Irvine Fellow Creates New Course on Arts and Cultures in Los Angeles Urban Planning alumna Maria Rosario-Jackson's new course is open to students in the humanities and Luskin.

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer 

Urban planning alumna Maria Rosario Jackson (PhD ’96) hopes to break boundaries in what it means to be an urban planner for students with a new course titled, “Arts & Culture in Communities: Implications for Planning, Design, Policy and Comprehensive Community Revitalization.” The new course integrates two worlds in the Los Angeles community and in her classroom by including students from both UCLA Luskin and the humanities.

Students enrolled in the course are from all three departments of the Luskin School, as well as degree programs in the humanities such as Chicana & Chicano studies, English literature, and World Arts and Cultures, among others. Jackson hopes that through the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of the course, students can learn from each other’s perspectives and knowledge in their field.

Jackson, who is a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts and senior advisor to the arts and cultural program at the Kresge Foundation, is teaching the course as a part of her new Irvine Fellowship sponsored by the James Irvine Foundation for the 2014-2015 academic year. As part of the fellowship, she will also be either hosting a series of community workshops or will be part of a public lecture in the winter or spring.

Her course teaches students to understand how arts and cultures in low-income and historically marginalized communities distinguish them from one another and gives them each a unique ‘pulse.’ Jackson said she developed an interest in the identity of racial, ethnic and other misrepresented groups as a young person growing up in Los Angeles and as an undergraduate student, which led her to pursue the subject in her career.

“You don’t really understand group identity until you start getting into what their aesthetic expressions are. The arts has always been a text for understanding communities,” she said.

Jackson said she thinks that strategies to address the collective uplift of marginalized groups are inherently inadequate if they don’t include the element of arts and cultures, which is often the case.

“If you look around the world and throughout the ages, in strategies to disempower and oppress a people a first step is to strip a community of its ability to make meaning and express themselves aesthetically and authentically,” she said. “So how can it not be part of efforts to strengthen them?”

Jackson said the class discusses how cultural and artistic objects, events and places can be interpreted as assets in a community and can be better understood as part of a solution for issues in distressed urban areas .

“It is an opportunity to explore and interrogate some emerging trends in urban planning and public policy that relate to the arts and figuring out how they work within the context of wanting to achieve more equitable outcomes,” she said.

Jackson said there are examples all over the country of artists who are working at the intersection of art and community revitalization and are helping to change the environment and social fabric of marginalized and low-income communities.

“Artists often help residents, who may not see themselves as artists, carry out artistic activity. Whether it is songwriting or theater, in the process of being creatively involved, residents are often treating the themes they are concerned with—health issues, fear of displacement, aspirations for better schools and jobs,” Jackson said. “Artists also can work with or as non-profit developers creating spaces and buildings far more interesting and meaningful than places without consideration for culture.”

In order to give students the opportunity to experience cultural assets in communities, they were instructed to explore a neighborhood in Los Angeles. For the project, Luskin and humanities students were paired together to encourage them to see the city in a different way that they normally would. After immersing themselves in the community, students were instructed to create a presentation that reported its cultural assets and critiques the extent to which they are evident in community improvement strategies.

Several speakers in the fields of art, urban planning, public policy and others have visited the class to have a discussion with students about projects they are working on.

Jackson said she accepted this fellowship because she thinks it is fulfilling and inspiring to be able to contribute to UCLA, her alma mater, with a new generation of people who want to improve Los Angeles. She also said she thinks this is an opportunity to explore and reconnect with her home after being away from Los Angeles for almost 20 years.

Luskin Lecture Series Features Civil Rights Icon Terrence Roberts MSW ’70 Roberts, one of the "Little Rock Nine" and a face of the school-desegregation movement, spoke about the persistent struggle for racial equality

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In 1957, Terrence Roberts MSW ’70 was a 16-year-old student at a segregated high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. After the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional, he volunteered to be one of the first black students to enroll at Little Rock High School, a decision with impact that is still being felt today.

As a result, Roberts’ junior year of high school was incredibly difficult. On the first day of school, he and his fellow members of the “Little Rock Nine” were prevented from entering the building by an angry mob backed by the Arkansas National Guard, who had been activated by Gov. Orval Faubus. It wasn’t until three weeks later, when President Eisenhower took control of Faubus’ troops and sent in the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, that Roberts was able to begin classes. But throughout the year, Roberts and his classmates had to attend school with a military escort, enduring beatings, vicious epithets and a national spotlight that turned him into a face of the nascent Civil Rights Movement.

