Sergio R. Serna

Sergio Serna is a social worker whose interests include forensic social work and public child welfare.  He is committed to working with children and families engaged by the public child welfare and juvenile justice systems.  He is also interested in crossover youth and minority overrepresentation in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

As a field consultant with the California Social Work Education Center program, a statewide program that trains social workers to become professional public child welfare workers, he works with first and second-year students placed in the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Prior to joining the field faculty Mr. Serna was a social worker for the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy based at Loyola Law School.  Mr. Serna provided support and mitigation to youth engaged by the juvenile justice system in order to help them navigate probation, detention and reentry.   As part of a holistic team in a legal setting, Mr. Serna helped to interpret the context in which legal problems develop for youth due to poverty, minority membership, educational issues, gang membership, and history of abuse. Mr. Serna was also a therapist at the Children’s Institute, Inc., working with children and families from Koreatown and surrounding areas of Los Angeles.  While there, he provided individual, family and group therapy.  He specialized in children and families suffering from complex trauma due to exposure to domestic violence, sexual abuse and community violence, and worked with adult domestic violence survivors in order to increase their ability to provide support and create a safe environment for their own children. He also lead a program for Youth with Sexual Behavior Problems to assist children who have engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior.  The purpose of the group was to help these children develop alternative behaviors and appropriate boundaries when interacting with others.  As an award recipient of Title IV-E program in California, after receiving his master’s degree he worked in the public child welfare system in both Orange and San Diego Counties to fulfill his commitment to addressing the needs of children exposed to abuse and neglect.

Hector Palencia

Mr. Palencia graduated with a B.A. in English and a Religious Studies minor from the University of California, Irvine. From there he was granted an M.A. in Systematic Theology (with honors) from Berkley’s Graduate Theological Union, with another Masters degree in Social Welfare from U.C.L.A.

Mr. Palencia put his graduate studies to work in the field of gang resistance diversion programs, Mr. Palencia has numerous professional qualifications in addition he has presented on Social Welfare and Gangs, Criminalization of Homelessness, Working with Trauma in Youth, and Gang Round Table Discussions.

Mr. Palencia’s work history demonstrates a compassion borne out of his spiritual endeavors and a capacity for working with marginalized young offenders. He comes to UCLA from El Rancho unified where he served as one of the mental health liaison’s responsible for district wide mental health services which included coordinating services with partnering agencies as well as responding to crisis and working specifically with tier three students. For 4 years, he was with the East Whittier City School District overseeing middle school diversion programs, created partnerships with community agencies to meet needs not being addressed for students, and he became successful in writing numerous grants including the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant initiative. In his career, he has worked in hospice and as drug and alcohol counselor handling at-risk youth case loads.

 

 

Ananya Roy

Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography and The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA, which promotes research and scholarship concerned with displacement and dispossession in Los Angeles and and seeks to build power to make social change. Previously she was on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Master’s in City Planning (1994) and Ph.D. in Urban Planning (1999).

Ananya’s research and scholarship has a determined focus on poverty and inequality. Her work has focused on urban transformations and land grabs in the global South as well as on global capital and predatory financialization. Her books include City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty; Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, South, Asia, and Latin America; Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being GlobalTerritories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South; and most recently, Encountering Poverty: Thinking and Acting in an Unequal World.  With enduring theoretical commitments to postcolonial critique, feminist thought, and critical race studies, she is concerned with challenging the Eurocentrism of urban studies and other canons of knowledge and forging theory and pedagogy attentive to historical difference.

Three research and policy priorities are central to Ananya’s current commitments. First, she leads a National Science Foundation funded research network on Housing Justice in Unequal Cities. Building a shared terrain of scholarship across universities and movements, this network is concerned with advancing ideas, practices, programs, and policies of housing justice in Los Angeles as well as in other cities of the world.  Second, Ananya’s research is concerned with “racial banishment,” the pushing out of working-class communities of color from urban cores to the far peripheries of metropolitan regions.  In collaboration with housing justice lawyers and movements in Los Angeles, she studies the role of municipal ordinances in such processes of banishment.  Third, since 2017, she has been actively involved in scholarship about sanctuary cities and cities of refuge.  As evident in her recent article, The City in the Age of Trumpism: From Sanctuary to Abolition (Environment and Planning D), she seeks to expand practices of welcome and hospitality in order to take account of the long histories of settler-colonialism, imperialism, and slavery.

Keenly aware that building and reshaping fields of inquiry requires collective labor, Ananya has served on the editorial boards and collectives of various journals in urban studies and planning. She now serves as Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Along with Clare Talwalker at the University of California, Berkeley, she is the founding editor of the book series, Poverty, Interrupted, with the University of California Press. Interested in how academics can speak to public audiences, Ananya has also experimented with digital and social media to conceptualize and produce the #GlobalPOV video series, a series of short videos that provoke questions about poverty, inequality, and poverty action.

