Sawyer completed an M.Ed. in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard University. He also holds a M.Ed. and B.Ed. from Queen’s University, and B.A. from University of Waterloo, majoring in Music, and Human Geography & Environmental Management. He is pursuing a PhD to further the study of relational youth violence and school climate to encompass under-supervised contexts within and outside of school grounds, such as in neighborhoods, virtual spaces, or on school buses. He serves as a consultant with an organization in Canada that trains school bus drivers on bullying prevention and mental health awareness. He’s also engaged in supporting social emotional learning in underserved populations domestically (urban and rural America), and abroad (urban and rural China). Research skills include both qualitative and quantitative analysis as well as mixed methods, having participated with interdisciplinary research groups collaborating with Canadian Federal and Provincial Government Agencies, Universities, and private organizations. Currently Sawyer is working with the APA Taskforce on Violence Against Educators, organizing and analyzing data and policy of qualitative data from school psychologists, social workers, counselors, administrators, teachers, and school staff.
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.
Ron Avi Astor holds the Marjorie Crump Chair Professorship in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a joint appointment in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His work examines the role of the physical, social-organizational and cultural contexts in schools related to different kinds of bullying and school violence (e.g., sexual harassment, cyber bullying, discrimination hate acts, school fights, emotional abuse, weapon use, teacher/child violence). This work documents the ecological influences of the family, community, school and culture on different forms of bullying and school violence. This work has been used worldwide. Astor’s studies have included tens of thousands of schools and millions of students, teachers, parents and administrators. Over the past 20 years, findings from these studies have been published in more than 200 scholarly manuscripts.
Along with his colleague Rami Benbenishty, Astor developed a school mapping and monitoring procedure that is used “at scale” regionally and with local students and teachers to generate “grassroots” solutions to safety problems. The findings of these studies have been widely cited in the international media, in the United States, and Israel.
Astor’s work has won numerous international research awards from the Society for Social Work Research, the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Military Child Educational Coalition and other research organizations. He has an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. Astor is a fellow of APA, AERA, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education and American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
His work has been funded by the Department of Defense Educational Activity, National Institutes of Mental Health, H.F. Guggenheim Foundation, National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, William T. Grant Foundation, Israeli Ministry of Education, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship, University of Michigan, USC and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and other foundations.