Current Team Members

Renee Mack

Doctoral Student

Renee Mack is currently a doctoral candidate in Social Welfare at UC Berkeley. Renee's work focuses on the experience of long-term incarceration as trauma within the black community. Renee obtained a B.A. in economics-philosophy from Columbia University, an M.A. in clinical psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University, and an M.S.W from UC Berkeley. She is currently the Social Welfare bConnect Fellow and a scholar in residence at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. 

Orly Bell

Orly Bell

Lab Manager

Orly Bell received her B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2014. While completing her degree, Orly worked as a research assistant under Dr.'s Ron Dahl and Silvia Bunge investigating the relationship between sleep, puberty and risk taking behavior. Orly loves working with children of all ages and is particularly interested in the changes that occur throughout development. As a lab manager, Orly is responsible for overseeing all administrative tasks related to research projects and for training research assistants. She is also a lab manager for Dr. Ron Dahl's Youth Development Lab. Through her work with Dr. Dahl and Dr. Skeem she has realized that she wants to learn more about how to translate research into policy and practice. Orly is starting medical school in the fall and hopes to work in pediatrics, and she hopes to learn how to help translate science into clinical practice so that she can implement it in her practice

Mukti Patel

Mukti Patel

Research Assistant

Mukti is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Public Health. She has spent these past two years tutoring and mentoring children at local elementary and middle school's, through The Sage Mentorship Project here on campus. Outside of class, she spends her time dancing on Azaad, a competitive Bollywood dance team. She has enjoyed working as a research assistant at the Youth Development Lab at UC Berkeley, as well as the Gandhi Lab at UCI. She is looking forward to being a part of Professor Skeem's Risk Resilience Lab and learning more about the connection between mental illnesses and self-harm.

Haley Arganbright

Haley Arganbright

Research Assistant

Haley is currently a senior undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Psychology with plans to continue on to graduate school where she will obtain her Masters degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Community Mental Health. In her last year at Cal, she plans to contribute as much as she can to the Berkeley community through public service and involvement on campus. She loves having the pleasure of being a part of Professor Skeem’s Risk Resilience Research Lab and being a part of research that can bring about the needed change in how society thinks about and deals with mental health and incarceration in our society. In her spare time, she enjoys being active outdoors and socializing.

Julia Kang

Julia Kang

Research Assistant

Julia is a fourth year student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education. She loves learning and trying new things as well as helping people! She has fallen in love with research as a Research Assistant at the Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic on campus, at the Gazzaley Lab at UCSF, and working with Professor Skeem in the Risk Resilience Research Lab. Outside of lab, Julia enjoys music, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, and filling her schedule with volunteering and work!

Leah Jacobs

Doctoral Student

Leah Jacobs is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Welfare. Leah’s scholarship traces the way in which sociostructural factors increase or decrease marginality among individuals labeled as “mentally ill.” Her dissertation investigates the degree to which spatial signifiers of social disadvantage explain enhanced risk of recidivism. Leah holds a B.S. in psychology from Northeastern University, an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning/Child Development from Tufts University, and an M.S.W. from UC Berkeley.

Megan Munro

Megan Munro

Research Assistant

Megan is a third year student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Public Policy. She is interested in all aspects of the criminal justice system, specifically sentencing-related policy and reentry programs. Megan is from southern California but loves the bay area and all it has to offer. She loves going to the beach, traveling, playing the piano, and exploring San Francisco. 

Andre Le Blanc

Andre Le Blanc

Research Assistant

Andre Le Blanc is a research assistant in the Risk Resilience Research Lab at the School of Social Welfare, and an undergraduate, transfer student in the Ethnic Studies department. He has worked in the non-profit health care field for the last twelve years leading & coordinating care teams to implement programming in intensive home health care, women's health, teen sexual health, and transgender health care. One of his greatest passions has been helping people navigate the health care system and make empowered choices for themselves and their families. Through his program of study, he plans to explore the intersections of race, mental health, the healthcare system, and the criminal justice system with a focus on improving health outcomes, reducing incarceration rates, and improving the quality of life for Black and Latinx transgender youth.

 

Emily Grose

Research Assistant

Emily is a third year undergraduate at UC Berkeley, majoring in Political Economy. She has worked in the collaborative courts at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and is interested in how the criminal justice system affects marginalized groups and people with mental illness. More generally, Emily is passionate about learning how government policies shape social and economic inequality. She enjoys being outdoors, hiking, playing the piano, travelling, and working with kids.

Jennifer Andi

Research Assistant

Jennifer is a third year undergraduate at UC Berkeley in the Interdisciplinary Studies Field major.  She is combining the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, Legal Studies, and Social Welfare to study the criminal justice system and research possible rehabilitative strategies and alternatives to incarceration.  Jennifer’s research interests include rehabilitation of low-level offenders, mentorship-based community supervision, cognitive behavioral therapy-based treatment for offenders, labeling theory as applied to the formerly incarcerated, long-term self-esteem effects of convictions on felons, and PTSD in the formerly incarcerated population.