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Alumni Awards Recognize Three With Ties to Luskin School Debra Duardo, Sheila Kuehl and Kristen Torres Pawling are honored for their service to UCLA and their communities

By Manon Snyder

The UCLA Alumni Association will pay tribute to policymakers, activists and other leaders for their lifelong dedication to bringing Bruin values into the world.

Of the seven 2022 UCLA Award honorees who will be recognized at a May 21 ceremony at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, three have ties to the Luskin School of Public Affairs:

Debra Duardo — UCLA Award for Public Service

Duardo is a triple Bruin who earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and Chicana/o studies in 1994, her master’s in social work in 1996 and a doctorate in 2013 from what was then called the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. In 2013, she was named UCLA Luskin’s Joseph A. Nunn Social Welfare Alumnus of the Year.

After having to drop out of high school to work full time and postponing higher education until her late 20s, Duardo has dedicated her career to ensuring a safe environment for underrepresented students. Duardo worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 20 years and in 2016 was appointed Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools by the county board of supervisors, where she continues to pursue equity for 2 million students.

Sheila Kuehl — Edward A. Dickinson Alum of the Year

Kuehl earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 1962. She is a former University of California Regents’ Professor in public policy at UCLA Luskin, where she received the Ruth Roemer Social Justice Leadership Award for her work in homelessness.

Kuehl has been a lifelong trailblazer for women’s rights and queer representation in politics. In 1994, Kuehl was the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to the California Legislature, and throughout her many tenures in public office, she has passed important bills advancing the rights of disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles County and California as a whole. She will retire from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this year. Kuehl has been previously honored by UCLA in 1993 with the UCLA Award for Community Service and in 2000 with the UCLA Award for Public Service.

Kuehl attended UCLA at the same time as she was filming “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” playing the character of Zelda Gilroy. Upon graduation from UCLA, she became an associate dean of students. In addition to her position as a Regents’ Professor at UCLA Luskin, Kuehl taught law at UCLA, USC and Loyola Law School.

Kristen Torres Pawling — Young Alumnus of the Year

Pawling completed her bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from UCLA in 2009 and her master’s in urban and regional planning in 2012. She served as an executive fellow in the office of the chair on California climate change policy in Sacramento, where she also joined the Sacramento Alumni Network and helped grow its young alumni program. Pawling brought her expertise to the climate crisis as an air pollution specialist for the California Air Resources Board Transportation Planning Branch and helped the Natural Resources Defense Council’s urban solutions department implement its strategic plan in Los Angeles. She is currently the sustainability program director for Los Angeles County.

Other 2022 UCLA Award honorees are:

UCLA Alumni Band — Network of the Year

Monica Ebeltoft — Volunteer of the Year

Alberto Retana — UCLA Award for Community Service

A. Wallace Tashima — UCLA Award for Professional Achievement

Read more about all of the 2022 UCLA Award Recipients.

Gary Segura Reappointed to 2nd Term as UCLA Luskin Dean

Gary Segura will be continuing as dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

An announcement to the UCLA campus was issued May 5 by Michael S. Levine, interim executive vice chancellor and provost. Here is the text of that announcement:

Following the customary administrative review, I am pleased to share that Gary Segura has been reappointed for a second term as the dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs. The review committee praised Dean Segura for his leadership skills, his commitment to faculty excellence and diversity, and his pioneering efforts to elevate and expand his school’s academic offerings.

Since his appointment in 2016, Dean Segura has fostered within the Luskin School a deep commitment to academic excellence and to equity, diversity and inclusion that has led to a highly diverse pool of students in the school’s programs and the appointment of renowned scholars in areas such as poverty and inequality, immigration, criminal justice, education policy and more. In 2021, Luskin School faculty members were among the top 2% for scholarly citations worldwide in their respective fields. The Luskin School is one of the most diverse schools of its kind in the UC system and amongst public affairs programs throughout the country.

Over the last five years, Dean Segura has helped to cement the Luskin School’s status as a leader in research, teaching and practice across the areas of social welfare, urban planning and public policy. Recognizing growing demand for his school’s programs, in 2018 he led the development of the undergraduate major in public affairs, which provides a multidisciplinary foundation in social science theories, data collection and analysis. Additionally, the school launched a certificate program in data analytics in fall 2021 and added a new dual master’s degree program offered jointly by our Urban Planning Department and the Urban School of Sciences Po in Paris.

