Michelle Talley

Michelle Talley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose main area of focus is working with youth and families as it relates to Public Child Welfare. Other areas of interest are issues dealing with domestic violence, substance use, education, and attachment in youth and families.

As a field consultant with the Inter-University Consortium, a collaborative effort of Southern California social work programs that trains social workers in the area of child welfare, Ms. Talley works with first and second-year MSW students placed in the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Ms. Talley has also worked as a mental health clinician dealing with children impacted by abuse and neglect within their family nucleus. Most of the children and families worked with were also dealing with substance use/abuse, criminal issues, education, poverty, and mental health issues in which adversely impacted their family dynamics. Ms. Talley has also worked as an adoption social worker with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. The focus was to locate families and individuals who were interested in providing a permanent home for children in the Child Welfare system.

Jorja Leap

Jorja Leap has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1992.

As a trained anthropologist and recognized expert in crisis intervention and trauma response, she has worked nationally and internationally in violent and post-war settings. Dr. Leap has been involved with training and research for the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as part of post-war development and conflict resolution in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Closer to home, she worked with the families of victims of the 9/11 WTC disaster. Since that time, Dr. Leap has focused on gangs, youth development, juvenile and criminal justice, and reentry at the local, national and international level.  In 2011, Los Angeles Magazine named her one of five “Action Heroes” and in 2012 she was listed as one of the “50 Most Influential Women in Los Angeles.”  At UCLA in 2012, she was the recipient of the Joseph A. Nunn Alumnus of the Year Award.

Research and Community-based Initiatives

Dr. Leap’s research examines gangs, high-risk and system-involved youth, prison culture and the dilemmas faced by the formerly incarcerated working to reenter mainstream society. Her current work is ethnographically driven and community based — designed to inform policymakers and practitioners through rigorous research and evaluation-based knowledge and evidence. As part of these efforts, Dr. Leap is currently the Clinical Director of the Watts Regional Strategy and a member of the California Board of State And Community Corrections (BSCC) Gang Standing Committee.  She also serves as an advisor to the Los Angeles Unified School District Safety and Violence Prevention Executive Advisory Committee. As part of the Advancement Project, Dr. Leap helped to organize and establish the Violence Reduction Applied Research Group and now serves on the AP-Los Angeles County Probation Data Project Research Roundtable. Additionally, Dr. Leap is affiliated with The California Endowment, working as an Evaluation and Learning Specialist for its Building Healthy Communities Initiative.  Along with her efforts in Los Angeles, Dr. Leap serves as an expert reviewer on gangs for the National Institute of Justice. She has testified at local, state and federal legislative committee hearings and at numerous Congressional briefings. Additionally, Dr. Leap has spoken nationally and internationally on gang violence and youth development. She has also been appointed as an expert in death penalty sentencing hearings and has offered expert testimony in criminal cases involving youth and emerging adults.

Current Projects and Writing

Drawing on her expertise in qualitative research and ethnographic methodology, Dr. Leap has conducted numerous evaluations of anti-gang programs including Youth Uprising in Oakland, California and the Los Angeles Unity Collaborative Gang Intervention Program. In 2008, Dr. Leap and Dr. Todd Franke received funding from the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation to initiate a two-year longitudinal evaluation of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention and re-entry program in the United States, which was augmented by funding from The California Wellness Foundation and The California Endowment.  In 2010, they subsequently received funding through Los Angeles Countyto evaluate the HBI-Los Angeles County Gang Intervention and Re-entry Project. Together, these efforts will be expanded to ultimately follow the Homeboy program for five years, and will be the first longitudinal research study of anti-gang efforts ever completed.  Aligned with these efforts, in 2013 Dr. Leap traveled to Scotland to participate in the planning and evaluation of the “Braveheart Violence Intervention Program,” based on the Homeboy model, creating a learning partnership with St. Andrews University. She also is now serving as a qualitative research coordinator for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Department.

In 2011, Dr. Leap began work on a two-year initiative funded by The California Wellness Foundation to inventory community-based efforts, conduct focused evaluation and build capacity in youth development programs throughout California. As an outgrowth of this initiative, she is now is the lead researcher on the Children’s Defense Fund Juvenile Justice Reform Policy Project.  She is also involved in research and community building efforts in South Los Angeles and is currently a lead member of the multi-disciplinary team implementing the parenting program, “Project Fatherhood,” in the Jordan Downs housing project of Watts, South Los Angeles. In addition, she serves as a member of the Jordan Downs Community Advisory Committee.  She is the also part of the UCLA research team funded by the California Community Foundation to evaluate its five year “Building a Lifetime of Options and Opportunities for Men” (BLOOM) Initiative.  As a result of this work, Dr. Leap now serves as the Director of the UCLA Social Justice Research Partnership.

