonen, P. & Kuai, Y. 2018. Federal Housing Assistance in Los Angeles County is Primarily for High-Income Neighborhoods. Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles.

Ellen, I. G., Horn, K., Kuai, Y., Pazuniak, R., & Williams, M.D. 2015. Effect of QAP Incentives on the Location of LIHTC Properties. U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Policy Development & Research, Washington D.C.

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/xavierkuai

Karen Kaufmann

Karen Kaufmann is a lecturer in the department of Public Policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.  She received her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and was an Associate Professor in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland before returning to California.

Kaufmann’s research on urban politics explores the nature of power in American cities and the ever-present challenges that political leaders face with respect to enacting policies that aid the poor. Kaufmann (with collaborator Thomas Holbrook) was awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study race relations and political behavior in American cities.  Her work examines local politics in the context of diversity, with an eye to the roles that competing interests and incentives play in undermining successful minority coalitions. She is the author of numerous articles and two books — “The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities” (University of Michigan Press) and “Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters” (with John R. Petrocik and Daron R. Shaw, Oxford University Press).

Kaufmann teaches classes on urban poverty and public policy, urban politics and U.S. housing policy.

 

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities
University of Michigan Press, 2004
The Consequences of Marriage and Motherhood: How Gender Traits Influence Voter Evaluations of Female Candidates
Journal of Women, Politics and PolicyFebruary 2015, 6:1:1-21 (with Melissa Bell).
Turf Wars: Local Context and Latino Political Development
Urban Affairs Review, January 2012, Volume 48:1:111-147 (with Benjamin Bishin and Daniel Stevens).
Political Behavior in the Context of Racial Diversity: The Case for Studying Local Politics
January 2011, 
PS: Political Science and Politics (with Antonio Rodriguez).
Battleground States versus Blackout States: The Behavioral Implications of Modern Presidential Campaigns
Journal of Politics, August 2007, Volume 69 (3):786-797 (with Jim Gimpel and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz).
Immigration and the Future of Black Power in American Cities
Du Bois Review, (spring) March 2007, Volume 4 (1):79-96.

Michael Lens

Michael Lens is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, and Associate Faculty Director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. Professor Lens’s research and teaching explore the potential of public policy to address housing market inequities that lead to negative outcomes for low-income families and communities of color. This research involves housing interventions such as subsidies, tenant protections, and production. Professor Lens regularly publishes this work in leading academic journals and his research has won awards from the Journal of the American Planning Association and Housing Policy Debate.

In ongoing research, Professor Lens is studying the neighborhood context of eviction, the role of charter schools in neighborhood change, and is engaged in multiple projects (with Mike Manville and Paavo Monkkonen) concerning housing supply in California. Lens is also working on a book project that examines fifty years of neighborhood change in Black neighborhoods following the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

Professor Lens’s research has received funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the Arnold Foundation, and the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, among other sources.

Professor Lens teaches courses on quantitative analysis, poverty and inequality, community development, housing policy, and research methods.

For an appointment, please send an email.

 

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

It’s Time to End Single-Family Zoning
Journal of the American Planning Association (Forthcoming)
With Michael Manville and Paavo Monkkonen
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Extremely Low-Income Households, Housing Affordability and the Great Recession
Urban Studies 55(8): 1615-1635
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Spatial Job Search, Residential Job Accessibility, and Employment Outcomes for Returning Parolees
Demography 54: 755-800
With Naomi Sugie
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Employment Proximity and Outcomes for Moving to Opportunity Families
Journal of Urban Affairs 39(3): 547-562
With C.J. Gabbe
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Job Accessibility Among Housing Subsidy Recipients
Housing Policy Debate 24(4): 671-691
Best Paper of 2013-14, Housing Policy Debate
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The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Crime in U.S. Cities and Suburbs
Urban Studies 51(6): 1274-1289
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The Limits of Housing Investment as a Revitalization Tool: Crime in New York City
Journal of the American Planning Association 79(3): 211-221
Best Article of 2014, Journal of the American Planning Association
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Safe, but Could be Safer: Why do Voucher Households Live in Higher Crime Neighborhoods?
Cityscape 15(3): 131-152
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Subsidized Housing and Crime: Theory, Mechanisms, and Evidence
Journal of Planning Literature 28(4): 352-363
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American Murder Mystery Revisited: Do Housing Voucher Households  Cause Crime?
Housing Policy Debate, 22(4): 551-574
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Do Vouchers Help Low-Income Households Live in Safer Neighborhoods? Evidence on the Housing Choice Voucher Program (with Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine O’Regan)
2011, Cityscape, 13(3): 135-159
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