Lab Director

Brian TaeHyuk Keum, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Welfare at Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California Los Angeles. Broadly, His research focuses on reducing health and mental health disparities among marginalized individuals and communities using an intersectional, contemporary, and digitally-relevant lens. Of note, he is committed to investigating discrimination and oppression as social determinants of health disparities for individuals and systemic inequalities. As a social justice-oriented scientist-practitioner, he also draws from his clinical experience to conduct research that improves mental health practice and informs advocacy for diverse communities. He has been providing therapy to a diverse community- and college-based clientele for the past 8 years. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland-College Park and completed his American Psychological Association-Accredited Doctoral Health Service Psychology Internship at the University of Maryland Counseling Center. Prior to his doctoral education, he earned his M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Columbia University Teachers College and a B.S. in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University. If you are interested in connecting or joining the lab, please do not hesitate to contact him at

Curriculum Vitae    |   Department Profile

The Team

Michele J. Wong, MSPH

Michele J. Wong is a doctoral student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She completed a Master of Science in Public Health in the Department of Community Health Sciences at UCLA and received her BA in Psychology at Ithaca College.

Broadly, Michele’s research is focused on the conceptualization and assessment of race and gender-based stressors among Asian American women in the U.S., particularly within the workplace.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family in Canada whenever possible, hiking, new food creations (kabocha squash banana bread?), and continuing to explore and get to know different parts of LA.

Emily Waters, MSW, MPH

Emily M. Waters is a first year Doctoral Student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and works as a Policy and Research Advisor at the Transgender Law Center.  Emily has extensive experience in conducting community-based research and policy advocacy on issues related to queer and trans rights, with a particular focus on domestic, sexual and hate-based violence. She focuses on developing and advocating for policy solutions that move power and resources into the community and challenge systemic oppression. She holds a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aside from her work, Emily spends the majority of her time attempting to train her very naughty dog, Milou, obsessing over her plants, and planning her next adventure.

Domonique Henderson, BS, MSW

Domonique Henderson (she/her) is a first year Doctoral Student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She completed her MSW with a specialty in the mental health of women and girls at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and earned a BS in psychology from Howard University.  She has worked with youth of color for seven years in community based/national non-profit organizations. In addition, she has worked in clinical/hospital settings focusing on mental health and wellness for communities of color. She has experience in quantitative research with international populations in Africa, incarcerated women and mental health, associations of pregnancy and substance misuse, along with the mental health of Black women and girls. Her research interests broadly include mental health of Black women and girls, the overlap between mental health and social contributions, intersectionality contributes to generational trauma related to adolescents, and psychosocial contributors to mental health struggles for people of color. Outside of her professional and academic endeavors, Domonique also enjoys watching romantic comedies and period films, community service, traveling, and eating more than cooking.

Irene Valdovinos, LCSW, MPH 

Irene Valdovinos is an incoming first year doctoral student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She received her Master of Social Welfare and Master of Public Health from UCLA in 2012. She has experience working in the fields of mental health and substance use treatment as a clinician in integrated care programs. In addition, she has experience managing training and evaluation projects focused on substance use treatment systems of care. Her broad research interests include understanding factors that impact substance use and enhancing early intervention and treatment services for minority youth and young adults impacted by substance use.
During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, organizing things around her home, and painting. 

Mary Nguyen, BA

Mary is currently attending UCLA for her Masters in Social Welfare and Public Policy. She has been focusing on Asian American/Immigrant communities and their experience with intimate partner violence and stigmas around mental health/mental illness. Activities that she participates in outside of school are photography, traveling, and roller-skating.

India Sanders, AA

India A. Sanders is currently in the process of obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in sociology. She completed her Associate of Arts in Psychology at Los Angeles Harbor College and transferred to Cal State Dominguez hills. Her research focuses on race and or ethnicity, emphasizing African American adolescents or adults and how their experiences in the education system affect how well they perform in school. In addition, she also explores how outside influences such as environmental factors influence the success of low-income minority communities. She is also a part of the McNair Scholars Program and works closely with her mentor in quantitative research, in hope of further developing transformative research. She hopes to get into a Doctoral Program for clinical psychology to become a clinical psychologist focusing on marriage and family therapy.

In her free time outside of school, she loves to read, dance, cook, and watch anime.

Lab Alumni

Rangeena Salim-Eissa, MSW,

Maynard Hearns, B.A., Master’s student at USC

Pritha Agarwal, M.A., PhD student in Advertisement, Public Relations and Media Design at the University of Colorado