More than half a century later, Roberts shared his experience at Little Rock High and reflected on a life involved in social justice during a UCLA Luskin Lecture event Dec. 4 at the California African American Museum. With the benefit of distance and time, Roberts made it clear that his experience as a teenager was part of a centuries-long struggle for equality.

“This stuff has been going on since well before you showed up,” Roberts said. From 1619 to 1954, when the Brown ruling was issued, minorities were fundamentally unequal to the white majority in North America. “It was legal to discriminate, to ‘do unto,’ to lynch, to murder,” Roberts said, and violent actions had the full protection of U.S. law.

Although laws have changed since the middle of the last century, Roberts said, changes to the legal system are just the beginning — and, given the recent protests in reaction to police officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Mo., and New York, clearly an inadequate solution to resolve longstanding racial tensions.

As he contemplated a way forward after the “horrendous, cold-blooded murders” of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Roberts cautioned of a long, difficult road ahead.  “This has been going on for centuries,” he said.

“This stuff is so woven into the fabric of our society it is so difficult to disentangle ourselves, especially when there is a lack of will to do so,” he added.

At its heart, Roberts spoke of the problem of racial inequality as a dispute over space—“physical, psychological and economic” boundaries within which the powerful majority feels threatened by the onset of a competing community. Roberts crossed a physical boundary by breaking the color barrier in high school, but in the decades since he has seen the resistance of the racial majority as a reaction to a perceived intrusion by outsiders.

In the face of this framing of the problem, Roberts counseled that protests ought to be nonviolent if they hope to advance the racial conversation and lead to progress. In response to a question squaring Roberts’ view with the facts that Brown and Garner were killed by police despite their nonviolent actions, Roberts said, “Death looms above us all.”

“The powers that be will see you for who you are — nonviolent or angry — and take you out of their space,” and violent actions by the minority will only make the problem worse, he said.

Throughout the talk Roberts exhibited the discipline and unflappability he learned in the unwelcoming halls of Little Rock High, and which he nurtured further throughout a career as an educator and consultant. In 1999, President Clinton honored the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal.

When a member of the audience asked how he managed to control his emotions in the face of daily abuse as a student, he said, “My emotions are under my control. Anger and rage are possible choices, but they’re not the only ones.”

Going forward, Roberts advocated that members of the audience take action to change the culture around “the racial conversation.” With more than 50 years of continued racial tension despite changes to laws, progress will only be realized through persistent pressure on cultural values, he said. After all, laws without community support aren’t enough.

“When you do things that seem forward, progressive, you have to check with the will of the people,” he said.

More photos from the event

Availability of alcohol linked to alcohol-related suicides

Greater availability of alcohol is associated with a higher proportion of alcohol-related suicides, especially among American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to a new study by UCLA professor Mark Kaplan.

Using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System and compiling density data from state alcohol licensing agencies in 14 U.S. states, Kaplan and his co-researchers discovered positive associations between both on-premise and off-premise alcohol outlet density and the presence of alcohol in people who committed suicide.

Overall, 33.9 percent of suicide decedents were found to have positive levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and 21.4 percent had a BAC greater than or equal to .08 grams per deciliters, which is used as a threshold measure of alcohol intoxication. This correlation was higher for American Indian and Alaska Native group.

Previous work by Kaplan, who was lead investigator on a project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, showed that alcohol use and legal intoxication prior to suicide is common among US racial sub-groups, especially American Indian and Alaska Natives. This group had the highest rate of legal intoxication among other ethnicity groups.

“The associations between off premise density and American Indian/Alaska Native race status can be because of their specific patterns of drinking,” said Kaplan, a professor of social welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Many American Indian/Alaska Native reservations and villages are dry communities, which may lead drinkers to seek off premise outlets to purchase alcohol.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Addiction, notes: “These individuals may also be affected by the concentration of off premise outlets because they are disproportionately of low socioeconomic status, and buying and drinking off premise is cheaper than drinking on premises.”

The researchers conclude that policies to reduce access to alcohol can help reduce alcohol-associated suicides in the future. In addition, more focused initiatives such as interventions and referral programs can help individuals who are contemplating suicide.

