D. Michael Applegarth

Michael Applegarth is a third-year PhD student. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from Brigham Young University-Idaho and with his master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Brigham Young University. Michael’s primary area of interest within the correctional system involves the reentry process and the various challenges that accompany this process. Some of the specific factors of interest include examining how young adults with mental illness and substance use challenges navigate reintegrating into society; as well as, how individuals’ social networks, programing and treatment during incarceration, and system-level factors mitigate successful outcomes during the reentry process. Furthermore, he is interested in how correctional environments and conditions create barriers for individuals to engage in desistance.

Michael’s primary skill set includes quantitative data analysis, but he has also had some experience in qualitative interviewing. Michael worked as a research assistant with Professor Abrams from 2018-2020 on projects addressing MSW students’ responses to racial issues, interviewing individuals who were sentences to life without parole as juveniles, analyzing youths’ detention assessments, and evaluating reentry services of young adults exiting Los Angeles County Jail. Michael is currently serving in an assistantship with the National Institute of Justice as a research assistant contractor for this academic year. Michael has been listed as an author in articles published in the Marquette Law Review, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Military Medicine, Military Behavioral Health, and Armed Forces and Society. 

Amy Ritterbusch

Dr. Ritterbusch has led social justice-oriented participatory action research initiatives with street-connected communities in Colombia for the last decade and recently in Uganda. Her work involves the documentation of human rights violations and forms of violence exerted against homeless individuals, sex workers, drug users and street-connected children and youth, and subsequent community-driven mobilizations to catalyze social justice outcomes within these communities. Throughout her research and teaching career she has explored different approaches to engaging students and community leaders through critical and responsible interaction between classroom and street spaces in Colombia and Uganda through the lens of social justice-oriented PAR. Her research has been funded by the Open Society Foundations, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright U.S. Program and other networks promoting global social justice.

 

Selected Publications:

Ritterbusch, A, Correa, C. & Correa, A. (2018). Stigma-Related Access Barriers and Violence Against Trans Women in the Colombian Healthcare System Global Public Health            doi:10.1080/17441692.2018.1455887

Ritterbusch, A. (2016).  Mobilities at Gunpoint: The Geographies of (Im)mobility of Transgender Sex Workers in Colombia. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 106(2), 422-433. doi: 10.1080/00045608.2015.1113112

Ritterbusch, A. (2016).  Exploring Social Inclusion Strategies for Public Health Research and Practice: The Use of Participatory Visual Methods to Counter Stigmas Surrounding Street-Based Substance Abuse in Colombia. Global Public Health 11(5-6), 600-617.

doi:10.1080/17441692.2016.1141971

Ritterbusch, A. (2012).  Bridging Guidelines and Practice: Toward a Grounded Care Ethics in  Youth Participatory Action Research. The Professional Geographer 64(1), 16 – 24.            doi:10.1080/00330124.2011.596783

Garcia, S. & Ritterbusch, A. (2015). Child Poverty in Colombia: Construction of a Multidimensional Measure Using a Mixed-Method Approach. Child Indicators Research 8(4), 801-823. doi: 10.1007/s12187-014-9274-2

 

Selected Advocacy and Collective Writing Initiatives in Latin America:

I have also supported social justice-oriented publications in both global human rights networks and policy circles in Colombia, including a human rights shadow report on violence against homeless communities and their right to the city in Bogotá and policy briefs written with community-based collaborators presenting recommendations for the protection of homeless communities and sex workers’ fundamental human rights:

Ritterbusch, A, Correa, A, Leon, S, Salamanca, J & Lanz, S. (2016). Ni aquí ni allá: las geografías emocionales de las trabajadoras sexuales transgénero, víctimas del conflicto armado. Nota de Política No. 25, Bogotá: Agosto de 2016. Available online:

https://egob.uniandes.edu.co/images/2016/publicaciones-np25-digital.pdf

Ritterbusch, A, Cubides M.I & Navarro, A. (2014). De la estigmatización de los consumidores de bazuco y pegante hacia la inclusión de sus voces en la política pública. Nota de Política No. 19, Bogotá: Noviembre de 2014. Available online:

https://egob.uniandes.edu.co/images/np19.pdf

 

Writing on Social Justice-Oriented PAR in Global Media Spaces:

https://theconversation.com/who-are-the-real-targets-of-bogotas-crackdown-on-crime-83949

 

Community Partnerships for Current PAR Initiatives:

*Red Comunitaria Trans (Bogotá, Colombia)

*Casa Diversa, Comuna 8 (Medellín, Colombia)

 

Global Action Research Networks:

HENA – UCLA:

CPC: http://www.cpcnetwork.org/partners/countries/colombia/

Dominique A. Mikell

Dominique Mikell Montgomery obtained her BA in Philosophy with Honors from the Graduate School of Education from Stanford University and her AM degree from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. She worked as a Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow at Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia as an extended foster care implementation researcher. Dominique’s research interests include the experiences of individuals and families impacted by the child welfare system, Black studies, state-violence and participatory and interpretive research methods.