Ananya is the recipient of several awards including the Paul Davidoff book award, which recognizes scholarship that advances social justice, for Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development, and the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest teaching recognition that the University of California, Berkeley bestows on its faculty.  She was named “California Professor of the Year,” an award of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In 2011, Ananya received the Excellence in Achievement award of the Cal Alumni Association, a lifetime achievement award which celebrated her contributions to the University of California and public sphere.

Learn more about Ananya Roy’s work.

David Cohen

David Cohen’s research looks at psychoactive drugs (prescribed, licit, and illicit) and their desirable and undesirable effects as socio-cultural phenomena “constructed” through language, policy, attitudes, and social interactions. He also documents treatment-induced harms, and pursues international comparative research on mental health trends, especially involving alternatives to coercion. Public and private institutions in the U.S., Canada, and France have funded him to conduct clinical-neuropsychological studies, qualitative investigations, and epidemiological surveys of patients, professionals, and the general population.

In his clinical work for over two decades, he’s developed person-centered methods to withdraw from psychiatric drugs and given workshops on this topic around the world. He designed and launched the CriticalThinkRx web-based Critical Curriculum on Psychotropic Medication for child welfare professionals in 2009, since taken by thousands of practitioners. Tested in a 16-month longitudinal controlled study, CriticalThinkRx was shown to reduce psychiatric prescribing to children in foster care.

He has authored or co-authored over 100 book chapters and articles. Recent co-authored books include Your Drug May be Your Problem (1999/2007), Critical New Perspectives on ADHD (2006), and Mad Science (2013).

David Cohen previously taught at Université de Montréal and Florida International University. In Montreal, he directed the Health & Prevention Social Research Group, and at FIU, he was PhD Program Director and Interim Director of School of Social Work. He held the Fulbright-Tocqueville Chair to France in 2012.

David has received awards for his publications, research, teaching, mentoring, and advocacy. His views have been published in leading newspapers and other popular media.

Mark S. Kaplan

Mark S. Kaplan, Dr.P.H., is professor of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and holds adjunct appointments in psychiatry at the Oregon Health & Science University and in epidemiology and community medicine at the University of Ottawa. He received his doctorate in public health from the University of California, Berkeley and holds master’s degrees in social work and public health with postdoctoral training in preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and private foundations, has focused on using population-wide data to understand suicide risk factors among veterans, seniors and other vulnerable populations.

Dr. Kaplan is the recipient of a Distinguished Investigator Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He has contributed to state and federal suicide prevention initiatives. Dr. Kaplan testified before the Senate Special Committee on Aging at its hearing on veterans’ health and was a member of the Expert Panel on the VA Blue Ribbon Work Group on Suicide Prevention in the Veteran Population. He serves as a scientific advisor to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Currently, he is principal investigator on two National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism funded projects: “Acute alcohol use and suicide” and “Economic contraction and alcohol-associated suicides: A multi-level analysis.”

Larthia Dunham

Larthia R. Dunham is a field educational consultant and has been a faculty member for over twenty one years, teaching gradu-ate level courses in macro social work. He is also affiliated with the University Consortium for Children and Families (UCCF). As part of Larthia’s community engagements, he offers cross-cultural sensitivity workshops and trainings to agencies working with diverse populations. Larthia is a co-founder of Social Workers Beyond Borders, a non-profit international organization, and is also an active member of the National, State, and Local Chapters of the Association of Black Social Workers and a past President of the Association of Black Social Workers of the greater Los Angeles chapter. Larthia’s passion for international social work has led him to develop Summer Immersion Pro-grams where he has taken students to Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana.

Ian W. Holloway

Ian W. Holloway, PhD, LCSW, MPH is a licensed clinical social worker and an associate professor of social welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Professor Holloway’s applied behavioral health research examines the contextual factors that contribute to health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. He is an expert in social network analysis and is particularly interested in how social media and new technologies can be harnessed for health promotion and disease prevention. Dr. Holloway has been a principal investigator on research studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Defense, and the California HIV/AIDS Research Program. He currently directs the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center, which brings the most relevant and timely evidence to bear on California’s efforts to develop and maintain efficient, cost-effective, and accessible programs and services to people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS.

Professor Holloway’s office hours in fall quarter 2019 are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30pm-5pm – sign up here.

Follow him on Twitter

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Holloway IW, Wu ESC, Gildner J, Fennimore VL, Tan D, Randall D, Frew P. Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine uptake among men who have sex with men during a meningococcal outbreak in Los Angeles County, California 2016-2017. Public Health Reports. 2018;133(5):559-569. PMCID: PMC6134560

Holloway IW, Bednarczyk R, Fenimore VL, Goldbeck C, Wu ESC, Himmelstein R, Tan D, Randall L, Lutz CS, Frew PM. Factors associated with immunization opinion leadership among men who have sex with men in Los Angeles, California.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018;15(5):939. PMCID: PMC5981978

Holloway IW, Tan D, Gildner JL, Beougher SC, Pulsipher C, Montoya JA, Plant A, Leibowitz A. Facilitators and barriers to pre-exposure prophylaxis willingness among young men who have sex with men who use geosocial networking applications in California. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2017;31(12): 517-527.