Dean Segura also co-founded the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative in 2017 to address inequities and spread awareness of the most critical domestic policy challenges facing Latinos and other communities of color. The initiative received $3 million in ongoing annual state funding for its research, advocacy and mobilization efforts.

We are grateful to have such a dedicated leader as Dean Segura at the helm of the Luskin School. Chancellor Block and I look forward to his continued efforts to strengthen and advance the public affairs disciplines at UCLA and to the impact his work will have on diverse communities near and far.

Please join me in congratulating Dean Segura on his accomplishments over the past five years and in wishing him success throughout his second term.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Levine
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Rose Bowl Honors Former Chancellor Young

The Rose Bowl Stadium dedicated the UCLA Home Locker Room in honor of Charles E. Young, former chancellor of the university and professor emeritus of public policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Young served as chancellor from 1968 to 1997. In 1982, he selected the Rose Bowl as the home of Bruin football. “While it was 40 years ago, the decision to use the Rose Bowl Stadium as the home field of UCLA football still stands out in my mind as one of the more important decisions I made regarding UCLA Athletics during my tenure as chancellor of UCLA,” Young said. “The boost that gave to UCLA football in the 1980s under Terry Donahue and to all fans of UCLA Athletics remains vivid in my mind even today.” A Pasadena Now article noted that the ceremony honoring Young’s contributions to UCLA and the city of Pasadena comes as the Rose Bowl, opened in 1922, is marking its centennial year.


 

School Rises to Top 12 — and Top 10 for Social Work — in U.S. News Graduate Ranking Enhanced reputation is an indicator of ongoing work to meet and exceed high expectations for Luskin School and its Social Welfare programs.

UCLA Luskin’s overall ranking is in the top dozen among public affairs graduate schools in the nation based on the latest U.S. News & World Report ratings released today, including a Top 10 ranking in the social work category.

The School tied with other prestigious programs — Princeton, NYU, Georgetown and Carnegie Mellon at No. 12 and at No. 9 in social work with Case Western Reserve University.

“I am proud of the work that the Luskin School has done and continues to do. This ranking among national public affairs schools is just one indicator of the Luskin School’s continued growth and ongoing work to maintain and exceed our high expectations,” Dean Gary Segura said. “And the leap into the Top 10 for Social Welfare is a gigantic achievement! These reputational enhancements reflection the hard work and the continuing commitment of, and to, our UCLA and UCLA Luskin community, faculty, students, staff and all those that support and contribute to our mission,” he said.

“I am thrilled that our peers have rated us one of the top 10 social work programs in the nation,” said Laura Abrams, chair and professor of social welfare. “In the last five years, we have streamlined our Master of Social Welfare curriculum into three areas of concentration and incorporated several new elements, such as Intergroup Dialogue and the second-year capstone research projects.”

Abrams also noted the recruitment of new faculty members who are doing cutting-edge teaching, scholarship and community-based work.

“Dean Segura has been incredibly supportive of our expansion and increasing our visibility on the national stage. I couldn’t be more pleased to see our MSW program being honored in this way,” Abrams said.

Among public universities, the UCLA Luskin Social Welfare program is now one of the top six nationwide and the top two in California.

The School — with graduate departments in Public Policy, Social Welfare and Urban Planning, and a Public Affairs undergraduate program — also received high marks for subcategories that include urban policy (No. 7), social policy (No. 7), public policy analysis (No. 13) and health policy and management (No. 12).

The 2023 rankings of public affairs programs are published in 2022 based on peer assessment survey results from fall 2021 and early 2022. U.S. News surveyed deans, directors and department chairs representing 270 master’s programs in public affairs and administration, and 298 social work programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. The National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work supplied U.S. News with the lists of accredited social work schools and programs, plus the respondents’ names.

See the full list of the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools, published today.

