Keri Lintz

Keri Lintz is a first-year doctoral student committed to examining the effects of public policy on child development. She is particularly interested in the prevention of early childhood adversity and understanding the factors that contribute to the disproportionality — and accompanying consequences — of such experiences.

Keri draws on almost two decades of experience and expertise in research, public policy administration, and social service delivery. Her first professional experiences were as a child welfare consultant and crisis intervention specialist. Subsequently, she worked for state government administering five federal grant programs designed to foster child and family well-being. Before joining UCLA, she was the executive director of the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy and The Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab at The University of Chicago where she gained a deep appreciation for the capacity of rigorous research to inform sound policy, programs and practice. In this role, she provided leadership in the implementation of large-scale field experiments and evaluation of promising programs dedicated to reducing social and economic inequality.

Sara Terrana

Sara Terrana is a doctoral candidate at UCLA – Luskin, School of Public Affairs in the Department of Social Welfare. Ms. Terrana’s research focuses on the nonprofit sector, particularly human-service organizations (HSOs) and their founders, and neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage. Her dissertation, under the advisement of Professor Zeke Hasenfeld, focuses on Black female founders of HSOs and examines both critical junctures of founding, and how life experiences and racial identity have influenced the founding decisions and the ability to mobilize material and symbolic resources for organizational survival. Further, her research examines how social change and social justice is manifested through the creation of HSOs in a neighborhood of concentrated disadvantage in Los Angeles. She specializes in qualitative methodology and advanced computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) technologies. Currently, Ms. Terrana is serving a two-year term (2017–19) as a nationally selected representative for the Society for Social Work and Research’s Doctoral Student Task Force. Prior to entering the doctoral program at UCLA, Ms. Terrana completed her MSW from UCLA in 2013. She also holds an MA from Teachers College – Columbia University (2011). Ms. Terrana served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu from 2005–07. She graduated magna cum laude with dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Hawaii-Hilo in Psychology and Communications in 2004. Here are links to her most recent publications:

Terrana, S., & Wells, R. (2018). Financial Struggles of a Community-Based Organization: A Teaching Case. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 42(1), 105-111.

Download here:

 Terrana, S. (2017). Minority Founders of Community-Based Organizations in a Neighborhood of Concentrated Disadvantage: Motivations, Barriers, and Strategies. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 41(4), 359–375. Download here:

Lei Chen

As a trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural researcher, Lei’s research interest focuses on social policy, long-term services and supports, immigrants’ access to health care, aging and technology, and cross-cultural studies. Her dissertation uses a population-level survey to examine the relationships among disability status, financial strain, and health and well-being among people with needs for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) in California, which also explores disparities among these relationships under the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lei’s research applies both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She has worked on several grant-funded research projects at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and projects sponsored by the state of California. She is collaborating with researchers at UCLA Human-Centered Computing and Intelligent Sensing Lab (HiLab) with the aim to make technology more inclusive for older adults. Her papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Qualitative Methods and Research on Social Work Practice. She has also presented her research at multiple national conferences, including the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Population Association of America (PAA), and American Public Health Association (APHA). She has served as a manuscript reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals.

Apart from being an academic, Lei actively engages in policy-related work at state and national levels. She served as the inaugural Kathy Hyer Summer Policy Intern at the Gerontological Society of America. She assisted the policy-making process of the Master Planning on Aging (MPA) in California and is leading the workstream of selecting LTSS indicators for the MPA Data Dashboard.

Before joining the Ph.D. program at UCLA, she worked as a research assistant for several companies, international organizations, and universities, including McKinsey & Company, Fudan University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Washington University, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).