Ron Avi Astor, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Welfare
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Ron Avi Astor holds the Marjorie Crump Chair Professorship in Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a joint appointment in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. His work examines the role of the physical, social-organizational and cultural contexts in schools related to different kinds of bullying and school violence (e.g., sexual harassment, cyber bullying, discrimination hate acts, school fights, emotional abuse, weapon use, teacher/child violence). This work documents the ecological influences of the family, community, school and culture on different forms of bullying and school violence. This work has been used worldwide. Astor’s studies have included tens of thousands of schools and millions of students, teachers, parents and administrators. Over the past 20 years, findings from these studies have been published in more than 200 scholarly manuscripts.
Along with his colleague Rami Benbenishty, Astor developed a school mapping and monitoring procedure that is used “at scale” regionally and with local students and teachers to generate “grassroots” solutions to safety problems. The findings of these studies have been widely cited in the international media, in the United States, and Israel.
Astor’s work has won numerous international research awards from the Society for Social Work Research, the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Military Child Educational Coalition and other research organizations. He has an honorary doctorate from Hebrew Union College. Astor is a fellow of APA, AERA, and an elected member of the National Academy of Education and American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.
Annamarie Francois, Ph.D.
UCLA Center X
Dr. Francois is the Executive Director of UCLA’s Center X, where her leadership guides the work of social justice educator preparation, development and support for urban school communities. Dr. Francois has 30+ years of teaching, teacher leadership and administrative experience in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the charter school community, and UCLA’s Department of Education. Dr. Francois is a pioneer in leading education innovation, having served as founding member of Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, the first grass roots charter school in California; establishing IMPACT, an innovative, community-based urban teacher residency program; launching the California chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education; and co-visioning the UCLA and Mann-UCLA Community Schools, university-supported public schools in high-needs communities in Los Angeles. Her areas of interest and expertise are teacher development, community schooling, multicultural literacy, equity-guided instruction, and school-university collaboration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History (UCLA), a master’s degree in Administration, Supervision and Higher Education (California State University, Northridge) and a doctorate in Educational Leadership (UCLA).
Audra Langley, Ph.D.
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Audra Langley, Ph.D. is a Professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Langley is the Director of UCLA TIES for Families, an innovative interdisciplinary program for children in foster care, kinship care or adopted through foster care (ages birth to 25) and their families in Los Angeles County, working in close partnership with the Los Angeles County Departments of Children and Family Services and Mental Health. She is also Co-Director of the UCLA Pritzker Center for Strengthening Children and Families, Director of Training for the NCTSN-funded Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools, and faculty lead for Child Welfare with the DMH UCLA Prevention Center of Excellence. Dr. Langley’s body of research seeks to increase equity in access to quality mental health and wellbeing interventions for under-resourced and minoritized populations of children, including those in schools and involved with the child welfare system. She is the author of 5 evidence-based interventions, including Bounce Back: Elementary School Intervention for Childhood Trauma, Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET), ADAPT: Adoption-Specific Therapy to Help Adopted Children and their Families Thrive, and the recently released 2nd version of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS).
Cecilia Rios-Aguilar, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Equity & Inclusion; Professor of Education
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
Cecilia Rios-Aguilar is Professor of Education and Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at UCLA’s School of Education and Information Studies (Ed&IS). She also serves as a faculty Co-Director of Policy Analysis of California Education (PACE) and as a Board Member of the Spencer Foundation. Her research is multidisciplinary and uses a variety of asset-based conceptual frameworks and of statistical approaches to study the educational and occupational trajectories of marginalized students. Currently, Dr. Rios-Aguilar is examining how community college students make decisions about majors, jobs, and careers. Dr. Rios-Aguilar obtained her Ph.D. in Education Theory and Policy and her M.S. in Educational Administration from the University of Rochester, and her B.A. in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México [ITAM].
Lucrecia Santibañez, Ph.D.
UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
Lucrecia Santibañez is an associate professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Her research focuses on how to improve teacher policy and school-level resource allocation to increase learning among vulnerable populations. Dr. Santibañez has conducted research in Mexico, Colombia, Laos, Mozambique, and the United States, and her work been published in both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking journals, including Economics of Education Review, Teachers College Record, International Journal of Behavioral Development, and the International Journal of Educational Development. Before coming to GSEIS, she was an associate professor at the Claremont Graduate School, an education economist at the RAND Corporation, and professor of public policy at CIDE in Mexico City. She received a Ph.D. in education from Stanford University.
Director for UCLA’s Community Schools
UCLA School of Education and Information Studies
Christine Shen is a Professor of Education and the Director of the UCLA Community Schools, a campus-wide initiative managed by the School of Education and Information Studies to work within the Los Angeles Unified School District context and honoring all collective bargaining agreements for its teachers and school staff to co-create innovative sites of learning at Horace Mann UCLA Community School and the UCLA Community School. Christine Shen has 20+ years of experience leading large-scale school transformations in Los Angeles. In 2009, she part of the founding member of the first start-up public charter middle school in Los Angeles. Working as a a policy advisor for the LA City’s Human Relation Commission, Dr. Shen developed coalitions to support school safety and mobilized crisis response teams across city, county and non-profit organizations to address school violence, student incarceration and ensure safe school passages for over 100 schools in Los Angeles Unified School District. As a senior advisor for LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, she developed city policies to support high quality services to students and their families and later was a founding member of the Partnership for LA Schools, an independent nonprofit organization committed to revolutionizing school systems and transforming schools serving 12,000 students across multiple schools in Watts, Boyle Heights, and South Central Los Angeles.
Daniel G. Solorzano, Ph.D.
Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education
Professor of Chicana/o and Central American Studies
Director of the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education
University of California, Los Angeles
Daniel Solorzano is a Professor of Social Science and Comparative Education and Chicana/o and Central American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also the Director of the Center for Critical Race Studies in Education at UCLA. His teaching and research interests include critical race theory in education, racial microaggressions; racial microaffirmations; and critical race spatial analysis. Dr. Solorzano has authored more than 100 research articles, book chapters, and books on educational access and equity issues for underrepresented student populations and communities in the United States. For the last 50 years, Solorzano has served in all three segments of California public postsecondary education. In 2007, Professor Solorzano received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2012, Solorzano was presented the American Education Research Association (AERA) Social Justice in Education Award. In 2012, Solorzano was also awarded the Critical Race Studies in Education Association Derrick A. Bell Legacy Award. In 2014, Solorzano was elected a Fellow of the American Education Research Association. In 2017, Solorzano received the inaugural Revolutionary Mentor Award from the Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ) within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2020, Solorzano was elected to the National Academy of Education.