UCLA Luskin Students Host First In-Person Event at Golden Age Park

Students affiliated with the UCLA (Un)Common Public Space group hosted more than 100 attendees on Feb. 26 to celebrate Golden Age Park, a pocket park in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles that incorporates ideas championed by Urban Planning Professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. The Saturday afternoon event included food, games and music provided by 45 members of the Heart of Los Angeles’ Intergenerational Orchestra. Five members of a Shakespeare troupe also performed an excerpt from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Gus Wendel MURP ’17, a doctoral student in urban planning at UCLA, said the (Un)Common Public Space group was formed in 2021 as a collective of community members, students, researchers, performers and public space activists with the goal of activating public spaces in different neighborhoods using research, performance and community-based events. Usage of Golden Age Park, which opened in 2019, had been hindered by its relative newness and by the COVID-19 pandemic. A primary purpose of the event was to build local awareness of the park’s presence and to promote its intergenerational appeal. “By creating opportunities for people of all ages to share time, space and experiences, intergenerational public spaces support engagement, learning and understanding across generations,” Wendel said. In addition to students in UCLA Luskin’s urban planning program, organizers and supporters included the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, UCLA cityLAB, the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT) and St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS). The UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative provided additional support, as did the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation.

View additional photos on Flickr:

Golden Age Park celebration

 

Wray-Lake Helps Launch Journal’s Series on Racism and Youth

UCLA Luskin scholar Laura Wray-Lake served as co-editor of the March issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence that features 17 papers and four commentaries that address the sweeping impact of racism and other systems of oppression on Black youth. Titled “Black Lives Matter!: Systems of Oppression Affecting Black Youth,” the special issue calls for new ways to combat racism and intersecting oppressions and improve the lives of Black adolescents. In their introduction, Wray-Lake and co-authors Dawn P. Witherspoon of Pennsylvania State University and Linda C. Halgunseth of the University of Connecticut write that the commentaries “provide a historical view and future perspective to contextualize how far we have come and how much farther we need to go in our quest to combat racism and other systems of oppression and improve the lives of Black adolescents.” The issue kicks off a series in which the journal will be focusing on dismantling systems of racism and oppression during adolescence. Wray-Lake, an associate professor of social welfare at UCLA, will also be co-editor for the second and third parts of the series, and she will be lead editor for the fourth, which will appear in the September issue of the journal.


 

Meyer Luskin Shares Insights on Responsible Entrepreneurship

Meyer Luskin, benefactor and namesake of the Luskin School of Public Affairs, spoke to UCLA students about leadership skills and responsible entrepreneurship at a March 3 gathering held in person and via Zoom. Luskin shared stories from a long and varied career in investment advising, oil and gas, rental cars, beauty schools and, ultimately, the recycling of food waste. Scope Industries, the company he has led for more than six decades, turns tons of bakery goods that would otherwise have gone to landfills into food for livestock. “Meyer is a businessman who invented a business, and that’s not common,” UCLA Luskin Dean Gary Segura said at the event. “Meyer had an idea, and his idea was to take something most people threw away and make it into something useful.” Luskin’s talk included stories from his own UCLA education, which was interrupted by a tour of duty during World War II, and his experiences facing anti-Semitism as a young businessman. Luskin advised students embarking on their careers to examine their motivations, acknowledge conflicts of interests and uphold the highest ethics. “You have to be retrospective about yourself,” he said. “You have to take time to think about what you’ve done and where you’re going and who you are and what you want.” He encouraged those blessed with success in business to act responsibly and generously. “The first principle is get good people, pay them well, think about them,” he said. “When you do something that’s right, it comes back and helps you. … It just works that way in a long life.” 

View photos and a video from the event.

A Conversation With Meyer Luskin


 

New Lab Aims to Advance Access to Affordable, Safe Water  UCLA’s Human Right to Water Solutions Lab expands research on drinking water across the nation

Since 2012, Californians have had a legal right to clean water — yet safe, affordable water is not always easily accessible throughout the state.

Issues like high water bills, contaminated water sources and outdated infrastructure complicate water access, especially in frontline communities — all against a backdrop of chronic drought in some of our most water-limited regions. Researchers are working to find solutions that make water access more just, including at a new research lab at UCLA.

To address the most pressing challenges in realizing safe, clean water throughout the country, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation has launched the Human Right to Water Solutions Lab. The lab is led by Gregory Pierce, co-director of the Luskin Center for Innovation, adjunct assistant professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs and co-director of the UCLA Water Resources Group. In addition, the lab is advised by collaborators from across the nation.  

Pierce and his research team have helped to guide California’s efforts to provide safe drinking water for all residents, as well as develop a plan for the first statewide low-income water rate assistance program in the nation. Now, the new lab is expanding its work across the country to support policy, advocacy and civic leadership solutions to improve water access, quality and affordability — the three key pillars of the human right to water.