Dr. Leap is the author of numerous evaluation reports, articles, book chapters as well as the book, No One Knows Their Names. She has recently completed a chapter on gang membership prevention for a book to be published jointly by the National Institute of Justice and the Center for Disease Control as well as a chapter on Gangs, Violence and Drugs for the volume, Violence: A Global Health Priority to be published by Oxford University Press.   Her newest book, Jumped In:  What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption was published by Beacon Press in March 2012.  All proceeds from this book will go to Homeboy Industries.  Dr. Leap is currently writing her next book, focusing on Project Fatherhood and the Watts community.

Downloads and other Links:

 

Lené Levy-Storms

Lené Levy-Storms’ core research concerns communication issues between health care providers and patients. Older adults with their increased risk of having chronic care needs and limited social relationships may depend on formal health care providers for technical assistance as well as emotional support. In 2003, Dr. Levy-Storms received career development award from the National Institute on Aging titled, “Therapeutic Communication during Nursing Home Care.” In this five year study, she is focusing on communication issues between nursing home staff and frail, older residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has approached this problem in three ways. First, she has devised a way to code open-ended comments from nursing home residents about their interactions with staff into indicators of perceived emotional and instrumental support. Second, she has adapted audio and video-based measures of communication between providers and patients in medical care settings to that of the nursing home setting. She is in the process of linking the residents’ perceived support to the nursing aides’ communication behaviors. Nursing aides provide the most care to residents of all nursing home staff. Third, she has been piloting a communication training program to improve the way nursing aides communicate with residents during care.

Dr. Levy-Storms has B.S. degree in psychology from UC Davis, a MPH in biostatistics and PhD in public health. From 1998-2000, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Gerontology and a fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. In 2000, she joined the UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics as an assistant professor. At that time, she also became an associate director of the UCLA/Borun Center for Gerontological Research, an appointment which she continues to hold. The Borun Center is based at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, CA and focuses on applied research to improve the quality of life of older adults in long-term care settings. She now holds a joint appointment with Medicine and Social Welfare.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents
Bates-Jensen BM, Schnelle JF, Alessi CA, Al-Samarra N, Levy-Storms, L. (2004). “Factors related to Excessive In-Bed Times among Nursing Home Residents.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 931-8

Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening
Levy-Storms L, Bastani R, Reuben DB. (2004). “Predictors of Different Levels of Non-adherence to Mammography Screening: Implications for Interventions.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 768-773

Disciplinary Split
Reuben DB, Levy-Storms L, Nitta-Yee M, Lee M, Cole K, Waite M, Nichols L, Frank JC. (2004). “Disciplinary Split: A Threat to Geriatrics Interdisciplinary Team Training” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 52: 1000-6

A Comparison of Methods to Assess Nursing Home Residents’ Unmet Needs
Levy-Storms, Lené, John Schnelle, Sandra F. Simmons. (2002). The Gerontologist, 42, 454-461

Use of mammography screening among older Samoan women in Los Angeles county
Levy-Storms, Lené, Steven P. Wallace. (2003). Social Science and Medicine, 57(6): 987-1000

Patterns of Family Visiting with Institutionalized Elderly
Yamamoto-Mitani, Noriko, Carol Aneshensel, Lené Levy-Storms (2002). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57B, (4), S234-S246

The Transition from Home to Nursing Home: Mortality among People with Dementia
Aneshensel, Carol, Leonard Pearlin, Lené Levy-Storms, Roberleigh Schuler. (2000). Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences,55B, (3), S152-S162

Social Relationships, Gender, and Allostatic Load across Two Age Cohorts
Seeman, Teresa E., Burt Singer, Carol Ryff, Gayle Dienberg Love, Lené Levy-Storms. (2002). Psychosomatic Medicine, 64(3), 395-406

Family Caregiver Involvement and Satisfaction with Institutional Care during the First Year after Admission
Levy-Storms L, Miller D. Journal of Applied Gerontology

The Minimum Data Set Depression Quality Indicator
Simmons SF, Cadogan MP, Cabrera GR, Al-Samarrai NR, Jorge JS, Levy-Storms L, Osterweil D, Schnelle JF. The Gerontologist

Paul Ong

Professor Ong has done research on the labor market status of minorities and immigrants, displaced high-tech workers, work and spatial/transportation mismatch, and environmental justice. He is currently engaged in several projects, including an analysis of the relationship between sustainability and equity, the racial wealth gap, and the role of urban structures on the reproduction of inequality.

