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

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 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.

To schedule a virtual appointment with Dr. Holloway, click here: https://calendly.com/hollowayluskin/officehours

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.

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 faculty of the Department of Social welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs since 1992. As an anthropologist and recognized expert in gangs, violence, and trauma, she develops, coordinates, and directs community based participatory research that leads to practice and policy recommendations at the local, state and national levels.  Dr. Leap applies a multi-disciplinary, community-based approach to her research and developmental efforts and has brought this approach to her work globally in violent and post-war settings all of her career.  Her current work focuses on gangs and community justice in multi-cultural settings, criminal justice and prison reform, and the dilemmas faced by individuals reentering society after incarceration, including women, a group often overlooked.

Dr. Leap serves as policy advisor on Gangs and Youth Violence for Los Angeles County and as an expert reviewer on gangs for the National Institute of Justice. She has served  as the Clinical Director of the Watts Regional Strategy and as the qualitative research director for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) Program.  She has also been appointed to the State of California, Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), Standing Committee on Gang Issues. Drawing upon her research, Dr. Leap has provided commentary on numerous television, radio and newspaper stories about gangs. In 2009, Dr. Leap began a longitudinal study at Homeboy Industries, focusing on the life histories of program participants as they encounter the dual challenges of leaving gang life and reentering mainstream society. Continuing to the present, this research has extended to assessing their social enterprise model, concentrating on the Homegirl Café and its training program for women.

Dr. Leap has been deeply involved with The California Endowment Building Healthy Communities Initiative, creating and implementing action evaluation within underserved and marginalized populations whose service providers are funded by TCE.  Most recently, Dr. Leap helped as TCE developed their “Sons and Brothers” Project as part of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Initiative.   This work also included case study of “A New Way of Life,” an innovative prison reentry program for women based in South Los Angeles.  This work grew into a more sustained effort and Dr. Leap is now working closely with Susan Burton, founder and executive director of ANWOL, helping her to develop the SAFE House nationwide reentry model.    Additionally, with funding from The California Wellness Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, GRoW@Annenberg and the Ballmer Foundation, Dr. Leap is the co-founder of the Watts Leadership Institute.  Along with its co-founder, Karrah Lompa, Dr. Leap works closely with the community-based leaders of Watts, helping to build capacity in this vibrant and resilient community.  She is also currently engaged in a multi-year evaluation of an innovative, violence prevention and reduction program in Newark, New Jersey, the Newark Community Street Team (NCST).

In addition to her commitment to community based research and engagement, Dr. Leap offers expert testimony on gangs as well as the impact of violence and trauma in death penalty/capital cases as well as criminal cases across the country.  She has testified in state and federal court  and continues to work on expanding knowledge and understanding of the multiple factors that may shape human behavior and its relationship to crime.

Since 2011, Dr. Leap has served as the Executive Director of the UCLA Social Justice Research Partnership, which is affiliated with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Violence Prevention Alliance. As part of her action research efforts, Dr. Leap has authored numerous reports, articles, and book chapters as well as the book, Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me about Violence, Love, Drugs and Redemption published by Beacon Press in 2012, with all proceeds going to Homeboy Industries and most recently the book: Project Fatherhood: A Story of Courage and Healing in One of America’s Most Troubled Communities published by Beacon Press in June 2015, with all proceeds going to Project Fatherhood. She is at work on her next book, which will focus on the issues of women, gangs and trauma and will be published by Beacon Press in 2021.

Dr. Leap was honored to receive the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019 and the UCLA Luskin School Undergraduate Faculty of the Year Award in 2020.

 

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.