“As lab director, I hope to cultivate a space to collectively improve access to clean water,” Pierce said. “This lab builds on the Luskin Center for Innovation’s broader goals to collaborate with community leaders and policymakers who can use our research to advance environmental equity.”

The lab has three objectives:

  • Advance fundamental research on water access, quality and affordability solutions
  • Support and amplify the efforts of community, scholarly and policy partners working to realize the human right to water
  • Make data and training resources collected or generated through research more useful to the public

The new Los Angeles County Water Governance Mapping Tool illustrates the lab’s dedication to making data more accessible and useful for the public. Developed in collaboration with community-based organizations and the Water Foundation, this interactive visualization tool provides information about Los Angeles County’s complex network of water systems, each managed by a separate set of decision-makers and policies.

“We’re hoping to support Angelenos to understand where their water comes from and who is managing it,” said Peter Roquemore, a researcher in the lab and at the Luskin Center for Innovation. “There are more than 200 different community water systems in the county — it’s a complex system. This information can help hold water system leaders accountable to provide clean and affordable drinking water.”

The Human Right to Water Solutions Lab builds on the work of the Luskin Center for Innovation’s water program, which, under Pierce’s leadership, has grown over the past seven years from a single staff member to a team of more than 15 staff and students producing research to advance water access and equity. 

Map of Los Angeles County water districts

Visit UCLA’s new Los Angeles County Water Governance Mapping Tool to search an address and access information including:

  • Name of the water system that supplies water to the address
  • Names of board members who direct the policies of that water system
  • Demographics, tenure, and pay of individual board members
  • Methods for selecting board members, including eligibility and election cycles
  • Average cost and relative affordability of water from the system
  • Safety and quality of water from the system
  • Water operator qualifications

Callahan Named Co-Executive Director of Luskin Center for Innovation

Colleen Callahan MA UP ’10 has been appointed as co-executive director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. She served as the founding deputy director for 12 years, playing an integral part in building the research center from the ground up. The new role reflects Callahan’s experience, the growing trajectory of the center and its goals for the future. In this expanded position, Callahan plans to increase strategic engagement and partnership initiatives to maximize the center’s impact on public policies and other environmental innovations for the health of people and the planet. “It’s both an exciting and daunting time to step into this role,” Callahan said. “Bold action on the climate crisis is urgently needed. I’m humbled to have this opportunity to expand the center’s collaborations with frontline communities, policymakers and others to help advance solutions.” With 18 years of experience in social entrepreneurship, environmental policy and urban planning, Callahan will amplify the work of the Luskin Center for Innovation’s 20 faculty affiliates, 12 full-time staff, and more than 25 part-time researchers and consultants. The new executive director position will enhance the center’s leadership structure, with Greg Pierce sharing the executive leadership role with Callahan. In addition, V. Kelly Turner and Pierce, faculty in the department of urban planning, are leading the center’s research programs as co-directors. Together, they bring a shared commitment and strong capacity to advance evidence-based and equitable environmental policies. Rounding out the team will be a new faculty director in the coming year. 

Read full story


 

Dean’s Message

And in the blink of an eye, five years has come and gone.

This is my 11th Forum column. I write after an extraordinary period of change in the world, and at UCLA Luskin. We do our work in the world, on real problems facing real people, families and communities. When I arrived five years ago, I made a commitment to embrace and enhance the School’s well-established mission of helping, of doing good in the world. I believe we have kept that promise, and each day I am stunned to see the astounding efforts of my colleagues in implementing that vision through research, training and action.

Five years ago, I could not have envisioned the pandemic, the insurrection and the myriad crises of these last two years. New challenges and new opportunities, daunting and exciting at the same time, have emerged from this upheaval. Out of the old will emerge new patterns, changed institutions, terrible losses and unanticipated opportunities. Exactly what those will look like is hard to foresee. But the Luskin School will certainly be trying.

What can UCLA Luskin do to enhance our understanding of COVID-19, of the political upheavals of the last years, of the social changes being set into motion by both? In this issue, we highlight ways in which Luskin research has immediate impact on the world around us.

Our work on inequality and displacement is never more needed than now, when the homelessness and affordable housing crises collide with large-scale economic struggle during the pandemic, and
a 40-year growth in income inequality.

Our work on housing and transportation can certainly inform our understanding of the “great resignation” or the withdrawal of substantial segments of the workforce from active participation. There is very little question that priorities have shifted for millions of Americans, less willing to work for minimum wage, less willing to take that second job (or, for couples, third job), less willing to

commute for hours a day. The death of hundreds of thousands of our countrymen, the 18 months of remote work, clearly reshaped choices.

