Martin Gilens

Martin Gilens is Chair of the Department of Public Policy. He also is a Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and Social Welfare at UCLA. His research examines representation, public opinion, and mass media, especially in relation to inequality and public policy. Professor Gilens is the author of Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America, and Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy, and coauthor (with Benjamin I. Page) of Democracy in America?: What Has Gone Wrong and What We Can Do about It. He has published widely on political inequality, mass media, race, gender, and welfare politics. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Professor Gilens is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and taught at Yale and Princeton universities before joining the Luskin School at UCLA in 2018. 

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Ayako Miyashita Ochoa

Ayako Miyashita Ochoa is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare.  She serves as Associate Director of 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.  Professor Miyashita’s interests focus on HIV-related health disparities at the intersection of race/ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, and migrant status.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Miyashita directed the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project, a legal services collaborative dedicated to addressing the unmet legal needs of primarily low-income people living with HIV (“PLWH”) in Los Angeles County.  As a Director in the Clinical and Experiential Learning Department at UCLA School of Law, Professor Miyashita taught courses on the attorney-client relationship, client interviewing and counseling, and HIV law and policy.

Currently, Professor Miyashita serves as Co-Principal Investigator on a study to develop a mobile application to improve treatment adherence among HIV-positive African American young men who have sex with men.  During her time at the Williams Institute, her research included research on the unmet legal needs of low-income people living with HIV and impact on health in addition to HIV criminalization and issues related to privacy and confidentiality for people living with HIV.

In her legal practice, Professor Miyashita focused on providing direct legal services to low-income clients living with HIV in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles.  This included assisting clients in obtaining disability benefits and other supports necessary to live independently.  Her legal expertise runs a broad spectrum of public benefits including income support, health coverage, and other support services necessary for individuals living with disabilities.  Professor Miyashita regularly provides training and education to clients, attorneys, advocates, HIV/AIDS service organizations, and legislative and policymaking bodies throughout the state of California.

Professor Miyashita earned her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2009.

Latoya Small

Latoya Small’s scholarship is informed by her work in clinical social work practice and community-based research.

Her research focuses on health disparities, specifically, the intersection of mental health, treatment adherence, and HIV among women and children in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her global research addresses the urgent need for theory-driven, empirically-informed, and sustainable psychosocial HIV treatment approaches for perinatally HIV-infected youth in South Africa.

In the U.S., Dr. Small examines how poverty-related stress, parenting, and mental health interact and relatedly impact adherence in HIV medical services among Black and Latina mothers in urban communities. An extension of her work examining vulnerable youth includes mental health and discrimination among transgender young people.

Dr. Small takes a collaborative approach in her scholarship, recognizing that traditional intra-disciplinary boundaries can impede the development of effective and sustainable research interventions. Her work aims to produce accessible, evidence-informed interventions that bolster youth development and maternal health.

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

Professor Cohen is on sabbatical for Academic Year 2021-2022.

 

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 (iatrogenesis), 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, Cohen has 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 and updated in 2018. 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 120 articles and book chapters. His edited books include Challenging the Therapeutic State (1990), Médicalisation et contrôle social (1996), and Critical New Perspectives on ADHD (2006). His co-authored books include Guide critique des médicaments de l’âme (1995), Your Drug May Be Your Problem (1999/2007), and Mad Science (2013)

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 the School of Social Work. He held the Fulbright-Tocqueville Chair to France in 2012.

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

Selected recent publications

Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications from Participants in Randomized Controlled Trials: A systematic Review (2019)

Incidences of Involuntary Psychiatric Detentions in 25 U.S. States (2020)

Withdrawal Effects Confounding: Another Sign of Needed Paradigm Shift in Psychopharmacology Research (2020)

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.”