“Our analysis uses the only U.S. national data set available that examines blood alcohol levels among suicide decedents, providing accurate, timely, and comprehensive surveillance data with unrivaled toxicology information,” Kaplan said. “Combining that with detailed information about on-premise and off-premise alcohol outlet densities provides a resource for policymakers and public health officials to design and implement effective policies and programs to reduce the incidence of suicide, particularly in high-risk groups.”

The study was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01 AA020063). Authors include Norman Giesbrecht of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ; Nathalie Huguet of Portland State University; Lauren Ogden of Portland State University; Mark S. Kaplan, Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; Bentson McFarland of Oregon Health and Science University; Raul Caetano of the University of Texas School of Public Health; Kenneth Conner of the University of Rochester Medical Center; and Kurt Nolte of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

For a copy of this paper, contact Jean O’Reilly, Editorial Manager, Addiction (jean@addictionjournal.org, tel +44 (0)20 7848 0853).

Awards: Luskin alumna and student recognized for their work Megan Holmes (MSW '08) receives grant money for research in child welfare and success.

By Angel Ibanez
UCLA Luskin student writer 

A Luskin alumna and current doctoral student have each recently been awarded prestigious awards for research and demonstration of good work.

Megan Holmes MSW ’08, PhD ’12 was awarded a $200,000 federal grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Fellowships for Research in Child Maltreatment. Currently an assistant professor of Social Work at Case Western Reserve, Holmes is lead investigator of a study on why some children thrive despite being abused and witnessing violence in the home.

As part of a the grant, Holmes will focus on how witnessing domestic violence in the home impacts the academic performance from preschool to middle school. She believes the research could potentially help victims of abuse and neglect by learning why some children are more resilient to it and says such mistreatment is a prevalent public health concern.

Urban Planning doctoral student Anne Brown is the recipient of a WTS-OC graduate scholarship.

The prestigious scholarship is awarded by the Orange County chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) whose mission is to build the future of transportation through the global advancement of women.

The scholarship recognizes the potential contributions of students and encourages bright new professionals to undertake careers in the area of transportation.

The scholarship will be presented at the WTS-OC Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, December 4, 2014.

 

LA Metro Planner Creates Works of Art in the City and On the Canvas Urban Planning alumnus Diego Cardoso draws inspiration from his love for urban spaces in his paintings and planning work.

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer 

Diego Cardoso (MAUP ’87) recalls being perplexed by his father’s photographs, which captured every day objects in his home in Ecuador. He would wonder why his father didn’t choose to photograph more beautiful images of things like the sunsets in Ecuador instead.

Since then, Cardoso’s work in the arts and in urban planning has led him to understand the beauty in every day sights, which he now illustrates in his own photography and paintings.

The UCLA alumnus has traveled the world, studying and drawing inspiration from his surroundings for his work as a painter, photographer and LA Metro planner.

As a Metro planner, Cardoso plans and allocates funding for projects in active transportation such as bicycle pedestrian programs for the Los Angeles County. Currently, he is planning for the gold line that will run through East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

Though he is originally from Cuenca Ecuador, Cardoso has lived in Los Angeles most of his life and attended UCLA to study political science and Latin American studies as an undergraduate student. Upon graduating, Cardoso took a few years to travel to Europe and South America. While he was abroad he studied at the University of Stockholm and the Institute of Political Studies of Paris and taught subjects like architecture and research methods.

“I have always been interested in getting to know new cultures and new experiences,” Cardoso said. “Looking and experiencing the urban environments in Stockholm and Paris is how I really got interested in the way the urban environment influences people’s interests, culture and habits.”

After he returned to the U.S. from traveling abroad, Cardoso attended UCLA’s graduate school of architecture and planning (the planning department later moved to be housed in the Luskin School of Public Affairs). Through his graduate education and independent studies, Cardoso was able to rekindle his interest in photography. He began to photograph Los Angeles and try to explain the city through an artistic lens.

Cardoso’s experience as a student in Los Angeles and in Europe led him to focus on how transportation in Los Angeles conditions its citizens to their environment. He became curious about the specific relationships that exist in terms of how urban environments change the way people experience and create culture and the way they see themselves.