Similarly, our expertise in these areas cannot help but inform the changing nature of work and workplaces after nearly two years of remote employment for many. Telecommuting pre-dates the pandemic, but these last two years have revolutionized our understanding of what tasks require in-person labor, and how supervisors can effectively monitor those working from home. Clearly some of this work was not ideal, but we discovered that some workers did just fine! In this context, hours of commuting and parking costs are hard to justify when they don’t improve productivity or enhance service.

Our expertise on health and health care disparities, disruptions in the insurance market, depression and mental health challenges, and lack of services to the poor, to marginalized communities and the homeless is made more urgent in the wake of clear and undeniable effects of this inequality on Los Angeles and beyond. We have witnessed wildly uneven mortality rates, testing and vaccination efforts, and untreated morbidities that have made a terrible situation worse for those who have the least.

Communities of color, among those most disadvantaged in the pandemic, have also seen their political voice weakened by vote dilution and voter suppression, and by a history of the use of the criminal justice system as social regulation. The UCLA Voting Rights Project at Luskin may be coming to a courtroom near you as we fight to protect the franchise and American democracy. When those most disadvantaged take to the streets in frustration, they are likely to face hostile law enforcement and attempts at suppression. Minority experiences in the U.S. justice system have historically been problematic under the best of circumstances and even more so in these times of social stress and the ongoing tragedy of unjustified killings. Thankfully, these events, too, are the subject of inquiry in all Luskin departments.

The distinction between the Luskin School and much of academia is reflected in words written by Marx 133 years ago in his 11th Thesis on Feuerbach: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”

Gary

Events

Luskin Summit 2022: Safeguarding Our Democracy

LUSKIN SUMMIT 2022: Research in Action

TUESDAY, FEB. 15

Safeguarding Our Democracy

This online session led by professor Matt Barreto of the UCLA Voting Rights Project will take a close look at restrictive voting efforts in 47 states, particularly legislative attempts to stifle the voting rights of communities of color in Arizona, Georgia and Texas.

February-April: Additional online webinars on various topics, many with a global perspective.

End of April: Presentation by Zev Yaroslavsky of the Luskin School about the results of the seventh annual Quality of Life Index.

Notes:

  • Details about participants in the various panel discussions are being released as sessions draw near and will also be posted on the Summit registration page.
  • All events will allow for remote access. Any in-person presentations that occur will be planned in full accordance with the latest UCLA and Los Angeles County COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
  • Visit the LUSKIN SUMMIT LANDING PAGE for more information on future Summit sessions.

UCLA Luskin Undergraduate Open House

The Luskin School of Public Affairs faculty and staff invite you to attend the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House to (re)connect with your Luskin community. Whether you are new to the public affairs major or are a continuing student looking to reconnect with your Luskin network, this is the event for you!

The Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House will feature a welcome from the Luskin Dean and Chair of the Undergraduate Program, and offer social activities for you to connect with your Luskin faculty, academic counselors and peers. Can’t make it? Follow us on Instagram @UCLALuskinUG during Welcome Week and connect with a Luskin academic counselor at www.luskin.ucla.edu/undergrad.

Registration is required to attend the UCLA Luskin Public Affairs Undergraduate Open House. Please register by Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 11:59pm (PST). REGISTER HERE

Keeping Our Community Safe

To ensure the safety of everyone in attendance, we will follow the UCLA COVID-19 health and safety protocols as outlined on the UCLA COVID-19 Resources website (https://covid-19.ucla.edu). All attendees will be required to wear a face covering. If you are feeling unwell or are unable to come to campus we invite you to join us online by following us on Instagram (@UCLALuskinUG). All registrants will receive electronic copies of the materials shared during the event.

Ayad Akhtar on the American Muslim Experience

Hear from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and award-winning novelist Ayad Akhtar, whose writing covers themes including the American-Muslim experience, family and friendship, religion and economics, immigration and identity.

Following his remarks, Akhtar will take part in a conversation and Q&A with Ali Behdad, John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature in the UCLA Department of English.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Registration is required for this virtual event, which is free and open to UCLA faculty, students, alumni and members of the general public. Register here.
  • Details are subject to change; please check this website for updated information.
  • For questions or more information contact collegeevents@support.ucla.edu

QUESTIONS FOR AYAD AKHTAR

Submitted questions will be reviewed by the deans and moderator. Due to time constraints, not all questions will be asked.

