Who's Involved

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Lauren E. Gulbas, Ph.D.


As a medical anthropologist and Assistant Professor in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas, my research integrates a unique conceptual lens with advanced qualitative and ethnographic methodologies to understand how people navigate complex sociocultural landscapes in the pursuit of mental health. One of the most exciting elements of my research is the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines to address salient disparities in health and mental health.


Maria de los Angeles Villarreal

Research Assistant

Maria is a third-year Social Work major pursuing a certificate in Creative Writing. She is from the border towns of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico. Growing up in these diverse environments rooted in her an interest in social justice. She is currently a research assistant and part of the Community Engagement team for the Adolescent Self Harm study. Aside from working in the Advanced Qualitative Lab, she is a Content Creator on the Communications team for TEDxUTAustin and the Community Service Coordinator for the Latin Economics and Business Organization. She is also a Social Work Education Enhancement Program mentor to help facilitate freshmen transitions to UT.


Isabel Cesani

Research Assistant

Isabel Cesani is a third-year Public Health major from Temple, Texas. She works on the People’s Community Clinic project as a qualitative data analyst and data collector. She is currently working on a B.S in Public Health with plans of getting a Master’s of Public Health. Later in life, she has hopes of attending medical school.


Amanda Ladd

Research Assistant

Amanda Ladd is a third year BSA Human Development and Family Sciences major at UT Austin. She is minoring in Health Communications and plans to be a pediatric PA in the future. She is originally from Belton, Texas. Amanda is a qualitative data analyst on the People’s Community Clinic team. The focus of this project is coding and analyzing data related to attitudes held by adolescents towards their pre-health screenings.


Lori Woo

Research Assistant

Lori Woo is a third-year Social Work and Plan II major from Austin, TX. Her interests in qualitative research, maternal mental health, and social determinants of health led her to join the Advanced Qualitative Lab. She currently works on the PATH Project with the University of Texas System, focusing on the experiences of women accessing healthcare and insurance coverage during pregnancy and postpartum. Outside of the lab, Lori is a Mental Health Peer Educator for the Longhorn Wellness Center and peer mentor for the Steve Hicks School of Social Work.


Past Members


Madeline Moore

Research Assistant

Madeline Moore is a Biology major from San Antonio, Texas. She worked on the Adolescent Self Harm project. The project's primary goal is the identification of behaviors common in young women of color in order to gain a better understanding of their experience to hopefully provide better treatment and care in the future. Madeline graduated with a Biology BSA and now attends medical school to pursue a lifetime of providing care to those who need it most.