“Los Angeles itself is accommodated to the automobile. The infrastructure is highly reflective of having prioritized the automobile. What you do with buildings, the way we build, the building itself, design of roads, the time you spent driving, that’s how you experience the city. It has a huge influence in the culture and economics in Los Angeles,” he said.

Cardoso incorporates his experiences working with the LA Metro and studying issues of mobility with his work in photography and the arts. His artistic style is also inspired by a combination of artists’ styles, including Edward Hopper, David Hockney and George O’Keeffe with the color pallets in Van Gogh’s paintings.

His artwork generally depicts images of familiar streets, sidewalks and buildings in Los Angeles. Through his paintings, Cardoso hopes to capture the light of Los Angeles and make people feel as though they are present in the scene.

“In art, the ordinary can become extraordinary. You can see how images presented in certain ways can speak to you,” Cardoso said. “People assume you can open your eyes and you can see it, but in order for you to see, you need to expand that. You need to digest it in your mind and in your consciousness.”

Cardoso said his experience at UCLA’s graduate school of architecture and planning allowed him to refine his interests in the social science, which eventually expanded his use of photography and led him to become an artist.

He has enjoyed being able to contribute to building a more livable city and integrating the different aspects of his life. “Through my artwork and my career, I can narrow the gap between my existence as an intellectual as someone that works for a living and someone who wants to enjoy life,” he said.

Cardoso advises current urban planning students to take advantage of the time they have to learn everything they can. “Graduate school is a time to find yourself in the world, refine your thinking, and explore the world. Enjoy the moment in your life when you can think about thinking and how you can apply that to life,” he said.  

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Holloway’s ‘Healthy Selfie’ Project Uses Tech to Improve Healthcare The Social Welfare professor is leading research to improve healthcare among young, gay men of color.

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin student writer 

Social Welfare professor Ian Holloway, with the help of some UCLA Luskin students, is leading a research project called the Healthy Selfie project, which aims to find ways mobile phones can be used to improve healthcare, particularly for young gay men.

In an LA Times article, Holloway said that although HIV infection rates have plateaued nationwide, they have increased among young, gay men of color. Since mobile phones are so accessible in the U.S., mobile apps present the potential to target these groups, which can be hard to reach.

The Healthy Selfie project would explore how mobile phone apps can offer gay and bisexual men a centralized spot to get authoritative health guidance on HIV, Holloway said.

The article quotes Holloway as saying: “The new venues are phone applications, websites, chat rooms and message boards,” he said. “These are the places guys meet each other, for a variety of purposes. Why not bring prevention to those digital spaces?”

The project however faces several challenges including protecting the privacy of health information, building apps that would be appealing to patients and providing doctors with accurate and consistent data.

 

Fellowship Opens Doors to Reagan Archives As recipient of the inaugural Ronald Reagan Public Policy Fellowship, Anthony Rodriguez is gaining an up-close view of the workings of government

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By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
UCLA Luskin Student Writer

Anthony Rodriguez was in the village of Mukuwila, Zambia, when he received the call offering him an interview for the Ronald Reagan Public Policy Fellowship. After two years of serving in the Peace Corps, Rodriguez was ready to begin working at a private investment firm in the summer months before he started his master’s degree program at UCLA. However, he decided to fly to Los Angeles early to seize this opportunity instead.

The first-year Public Policy master’s student was the first to be awarded the new fellowship consisting of a two-year $30,000 scholarship at UCLA Luskin through the Ronald Reagan Foundation.

As a fellow, Rodriguez will be studying the effects of Ronald Reagan’s economic, social and international policies on the state of California and the Federal government. In addition, he will have access to the archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and will be working on projects such as creating resources for teachers and students available on the Foundation website.

After Rodriguez graduated from California State University Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in business law in 2011, he joined the Peace Corps and for two years worked primarily in the food sustainability field in Zambia.

“We introduced fish ponds to the village where people could take the byproduct from the maize and other crops to use it as input for the fish to create a good source of protein,” he said.

During his time with the Peace Corps, Rodriguez was able to use his marketing skills to promote small-scale businesses. He also taught about HIV awareness at local schools and introduced solar lights to the village, which previously had no electricity.

His current academic focus is in public policy with a concentration in monetary policy and macroeconomics.

“I chose UCLA because of the flexibility they allow students in creating their own concentration,” he said. “When I read about the Reagan scholarship I thought it was a perfect partnership between what I want to study and an era in American history when monetary policy played a huge role.”

