Karin Elliot Brown

Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. Karin Elliott Brown currently serves as the Dean of Graduate Studies. Prior to this appointment she served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research for three years, Director of the School of Social Work at Cal State LA for five years, Director of the BA in Social Work program for six years, and as a faculty member in the School of Social Work for 15 years. She has over 25 years of experience within the field of social work as an educator and practitioner. Her practice experience has been in public child welfare and medical social work.

Dr. K. Elliot Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, in 1984. She earned a Master of Social Work degree with a major in interpersonal practice with families and groups and a minor in community organizing from the University of Michigan in 1986. She also earned a Master's degree in Psychology (1988) and dual Doctorate in Psychology and Social Work (1990) from the University of Michigan. 

Dr. K. Elliott Brown has 18 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, research reports, and book reviews. She has presented at numerous professional conferences and scholarly meetings. Her research has been in the areas of minority heath, trauma, and social support. She has been the principal investigator of four training grants totaling $4,473,352 (two in child welfare, one in mental health and an NIH-funded Bridges to the Ph.D. grant that prepares Master's level Social Work and Nursing students for doctoral education and a career in social research focusing on health disparities).  

Over the years, Dr. K. Elliott Brown has served on numerous University, College, and School committees, such as Faculty Policy Committee, Fiscal Policy Committee, IRB, WASC Committee, Associate Deans Council, and Health and Human Services Chairs Council, to name a few. She received the Cal State LA Distinguished Women’s Award in 2004 for her professional achievements and service to the University community.


Office of Graduate Studies Staff

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Andrew Chavez, M.A.

WASC Support Staff

Andrew is a recent M.A. graduate from Cal State LA’s Department of Psychology, where he is currently an adjunct professor. He examines multicultural psychology from social and counseling perspectives and his research focuses on the relationships between social identities, discrimination, and academic- and institution-related variables. He has served multiple roles in the Office of Graduate Studies since March 2015. Currently, he provides administrative support to the different committees and coordinators of the WASC Self-Study and Institutional Report.

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Jessica Dennis, PhD

Director of Assessment

Dr. Dennis has been a professor at Cal State LA since 2005, where she was also a post-doctoral researcher and adjunct faculty from 2003 to 2005. Her research focuses on development in emerging adulthood with an emphasis on cross-cultural issues in family and peer relationships and the ways in which these relationships impact academic and psychosocial outcomes.

Andrea Gutierrez

Andrea Gutierrez, MFA  

Coordinator, Graduate Resource Center  

Andrea is a seasoned higher education professional and college instructor. She has worked with undergraduates and graduates at colleges and universities throughout California, including the Claremont Colleges, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Riverside, and now Cal State LA. She earned a B.A. in German Studies at Scripps College in Claremont and an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Riverside. In her spare time, she bikes, takes photos, and writes essays, poems, and plays.

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Veronica Villa, B.A. 

Office Manager

Veronica has worked at all levels of education since 2000, having worked at USC, USC Head Start, Long Beach Day Nursery, and California State Preschool Program before coming to Cal State LA. She has a bachelor's degree in Human Services and Management from the University of Phoenix, and is currently researching potential master's degree programs. She is a parent advocate and enjoys spending time with her daughters.

Student Staff

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Sadé Meeks

Office Assistant | M.S. Candidate, Nutritional Science

Sadé Meeks is a self-proclaimed chef and graduate student of the Nutritional Science program, with a concentration in Coordinated Dietetics. She received her B.S. in Culinary Arts from Mississippi University for Women. While in the culinary program, her passion for food not only grew, but her interests in nutrition grew as well. Teaching nutrition and cooking classes for a nonprofit organization in Tchula, Mississippi, and extensive undergraduate research in organic foods vs. processed foods contributed to her decision to move 1,600 miles away from home to pursue a career as a dietitian, with a focus in community nutrition. Culinary arts led her to nutrition, but she hasn’t abandoned cooking. Sadé finds pleasure in exploring these passions through blogging, cooking, and developing a cookbook that she hopes to publish before she graduates.

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Andrew Navarrete

International Graduate Peer Support Coordinator | M.A. Candidate, Psychology

Andrew is a graduate student studying Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. During his undergraduate career at Cal State LA, he immediately discovered an interest in research and research methods. After receiving his B.A. in Psychology, Andrew decided to pursue an M.A. to better prepare himself for the rigorous courses offered in a PhD program. His main interest is the statistical methods that lie behind psychological research, and he hopes to one day create statistical models that will improve psychological research. He is currently working alongside with his mentor on publishing work on the “Positivity Effect,” and plans to focus on implicit artificial grammar learning for his thesis. Some of his hobbies include spending time with his loved ones, bike riding, and drag racing.

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Erika Ortega

Office Assistant | M.A. Candidate, Mexican-American Studies


Graduate Resource Center Staff Page »