This lecture is part of the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership series presented by UCLA College, UCLA School of Law, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and UCLA Social Sciences.

 

trans/BORDER/ing: Aesthetics of Disturbance, Undocumentary Flight

Join us on Friday, February 19, 2021 for trans/BORDER/ing: The Aesthetics of Disturbance and Undocumentary Flight, a panel discussion presented by EDT 2.0, the Winter 2021 Virtual Residents at the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

Featured speakers:

  • Amy Sara Carroll, Associate Professor of Literature & Writing, UCSD
  • Ricardo Dominguez, Associate Professor of Visual Arts & Principal Investigator at CALIT2/QI, UCSD
  • SA Smythe, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies & African American Studies, UCLA
  • Maurice Stierl, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Warwick, UK
  • Maite Zubiaurre, Professor of European Languages & Transcultural Studies (ELTS), Spanish and Portuguese, Digital Humanities, and Urban Humanities, UCLA

Moderated by Veronika Zablotsky, Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality & Democracy

As thousands of asylum seekers and migrants are forced into lethal crossings as a result of post-1994 “prevention through deterrence” strategies in the ever expanding U.S.-Mexican borderlands each year, the pan-Mediterranean Sea in the early twenty-first century has been reinvented as one of the globe’s deadliest border regions of impeded passage. This convening compares and contrasts these two distinct literal and imaginary necropolitical zones. Activist scholars and artivists on both sides of the Atlantic will reflect on strategies of disturbance and resistance in place to assist border crossers. Decentering aid narratives and regimes of visualization that support surveillance and capture, the goal will be generative transdisciplinary dialogue on flight facilitation, “undocumentary” aesthetics, and the ethics of witnessing after humanitarianism/s.

Featuring the work of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0,  the Watch The Med Alarmphone project, the Forensic Empathy project at UCLA, and critical scholarly perspectives on the Black Mediterranean.

Luskin Summit 2021: Called to Action

The 2021 Luskin Summit will be a series of webinars focusing on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other important public policy issues. Here are the confirmed sessions for which registration is now available:

 

2 p.m., Jan. 28: Keynote Address — Kickoff session with Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California Assembly since 2016. He was first elected in 2012 to represent the 63rd Assembly District in southeast Los Angeles County.


Feb. 4: Preparing for Even Wilder Wildfires — Wildfires ravaged an unprecedented amount of California in the past 12 months. This session will explore the impacts of wildfires on health, low-income housing and small water systems, as well as highlight innovative tactics to increase resiliency, especially for populations that are most vulnerable to wildfire.


Feb. 10: The Threat of Mass Evictions and an Opportunity to Rethink Housing — The economic slump precipitated by COVID-19 has led to evictions in California and across the country, and the problem seems likely to get worse. This crisis calls for an immediate response, but it also offers an opportunity to rethink housing policies and our housing system, addressing longstanding failings.


Feb. 17: A Landmark Opportunity for Park Equity — The pandemic has proved the importance of public parks for our physical and mental well-being, as well as the environmental health of communities. During this watershed moment, new funding offers an opportunity to improve access to public spaces for all. This discussion will illuminate pathways to increase park equity in Los Angeles and beyond.


Feb. 22: Transit Impacts: Fewer Riders, More Homelessness — The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected public transit systems. Fewer people are riding, public health protocols and workforce reductions are complicating operations, more people experiencing homelessness are turning to transit for shelter, and financial shortfalls loom large. This panel will explore these challenges as agencies struggle to recover.


Feb. 24: Sexual Health: Hooking Up With Home-Based Testing and Telemedicine — Investment in home-based testing, telemedicine and partner-delivered therapy for sexually transmitted infections are among the options to deliver sexual health care remotely. Implementation of these strategies in L.A. County has traditionally been slow, but the uptick in remote delivery of medical services amid the pandemic presents an opportunity to integrate more remote practices for sexual health care.


REGISTER TODAY!

 

Planned but not yet open for registration: 

February or March: A micro-summit with at least three sessions in one day focusing on adaptive reuse of commercial properties and public buildings to benefit people experiencing homelessness or facing pandemic-related eviction from their homes.