Rodriguez said he feels a sense of duty to his country and to serve the public. His decision to join the Peace Corps and study public policy was inspired by his father who served in the United State Air Force and his grandfather who served in the Nicaraguan military.

His interest in history, particularly as it relates to monetary policy during the Reagan administration, started early when he was a child.

“My Dad and I would always watch Jeopardy and I would play Trivial Pursuit with my three sisters,” he said. “When I was in the Peace Corps, I became more interested in reading about the period during the late 70s and 80s which were times of depressions and recessions.”

In the future, Rodriguez hopes to apply for a summer internship with the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund.

“Upon graduating I’d like to have a job with an international macro organization such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or the United Nations. I am also not opposed to working domestically for the Treasury or for the Federal Reserve,” he said.

This year, however, Rodriguez said he wants to focus on learning the fundamentals of the public policy program and being a part of the Reagan Foundation.

“At the foundation, we have some projects going on this year including the Great Communicator Debate Series, which is a nationwide debate competition for high school students. We are also working on a project to submit AP questions for high school students about history and micro or macroeconomics,” he said.

Rodriguez said he is enjoying being exposed to many intelligent individuals including politicians like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and former defense secretary Robert Gates.

“This has allowed me to interact with people with really impressive resumes and with leaders of our country. That’s what I hope to be someday as well,” he said.

Rodriguez said he has worked extra hard to keep up with his classmates, but he thinks it will benefit him in the long run.

“There is an interesting dynamic of people from all over the world. It’s almost intimidating how educated this class is. But that’s how you become stronger,” he said.

Re-Defining Fatherhood in America’s Inner Cities

15712659775_2823703411_kBy Stan Paul

Researcher Kathryn Edin has long been known for her groundbreaking work on poverty and the lives of women and men in American inner-city neighborhoods. Her qualitative work in communities has gone beyond the numbers – and easy assumptions —  to the heart of issues that evade answers by mere quantitative means.

The Johns Hopkins sociologist, whose work has focused on questions such as “How do single mothers possibly survive on welfare,” has more recently turned her lens on the lives of fathers in the complex area of family formation. Edin, spoke this past week at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, part of the 2014 FEC Public Lecture Series sponsored by the Luskin School and the Center for the Study of Inequality.

In her recent book, Doing the Best I Can: Fathering in the Inner City (co-authored with Timothy Nelson), Edin again goes directly to the communities she studies. There, she hears from the fathers themselves, and looks beyond labels such as “deadbeat dads.”

In giving both the good and bad news, Edin comments, “I’m just telling you how it is.” She reports that that good news is that young men want to embrace fatherhood and that overwhelmingly, their first reaction to news that “she’s pregnant” is positive, even enthusiastic despite being “un-planned.” “They, too, see parenting as a key source of meaning and identity,” said Edin, adding, “Children have a tremendous power to transform young disadvantaged men’s lives.” Whether described as “saints” or “deadbeats,” Edin concedes in her studies of these men, “the typical father is both.”

And, the bad news is that, while the fathers (African American and Caucasian) she interviews describe themselves as happy, the “odds are very long that a father will remain closely connected to this child throughout the life course,” said Edin. In addition, when fathers have children with multiple partners, there may be intense daily contact with one child but little or no contact with others, in conjunction with highly contentious co-parenting relationships, she said. This “serial selective fathering” puts fathers in what Edin calls a family-go-round or the children into a “father-go-round.”

Edin says that despite “how it is” that “we shouldn’t give up,” looking “farther upstream” for solutions to this complex problem. This includes both a “societal change of heart for these men,” to get things started, but also a “call to honor their fatherhood in every stage.”

Edin’s presentation was co-sponsored by the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Institute for Labor and Employment, the Institute of American Cultures, The Bunche Center for African American Studies, The California Center for Population Research, and the Sociology Family Working Group.

 

UCLA Luskin Center Study Informs LA Energy Efficiency Commitment Announced by Mayor Garcetti Today

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November 10th — Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti announced today a new, industry-leading energy efficiency commitment for the city’s utility, with the goal informed by a new UCLA study addressing the economic and employment benefits of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP’s) energy efficiency programs. Speaking at the press conference with the Mayor, UCLA Luskin Center Director J.R. DeShazo drew attention to the study, which finds that LADWP’s diverse portfolio of energy efficiency programs already creates 16 job-years per million dollars invested, and that a full implementation of these programs into 2020 could result in nearly 17,000 job-years in Los Angeles County.

