Research Team

Fernando J. Guerra

Fernando J. Guerra
Director

Office: University Hall 4119
Phone: 310.338.4565
Email: fguerra@lmu.edu

Fernando J. Guerra, professor of political science and Chicana/o studies, is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU. Guerra has served on standing commissions, blue ribbon committees, and ad hoc task forces for the City of Los Angeles, the State of California, and regional bodies in Southern California. He is a source for the media at the local, national, and international level and has published in the area of state and local government and urban and ethnic politics. He earned his doctorate in Political Science from the University of Michigan and his BA from the University of Southern California.

Curriculum Vitae

 

 

Brianne Gilbert

Brianne Gilbert
Associate Director

Office: University Hall 4114
Phone: 310.338.1779
Email: brianne.gilbert@lmu.edu

Brianne Gilbert is the associate director for the Center for the Study of Los Angeles, where she has led numerous studies involving voter polls, public opinion research, and leaders/elite surveys. She also is a senior lecturer at LMU in the departments of political science and urban and environmental studies, teaching courses on political internships, GIS, and geospatial research. Gilbert also has served as a consultant in the fields of sociology, anthropology, GIS (geographic information systems), methodology, and public opinion research. She also is the author of Statistics in the Social Sciences: Inferential Statistics as Rhetoric in Sociology. Gilbert received her BA from Wittenberg University and her MA from Florida International University.

Curriculum Vitae

Mariya Vizireanu

Mariya Vizireanu headshot

Mariya Vizireanu
Research Associate

Office: University Hall 4116
Phone: 310.338.1797
Email: mariya.vizireanu@lmu.edu
Twitter:@mariyav_phd

Mariya Vizireanu is the research associate for the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. With training in anthropology and public health, her independent work has focused on how mental models of health phenomena differ across cultures. As an interdisciplinary mixed-methods researcher, she has authored peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics ranging from how social networks influence health behaviors to the evolutionary psychology of food perceptions. Vizireanu earned her Global Health Ph.D. from Arizona State University and her MS in Health Promotion from Indiana University.

Curriculum Vitae

Alejandra Alarcon

Alejandra Alarcon
Research Coordinator

Office: University Hall 4112
Phone: 310.338.1819
Email: alejandra.alarcon@lmu.edu
Twitter: @alealarconla

Alejandra Alarcon is a research coordinator for the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles. She oversees StudyLA's visual style in select print and web materials and manages all social media platforms. She also assists with planning and promoting StudyLA special events including lectures, forums, and conferences. She leads StudyLA's undergraduate research team and mentors them through tasks related to administration, external communications, media production, event production and programming. Alarcon earned her BA in Chicana/o Studies from Loyola Marymount University.

Curriculum Vitae

Vishnu Akella

Office: University Hall 4112
Phone: 310.338.4565
Email: vishnu.akella@lmu.edu

Vishnu Akella is a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. He helps to develop, implement, and analyze StudyLA’s research projects, including the LA Public Opinion Survey, LA Votes exit polls, and other new projects. He aids in qualitative and quantitative research, the preparation of research reports, and the dissemination of results. Prior to joining StudyLA, he worked in social justice research focused on immigrant and refugee communities in Cleveland. Akella earned his BA in Political Science and Sociology from Case Western Reserve University. 

Max Dunsker

Max Dunsker
Research Assistant

Office: University Hall 4012
Phone: 310.338.4565
Email: max.dunsker@lmu.edu

Max Dunsker is a research assistant at the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. As a part of the StudyLA team, Max assists in many aspects of the research process, performing quantitative and qualitative data analysis, preparing research reports, and disseminating results. Before his role with StudyLA, he worked as a research assistant for the California Center for Population Research, Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on projects related to food security and agriculture. Dunsker earned his BA in Economics and International Development Studies, with a minor in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), from UCLA.

Jorge Cortes

Jorge Cortes headshot

Jorge Cortes
Research Coordinator

Office: University Hall 4119
Phone: 310.338.4565
Email: jorge.cortes@lmu.edu

Jorge Cortes is a research coordinator for the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. He works closely with the Director and Associate Director, managing communications as office manager and providing budgetary and administrative assistance. He also assists with planning and support for StudyLA's research projects, conferences, lectures, and special events. Prior to joining StudyLA, he has worked in education and community-based organizations in San Francisco, New York, and Madrid, Spain. Cortes earned his BA in Sociology from San Francisco State University