Carol A. Leung, LCSW

Carol A. Leung’s research area is broadly focused on the areas of gun violence and suicide prevention. Her dissertation focuses on whether proximal and distal suicide risk factors are associated with firearm use for suicide by women in different age groups. In this work, Carol evaluates whether there are precipitating circumstances and life events that predispose women to suicide by firearms. This research is of particular importance given the complexity of gun violence in the United States as well as the rising suicide rates among women.

Carol has advanced training in research methods and theory development and is particularly skilled in conducting quantitative research with large data sets, including the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System. She has published her research in peer-reviewed journals, including International Social Work and the Journal of Aging & Social Policy. Recently, Carol published a manuscript entitled “Deploying an Ecological Model to Stem the Rising Tide of Firearm Suicide in Older Age.” Carol has taught or assisted in teaching courses for undergraduate and graduate students at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs since 2015. These include classes in health policy, aging and diversity, adult psychopathology, firearm violence, human behavior and the social environment, and research methods. Additionally, she has worked on three grant-funded projects in her area of research and presented at 11 conferences and workshops.

Carol is a licensed clinical social worker. Prior to UCLA, she worked as a psychotherapist at Flushing Hospital Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in New York City serving immigrant and refugee populations. Carol has six other publications in clinical training guides and book chapters on topics related to multicultural skills and mental health interventions. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in Psychology with a Business Administration minor in 2009.

Leung, C.A. (2014). Bye-bye bullies. In M. Cheung, Therapeutic games and guided imagery Volume II: Working with children, adolescents and families with special needs and in multicultural settings (A13). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

Cheung, M., & Leung, C.A. (To be published in 2019). Social-cultural and ecological perspective. In R. Ow & A. Poon (Eds.), Mental health and Social Work. New York, NY: Springer.

Noel Barragan

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.

Rachel Wells

Rachel Wells’ research examines assumptions about poverty that shape social services and the role of community-based organizations (CBOs). Her research focuses on frontline work with community members as a key site situated within a CBO’s mission, funding requirements, and poverty policy. Through an ethnography of CBOs that combine community organizing with service provision, Rachel’s dissertation looks at whether and how CBOs can challenge dominant narratives of poverty through this combination of services and organizing. As ideas of poverty shape different aspects of social welfare, from policy to implementation to community organizing, her research helps to understand critical moments when ideas of poverty change or are maintained and the consequences of these ideas for anti-poverty programs and program implementation.

 

Rachel specializes in qualitative research, specifically at the organizational level. Her prior research on nonprofit organizations has been published in Voluntas: International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations (as first author) and Human Services Organization: Management, Leadership, & Governance and her research as part of a team focusing on youth civic engagement has been published in Children and Youth Services Review. She has also presented her research at multiple conferences, including Society for Social Work Research and Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Organizations.

 

Prior to her doctoral program, Rachel gained practice experience in macro social work, through work as a program manager with a Detroit public health non-profit and volunteering with grassroots community organizations in Detroit. These experiences with case management, human services program design, and grassroots community efforts helped her to identify challenges with service delivery and have influenced her interests in and commitment to both social work research and teaching.

 

Rachel continues to be involved with community organizations through her research and integrates this knowledge of community-based efforts into her teaching. Rachel has taught at the graduate level and undergraduate level, including Social Work policy and research courses. Through a year-long teaching fellowship, she designed and taught her own seminar, titled Aging and Social Justice in Los Angeles, drawing from her background in social policy, urban planning and community organizing. Additionally, she holds an MSW and MUP from the University of Michigan (2009).

Amelia C. Mueller-Williams

Amelia C. Mueller-Williams is a sixth-year PhD student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Broadly, her research interest areas incorporate using systems approaches to understand population health outcomes and the socio-environmental determinants of social inequalities in health/mental health. She is particularly interested in how knowledge generated using a systems approach can inform multi-level prevention efforts.  Amelia’s work at UCLA focuses specifically on using population-level data to investigate social determinants of suicide, alcohol-related morbidity and mortality, and how exposures relate to racial/ethnic disparities across the lifespan with an emphasis on American Indian/Alaska Native populations. During her Doctoral education, she has also engaged in teaching and service; she was a PhD student representative to the department for two years and has served as an instructor or teaching assistant for a diverse set of courses at undergraduate and graduate levels.  

Before entering the PhD program, Amelia worked doing community-based suicide and substance abuse prevention research with American Indian communities. She received her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) with concentrations in interpersonal practice and mental health, and health behavior and health education. She completed a double major in Anthropology and Biology at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN). While at UCLA, Amelia has received support from the Luskin School Fellowship, the Graduate Research Mentorship Program, the Graduate Summer Research Program, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Berkeley Workshop on Formal Demography, and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research’s Summer Program in Quantitative Methods for Social Research. 

Michele Wong

Michele Wong is a fourth 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.