The release of the UCLA Luskin Center study today came after LADWP commissioners recently approved a commitment to a 15% reduction in electricity consumption in Los Angeles through energy efficiency measures. David Jacot, Director of Energy Efficiency at DWP, recommended this goal using the jobs study as proof of the positive economic and employment benefits of energy efficiency programs.

“Just as water conservation is how we will get through our drought and control our water costs, energy conservation is how we will address climate change and keep our power bills low,” Mayor Garcetti said. “Investing in efficiency is three to four times cheaper than building new power plants and it takes pollution out of our air. The cheapest and cleanest way to ensure we have enough electricity to keep the lights on and power our economy is through energy efficiency.”

 

Efficiently Energizing Job Creation in Los Angeles highlights the importance of energy efficiency efforts. Obvious benefits include reduced air pollution and decreased burden on the electric grid, while the study specifically quantifies the numbers and types of jobs created by LADWP’s existing energy efficiency programs.

After analyzing LADWP’s diverse portfolio of 18 energy efficiency programs, UCLA researchers found that those programs create an average of 16 job-years per million dollars invested in Los Angeles County. The 18 programs researched in the UCLA study generally come in two varieties—direct install or incentive/rebate based–and deal with new construction as well as retrofits of existing building stock. Examples of these two types of offerings include programs such as the Small Business Direct Install, which provides small business customers actual energy and water-saving installations at no charge, while others such as the Customer Performance Program offer customers an array of rebates and incentives to encourage retrofits in lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, and more.

The study found that the programs benefit all types of LADWP customers—industrial, commercial and residential, including low-income and senior citizen life line customer.  These programs also have the added benefit of stimulating growth among a wide set of skills and trades, from electrical, plumbing and construction to engineering and design, and the investment in these programs were found to have significant ripple effects in the local economy.

The authors of the study note that 16 job-years per million dollars invested is significantly higher than legacy energy production methods like coal and natural gas, as well as “typical” job-creators like construction, which create 6.9, 5.2 and 10.7 jobs respectively. It is even higher than other green industries like solar and smart grid, which create 13.7 and 12.5 jobs respectively. This research fills a big gap in accurate job creation numbers associated with specific types of energy efficiency programs, and will hopefully serve as a model that other utilities around the country can use.

Industry Job Years / Million $ Invested
Energy Efficiency 16.0
Solar 13.7
Smart Grid 12.5
Construction 10.7
Coal 6.9
Natural Gas 5.2

Moving forward, the programs could create over a quarter billion dollars annually in economic output. Forecasting through 2020, the Luskin Center study finds that LADWP energy efficiency programs would create nearly 17,000 job-years in Los Angeles County as the programs are currently designed.

Two Faculty Books receive Honorable Mention for “Outstanding Social Work Book”

Two separate books by Social Welfare faculty members have been honored in the competition for the Society for Social Work and Research’s inaugural “Outstanding Social Work Book Award.”

Dr. Stuart A. Kirk, distinguished professor emeritus of Social Welfare, Dr. David Cohen, Professor of Social Welfare, Marjorie Crump and Dr. Tomi Gomory, Florida State University, received Honorable Mention for their book Mad Science: Psychiatric Coercion, Diagnosis, and Drugs.

Mad Science argues that much of modern American psychiatry’s claims are not based on convincing research, and provides a scientific and social critique of current mental health practices.

Dr. Laura S. Abrams, associate professor of Social Welfare and chair of the doctoral program, was recognized for her book Compassionate Confinement: A Year in the Life of Unit C, co-authored with Dr. Ben Anderson-Nathe of Portland State University,

Their book focuses on juvenile corrections, using narratives, observations and case examples from a year of fieldwork at a boy’s residential facility to highlight the system’s tensions and show unexpected pathways to behavior change.

Both works provide critical examinations of the history, institutions, and discourses involved in shaping institutional responses to some of the most pressing social problems.

SSWR is the leading academic and research organization in the field of social welfare. In conferring the award, the organization recognizes the “outstanding scholarly contributions that advance social work knowledge,” SSWR President Eddie Uehara said.

The awards will be formally presented at the SSWR annual meeting in New Orleans this January.