Adrian Aguilera, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the School of Social Welfare. Dr. Aguilera’s current research interests focus on utilizing digital health and mobile technologies to improve health and mental healthcare of low-income and ethnic minority populations, with a focus on Latino and Spanish speaking populations. He is also interested in understanding how culture and socioeconomic status influence mental health and mental health treatment. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Aguilera is currently developing and testing the impact of automated text messaging intervention to improve engagement with depression treatment in a public sector setting.
Luna Calderon, LCSW was a lecturer and a field consultant in the Community Mental Health concentration for her first five years at Berkeley Social Welfare. In July 2017 she became the director of the newly founded Latinx Center of Excellence. She is passionate about teaching; she currently teaches Narrative Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy at the School of Social Welfare. A bilingual/bicultural Latina, Calderon is committed to bringing wellness and recovery tools to people of color and the LGBTQQ communities. In 2014 she re-established the Intercambio Program, now known as Sin Fronteras. Calderon is an alum of the School of Social Welfare. She worked in county settings and community-based settings prior to joining Berkeley Social Welfare. Most recently, she served as the clinical services manager for San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, where she oversaw five outpatient child and youth-focused outpatient behavioral health clinics.
Daniela Canas Baena
Daniela Canas Baena is a first-year MSW student at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. As a Graduate Student Assistant for the Latinx Center of Excellence (LCOE), Daniela works to further the LCOE’s goals to increase the recruitment of Latinx students into UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare and provide ways to support them once there. Daniela obtained her Bachelor's in Politics and International Relations at Scripps College, where she developed a passion for working with and advocating for Latinx populations, especially first-generation college students. Daniela is very excited to be a part of the LCOE Team and continue serving the Latinx community.
Yesenia Cisneros Chavez
Yesenia Cisneros Chavez is a first-year MSW student in UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare program. She is part of the Strengthening Children, Youth, and Families concentration. Yesenia is a Graduate Student Assistant for LCOE where she focuses on outreach to high school and undergraduate students interested in pursuing higher education and social welfare. Yesenia completed her undergraduate education at UC Santa Cruz where she majored in Sociology and Legal Studies. She is interested in learning about the impact of social and economic structures on social welfare policies and institutions. Further, how the implementation and interpretation of these policies affect disadvantaged and underserved communities. She hopes to work with unaccompanied minors and dual status youth upon receiving her MSW.
Maxwell Davis, PhD directs evaluation activities for the Latinx Center of Excellence. Dr. Davis is the Director of the Integrated Behavioral Health Program at Berkeley Social Welfare's California Social Education Center. She directs the statewide Mental Health Services Act Stipend Program for MSW students and the San Francisco Bay Area Integrated Behavioral Health MSW Stipend Program. Dr. Davis' work has long focused on addressing health disparities through research, policy, and practice. Her workforce development projects continue her efforts to help social workers better meet the health and behavioral health care needs of marginalized and underserved communities. Dr. Davis earned her B.A. in Women's Studies from Smith College, her M.S. in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and completed an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship in Mental Health Services for People Living with HIV/AIDS at UCLA.
Caroline Figueroa, MD Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare. She obtained her MD degree and Ph.D. degree at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Her Ph.D. research took place at the University of Amsterdam and at the University of Oxford, where she studied cognitive and neurobiological vulnerability factors for recurrence of depression in patients remitted from Major Depressive Disorder. Dr. Figueroa's current research interest is on digital interventions for depression, with an emphasis on developing cutting-edge innovations that tailor to the needs of underserved populations. She is involved in the analysis, testing, and implementation of digital applications for depression and diabetes in ethnic minority patients with a focus on Latinx patients. Through these innovative projects, she hopes to contribute to improving the impact and efficacy of digital interventions for Latinx communities. At the Latinx Center of Excellence, she will be providing mentoring and assistance with writing, statistical analyses and research to undergraduate and graduate students, with the goal to help Latinx student progress in their academic careers.
Lissette Flores, MPH, is the Administrative Director for the Latinx Center of Excellence. In her role, she is responsible for setting up the infrastructure to advance the Center’s mission of recruiting, training and supporting Latinx MSW and Ph.D. students committed to meeting the behavioral health needs of Latinx communities. A Berkeley Social Welfare alumni, Flores is thrilled to be supporting Latinx students working towards their graduate degrees. Prior to coming to Berkeley, she worked in the nonprofit and community college sectors building college access, internship and civic engagement programs from the ground up.
Kurt Organista, Ph.D., is a professor at the School of Social Welfare where his focus is on Latino psychosocial and health problems. He teaches courses on stress and coping psychopathology, race/ethnic relations and social welfare and social work practice with Latino populations. He conducts research in the area of HIV prevention with Latino migrant laborers, is editor of HIV Prevention with Latinos: Theory, research and practice published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, and author of Solving Latino psychosocial and health problems: Theory, practice, and populations, published in 2007 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. He serves on the senior editorial board of the American Journal of Community Psychology and on the editorial boards of the Hispanic Journal of the Behavioral Sciences and the Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Organista was appointed to the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, and from 2010 to 2015 he was PI of a federal R01 grant from the NIAAA to develop and test a structural environmental model of alcohol-related HIV risk in Latino migrant day laborers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Organista is a trustee of the San Francisco Foundation as well as the Latino Community Foundation.