April: Unveiling of the 2021 Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index

Fall Quarter Town Halls With Dean Segura

Dean Gary Segura will host three town halls for UCLA Luskin students. The dean will share updates and answer questions at these virtual gatherings.

FOR UNDERGRADUATES: Thursday, Nov. 12, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

FOR DOCTORAL STUDENTS: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

FOR MASTER’S STUDENTS: Thursday, Nov. 19, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Click here to register and submit questions to Dean Segura. A Zoom link will be shared before the gatherings.

 

UCLA MSW Admissions and Recruitment Diversity Fair: Embracing Diverse Voices and Experiences

Full Schedule TBA:

Interested in UCLA but not sure how to navigate the application process? Learn more about our Master of Social Welfare program where we provide tools and tips to assist you in the application process and the resources to help you thrive once you are in the program.

Urban Planning Statement of Purpose Workshop

The Statement of Purpose is the most important, and often the most daunting, part of any graduate application. Come join the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin as we go over useful tips and tricks for crafting the perfect statement. We will also workshop sample statements and see what made the best succeed and the worst flop.

 

Register here!

Kindness and Aging (Common Ground Series)

Kindness and Aging pairs Artist and UC Santa Barbara Art Department Professor Jane Callisterin conversation with Dr. Lené Levy-Storms, Hartford Faculty Scholar Departments of Social Welfare and Medicine/Geriatrics, Bedari Kindness Institute, UC Los Angeles. They will discuss concepts of kindness and its implementation in our communal world. Callister will address “kindness” as a theme in contemporary art practices and her new body of work It Started with a Crocofish created in collaboration with her father. Levy-Storms’ research addresses the role “kindness” as it intersects with modes of communication and caregiving to older adults living with Alzheimer’s and chronic disease and optimizing urban spaces for the well-being of the low-income community elders.

Jane Callister was born on the Isle of Man, UK in 1963 and is now a Southern California based artist who works across the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing and installation. Over the past 20 years Callister has exhibited in many notable exhibits including The 1st Prague Biennale at the Veletrizni Palace Prague, Czech Republic; Extreme Abstraction at the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York; and was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Baroco-pop at Royale Projects, Los Angeles (where she is currently represented) and It Started With a Crocofish; New Drawings by Jane Callister at the VITA arts Center, Ventura, CA. Callister’s work has also been featured in notable publications such as: Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting with essay by David Pagel and LA Artland by Chris Krauss. Her work is in numerous private collections as well as The New Museum, New York and The Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY. In 2019 ArtSlant, an online archive that featured her work, was accepted into the Library of Congress and the NYARC (New York Resources Consortium).

Lené Levy-Storms is an Associate Professor in the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare at the Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics at UCLA, and serves on the advisory board for the Bedari Kindness Institute at UCLA. This fall she teaches a seminar on the intersection of kindness, COVID, and social well-being. Dr. Levy-Storms’ primary research has focused on communication processes underlying social support and on caregiving for older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Since 2004, she has partnered with Susan Kohler, a speech and language therapist and author of a book titled: “How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s”, to develop a behavioral, video training program for both family and non-family caregivers. With funding from the National Institute on Aging, the Hartford Foundation, the American Medical Director’s Association, and the National Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. Levy-Storms developed methods of evaluating caregivers’ communication behaviors among a variety of caregivers and long-term care settings. Her other recent research has explored: 1) how best to design an urban park for low-income, diverse older adults in downtown Los Angeles to optimize their well-being and social support, 2) communication issues faced by caregivers of older adults living with diabetes and dementia in the Veteran’s Administration (VA), and 3) communication issues between older adults with advanced chronic diseases and healthcare providers as their treatment needs progress.

The Common Ground: Artist Reimagining Community multi-part transdisciplinary lecture series pairs an artist and researcher in conversation to discuss concepts of “community” from their disciplines. Future fall semester 2020 discussions include Judaism and Global Voices, Home Sweet Home: Homeownership and Community Building, and Latinx Identities: Performing Community Formation. Adjunct Visual Art Department professor Jennifer Vanderpool, Ph.D. created the programming for these lectures in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition (October 30, 2021-March 5, 2021) of the same name guest curated by Vanderpool. Inspired by mutual aid societies, Vanderpool integrated the participatory strategies of social practice art that organizes communities in debate and collaboration with curatorial activism approaches that challenge the assumptions and erasures of voices in hegemonic narratives to develop Common Ground: Artist Reimagining Community.