Previous research projects have included studies of the impact of defense cuts on California’s once-dominant aerospace industry, the impact of immigration on the employment status of young African Americans, and the influence of car ownership and subsidized housing on welfare usage.

Dr. Ong is the Director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and editor of AAPI Nexus, and has served as an advisor to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and to the California Department of Social Services and the state Department of Employment Development, as well as the Wellness Foundation and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

He received a master’s in urban planning from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Economics, University of California, Berkeley. Along with his quantitative research, his professional practice includes teaching and applying visual forms of communication.

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Set-Aside Contracting in S.B.A.’s 8(A) Program
Paul Ong, Review of Black Political Economy Vol 28, No. 3, Winter 2001, pp. 59-71.

Car Ownership and Welfare-to-Work
Paul M. Ong, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 21, No. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 255-268.

Impacts of Affirmative Action: Policies and Consequences in California
Paul Ong, editor,  Alta Mira Press, 1999.

The State of Asian Pacific America: Transforming Race Relations
Paul M. Ong, editor, Asian Pacific American Public Policy Institute, LEAP and UCLA AASC, Los Angeles, CA, 2000.

The New Asian Immigration in Los Angeles and Global Restructuring
Paul Ong, Edna Bonacich, and Lucie Cheng, editors, Temple University Press, 1994.

Laura Alongi Brinderson

Laura Alongi is a licensed clinical social worker whose interests lie in mental health issues with children, adolescents, and their families. She is also interested in parenting education and training, and the early childhood bonding process.

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, she works with first- and second-year students, and is involved in recruiting promising child welfare candidates.

Alongi has worked as a social worker in community mental health clinics including South Bay Child Guidance, the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center, and Aviva Children and Family Services. She worked primarily with emotionally disturbed children and their families, both in individual/family and group modalities. She was also a supervisor for several years, and was involved in program development and administration when she served as a program director for the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center.

Currently, she has a small private practice, and provides supervision and consultation to new and unlicensed social workers.

LinkedIn profile

Todd Franke

Trained in social work and educational psychology, Professor Franke seeks to achieve a better understanding of, and improve the responsiveness of service systems in the fields of social services, education and health. Using cognitive theory to better define policy issues related to the integration of these two important fields, Dr. Franke’s research has focused in part on the impact of disability and chronic illness on school-age children. He is currently conducting a study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, on the use of personal assistance services for children with disabilities. In addition, Dr. Franke studies how adolescents solve social problems; urban mobility and its impact on children’s education and social development; and how to successfully integrate health and social services in school settings.

Dr. Franke is active in several local and regional efforts to restructure social services in the schools, helping to conceptualize planning and implementation and the design of evaluation measures in Los Angeles Unified School District, the country’s second-largest school district. He also serves as a consultant to local school districts for the preparation of funding proposals for Healthy Start, a state program to establish linkages between community social service agencies and schools. HIs primary work occurs at the intersection of youth violence (child welfare and gang involved youth) and education. In these areas he designs and undertakes evaluative research and has obtained over $9 million in research funding over the past 7 years. He is currently the Associate Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities.

Dr. Franke has been involved with agencies that serve thousands of families representing unique geographic and cultural communities in California, particularly southern California counties. He recently prepared a report for the Los Angeles City Council which examines the measurement issues involved in assessing the success of gang-related and youth development prevention and intervention programs in the city. The link between involvement in the child welfare system and gang involvement is well documented. Dr. Franke is currently the Co-PI of the Best Start LA Initiative which aims to shape, strengthen and support five Los Angeles communities by building resources and providing access to activities that improve the well-being, development and care experienced by pregnant women, parents of newborns and children age 3 and under.

Dr. Franke was also the Principal Investigator for the First 5 LA-funded Partnership for Families Initiative, which is a secondary prevention initiative that is designed to prevent child maltreatment in vulnerable families. Dr. Franke has been the PI for the Small County Initiative, which was designed to systematically examine California’s efforts to build and enhance child abuse and neglect prevention efforts in 11 rural counties in northern California. Additionally, he has numerous years of experience in conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal research in the fields of education, child welfare and adolescent violence.