Merith Cosden is Professor Emeritus at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). She was a Professor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology for over 31 years, serving as Chair of the Department as well as Dean of the Gevirtz School during that time. Dr. Cosden’s research has focused on the relationship of substance abuse, trauma, and mental disorders, and the effectiveness of community-based programs, particularly court-based treatment programs, for helping clients with these problems. Dr. Cosden has provided evaluations for grants funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to study trauma-informed substance abuse treatment in drug treatment courts, mental health treatment courts, re-entry courts, and residential treatment programs for perinatal women with substance abuse disorders.
Aida Hurtado is a Professor and Luis Leal Endowed Chair in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a social psychologist whose research focuses on race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender.
Zakiya Luna is Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her research is in the areas of ocial change, sociology of law, health and inequality. She is particularly interested in social movements, human rights and reproduction with an emphasis on the effects of intersecting inequalities within and across these sites. She was the lead author of the Reproductive Justice review article in the 2013 volume of the Annual Review of Law and Social Science. She has also published in Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change; Sociological Inquiry; Feminist Studies; and Societies without Borders: Social Science and Human Rights.
Sarah Rios is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). As part of her dissertation study on environmental racism and health, she interviewed formerly incarcerated men who acquired Valley Fever (VF) while under state custody in the Central Valley. VF is an environmental illness that disproportionately impacts low-wage workers, incarcerated men, and racial minorities. Sarah is an alumnus of California State University Fresno, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies and in Communication Disorders and Deaf Studies. As a member of the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, Sarah was presented with the Directors Award for her dedication to research and higher learning. In 2010, Sarah earned her M.A. in Sociology at UC Santa Barbara, where she continues to pursue her doctoral degree. Among her distinctions for academic achievement are the UC President Dissertation Year Fellowship, the UC California Studies Consortium Grant, the Center for Poverty Research and the Stanford Center for Poverty and Inequality visiting scholar at UC Davis, and the Chicano/a Institute Studies Fellowship. Her areas of specialization include Environmental Justice; Race, Class, Gender, and Health; Qualitative Research; and Latino/a Sociology. Sarah is originally from the Salinas Valley.