How to Do Research with Hard-to-Reach and Hidden Populations

Event Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time: 1pm-4pm

Event Location: LIB 121

Course Module(s): Do No Harm / Toolkit / Faculty Research and Professional Development Week Events

Panel discussion moderated by Cynthia Gomez, Director, Health Equity Institute, on conducting research with hard-to-reach and hidden populations such as same sex couples, homeless, and immigrants.

  • Allen LeBlanc, Sociology, SF State - Recruiting same-sex couples for participation in research
  • Carol Silverman, Henderson Center for Social Justice, UC Berkeley School of Law - Conducting longitudinal research with homeless, dual diagnosis individuals
  • Lucia Volk, International Relations, SF State - Yemeni immigrants in the tenderloin
  • James Quesada, Anthropology, SF State - Stigmatized populations (undocumented migrants, youth gang members, substance abusing youth, sex workers)

Discussants Elizabeth Boyd, UCSF Assoc. Vice Chancellor of Ethics and Compliance; Cynthia Gomez, SF State, Director HEI

Space is limited, please register for this workshop

Dr. Allen J. LeBlanc is Health Equity Institute (HEI) Professor of Sociology at SFSU. His work on societal and individual responses to chronic illness and disability; the social etiology of stress and health; and government programs relating to disability and health care for low-income Americans has been widely published. His current interests include the study of social stress, psychosocial resources, and health. In particular, he examines the relational context of stress experience, focusing for example on how stress is shared between persons in intimate relationships. His ongoing projects include a five-year study of "Minority Stress and Mental Health among Same-Sex Couples," funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. LeBlanc earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Pennsylvania State University and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. He later held faculty positions at the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining the faculty at SF State, he was Senior Research Associate at MDRC, one of the nation's leading social policy research organizations.

James Quesada, Ph.D. is a Medical Anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at San Francisco State University. Trained as a medical anthropologist, Dr. Quesada has undertaken ethnographic research in Nicaragua and California. Currently he has  a NIH/NIAAA R01 research grant examining structural-environmental factors as they relate to alcohol use, HIV risk and related health problems among Latino Migrant Laborers. His research primarily focuses on health effects of structural violence on numerous populations, from substance using youth and undocumented day laborers, to injection drug users and sex workers. Dr. Quesada has authored and coauthored articles in peer-review journals such as the Social Science and Medicine, City and Society, Social Problems, Transforming Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, and devoted to conducting community-based participatory research from a critical medical anthropology perspective committed to informing public policy and health intervention programs.  

Carol J. Silverman, PhD, joined the research staff of the Henderson Center in October 2009. She previously served as Research Director of the Center for Self Help Research (CSHR) at the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, California, and also The Institute of Nonprofit Organization Management at the University of San Francisco (INOM). She has a broad social science background, specializing in the fields of poverty, homelessness, mental illness and affordable housing. At CSHR, she served as the co-principal investigator on a series of studies funded by the National Institute of Health/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency. Silverman received her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and was a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Social Welfare. She has published extensively in the fields of housing, mental health and nonprofits and foundations and has presented research findings to a special subcommittee of the California State Legislature, and a San Francisco city government subcommittee. Her research experience includes quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, with a specialty in survey methodology. Silverman has taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in urban history, poverty, homelessness, environmental sustainability, research methodology, statistics and program evaluation as a lecturer or adjunct faculty at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, University of San Francisco and New College of California.

Lucia Volk is Associate Professor of International Relations, and Co-Director of Middle East and Islamic Studies. She obtained her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and Anthropology from Harvard University. She has written about the politics of memory in post-conflict situations, esp. in Lebanon, as well as Arab and Muslim migrants and return migrants in the Bay Area, Berlin, and Beirut.  



Elizabeth Boyd, PhD, was named Associate Vice Chancellor for Ethics and Compliance in December 2010. Dr. Boyd provides direction and oversight for the UCSF Ethics and Compliance Program and leads UCSF's compliance efforts while enhancing UCSF's culture of integrity and ethical behavior in areas including data privacy and security, governing laws, statutes and policies and compliance management.She also addresses regulatory compliance matters, including data privacy and security issues, interpreting relevant laws, statutes and policies. Boyd received her BA degree in psychology from University of California, Berkeley and an MA degree in communication from Stanford before earning her PhD degree in medical sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Cynthia A. Gómez, PhD, is the founding director of the Health Equity Institute and previously served as co-director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University of California at San Francisco and has been a leading scientist in HIV prevention research since 1991. Her work has focused primarily on gender, culture and sexual health, on the development of prevention interventions, and on the translation of science to community practice. Gómez earned a master's degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. Prior to her work in HIV, Gómez spent 12 years working in community health settings, including five as director of a child and family mental health center in Boston. Gómez has been a health policy advisor for nearly 20 years. She was an appointed member to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under both WJ Clinton and GW Bush administrations. In 2007 she was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the first California Public Health Advisory Council.