Noel Barragan obtained her BS in Natural Science and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University and her MPH from the University of Southern California. She has worked the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health as an evaluator and program manger for chronic disease prevention efforts targeting low-income populations. Noel’s research interests include senior health, social determinants of health, and health policy.
Michele Wong is a first year PhD student in the Department of Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also completed her M.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Sciences in June 2017. Prior to pursuing her graduate studies, Michele served as the project coordinator for the African-American Knowledge Optimized for Mindfully Healthy Adolescents (AAKOMA) Project Lab at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC. During this time, she gained experience in community-based participatory research, working with an African-American faith community to pilot test a Faith Based Mental Health Promotion Program (FBMHP) to help reduce mental health stigma and increase treatment engagement. Michele’s research interests examine how structural factors and immigration-related factors influence mental health disparities. She is also interested in applying an intersectional framework to develop sustainable mental health policies, programs and practices. In her free time, Michele enjoy’s traveling, visiting her family in Canada, hiking, cooking, and building community.
Elise Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of social work experience in her home town of Los Angeles.
She has worked with homeless families, in community mental health and at DCFS. She is currently a clinical social worker at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center/Miller Children and Women’s Hospital where she works in the Emergency Department and in Pediatrics.
Her clinical and academic interests include trauma-informed care, social determinants of health, homelessness, history of social work in L.A. and child maltreatment. An area of particular interest is the role technology plays in social work practice and social work education.
She is always on the lookout for innovations that enhance and augment patient care. In 2016 she was invited by NASW to consult on their upcoming publication of Standards for Technology in Social Work Practice.
In 2014 she began teaching MSW students and finds working with rising social workers extremely inspiring. She teaches Human Behavior in the Social Environment and one of her assignments as been included in a forthcoming textbook on the incorporation of technology in social work education.
Students in Johnson’s classes often remember her strengths-based approach to the profession, her penchant for ’70s funk bands and her reminders to always “find the good!”