Holloway IW, Traube DE, Schrager SM, Tan D, Dunlap S, et al. Psychological distress, health protection, and sexual practices among young men who have sex with men: Using social action theory to guide HIV prevention efforts. PLOS ONE. 2017:12(9): e0184482.

Holloway IW, Winder TJA, Lea CH, Tan D, Boyd D, Novak D. Technology Use and Preferences for Mobile Phone–Based HIV Prevention and Treatment Among Black Young Men Who Have Sex With Men: Exploratory Research. JMIR. 2017;5(4): e46. PMCID: PMC5408136

Holloway IW, Tan D, Dunlap SL, Palmer L, Beougher S, Cederbaum JA. Network support, technology use, depression, and ART adherence among HIV-positive MSM of color. AIDS Care. 2017;10:1-9. PMID: 28488886

Holloway IW, Dougherty R, Gildner J, Beougher S, Pulsipher C, Montoya JA, Plant A, Leibowitz A. PrEP Uptake, Adherence, and Discontinuation among California YMSM Using Geosocial Networking Applications. JAIDS. 2017;74(1):15-20. PMCID: PMC5140696

Holloway IW. Substance Use Homophily Among Geosocial Networking Application Using Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex With Men. Arch Sex Behav. 2015;44(7):1799-1811. PMCID: PMC4574511

Holloway IW, Pulsipher C, Gibbs J, Barman-Adhikari A, Rice E. Network influences on the sexual risk behaviors of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men using geosocial networking applications. AIDS Behav. 2015;19(Suppl 2):112-122. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0989-3. PMCID: 25572832.

Laura Abrams

Professor Abrams’ scholarship focuses on improving the well being of youth and young adults with histories of incarceration. Her ethnographic studies have examined youths’ experiences of criminality, risk, and institutions seeking to reshape their identities through both therapeutic and punitive practices. These themes are presented in her 2013 book (co-authored with Ben Anderson-Nathe) Compassionate Confinement: A Year in the Life of Unit C, (Rutgers University Press). Her most recent book (c0-authored with Diane Terry) Everyday Desistance: The Transition to Adulthood Among Formerly Incarcerated Youth (Rutgers University Press, 2017), examines how formerly incarcerated young men and women navigate reentry and the transition to adulthood in the context of urban Los Angeles. Dr. Abrams is also the lead editor of a 2016 multidisciplinary volume on the role of volunteers and non-profits in changing lives and promoting more humane conditions in prisons and jails:  The Voluntary Sector in Prisons: Encouraging Personal and Institutional Change (Palgrave, 2016).

Dr. Abrams is currently involved in several studies concerning juvenile justice, reentry, and transition age youth both locally and globally. She recently completed a four year evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Foster Youth Strategic Initiative in Los Angeles and New York City. The Institute on  Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin also funded a pilot  study on global youth justice models in four countries, examining how age and culpability are constructed in law and practice. She is also working with Dr. Elizabeth Barnert at UCLA Department of Pediatrics on a study of very young offenders, incarceration, and health, funded by the University of California Criminal Justice and Health Consortium and the UCLA Faculty Senate Transdisciplinary Seed Grant. Dr. Abrams is currently partnering with professor Laura Wray-Lake (social welfare) on a study of civic engagement among urban youth.

In the community, Dr. Abrams has served as an expert witness for death row appeals and in cases involving minors fighting their fitness to be tried as adults. She has provided public and congressional testimony regarding treatment in the juvenile justice system, the reentry needs of youth, and effective practices for the reintegration of reentry youth into the community. Serving the larger social work profession, Dr. Abrams  is a former vice-chair of the Group for the Advisement for Doctoral Education (GADE) and is currently a board member at large for the Society for Social Work Research. She serves on the editorial board of Social Service Review, Qualitative Social Work, and the International Journal of Social Welfare.

Professor Abrams teaches the following courses: SW 211B- Theory II; SW 285- Advanced Research Methods with Children and Youth; SW286- Qualitative Research Methods; SW 229: The Craft of Social Welfare Scholarship, and SW 290T: Juvenile Justice Policy.

You can follow Dr. Abrams on Twitter or the Facebook page for the Social Welfare Chair

Recent News Releases and Media Interviews:

Vera Institute of Justice: Everyday Desistance

Growing Pains of Formerly Incarcerated Youth 

GPS Rules Send California Juveniles Into a Jail Cycle

Jailed Indiana Teens Reach a Crossroads

MPR News On Abuse in a Private Juvenile Facility

Seeking Justice for Juveniles

More Protections for Juvenile Offenders are Before California Legislators

Take Two: Is Jail for Juveniles Effective in Preventing Future Crime?

Juvenile Arrests Plunged Last Year, why?

Expanding rehabilitation Programs under Federal Decree- NPR

The California Report: NPR