Xuan Trinh joined the Field Center in August 2016 as an Advanced-Standing MSW candidate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. He is a macro student who is particularly interested in learning about research, implementation, and evaluation of social programs that affect the welfare of children. Xuan graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in Psychology in May of 2016. His BSW Field Placement was with Forsyth County Schools in Georgia, providing school social work services to students in elementary through high schools. Additionally, Xuan has an extensive history volunteering and working with youth in residential facilities and homeless adults. Outside of the Field Center, Xuan continues learning as a research assistant with Penn’s SP2 faculty, Dr. Antonio Garcia, and as a litigation specialist with the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project.
Jennifer Conn joined the Field Center in August 2016 as a 2nd Year Community Practice, Policy and Advocacy MSS Candidate from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. Jennifer plans to increase her understanding of child welfare, research and policy development with a particular focus on cognitive, social and emotional development. Jennifer’s foundation year Field Placement was with the Bristol Township School District as a school social worker, where she provided counseling, support and advocacy for students with Individualized Education Plans. Jennifer brings over a decade of experience in the research and application of education programs and policy for children with disabilities, in addition to work with non-profit organizations such as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Bucks County Sex Trafficking Task Force. Currently Jennifer is working toward certification in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as serving on the Bryn Mawr GSSWSR Board of Advisors. Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Smith College.
Julia Vadas is a 2nd year macro practice MSW student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. Since graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies in 2012, Julia has shown a commitment to working with youth and families in her community. She began her career as a National Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools in Boston, MA. Julia also worked as a residential treatment counselor for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Her foundation year field placement was at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she assessed and counseled patients in the Penn Transplant Institute. Julia joined the Field Center in September 2016 where she hopes to expand on her knowledge of direct service provision and learn how local and national policies affect the well-being of children and families.
Ran Zhang is a 2nd year MSW student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice pursuing a macro concentration. Ran joined the Field Center in September 2016 and hopes to gain experience with program evaluation and child welfare while interning at the Field Center. Ran is an international student from Qingdao, China. She obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Ohio University in 2013. She developed an interest in the social and educational development of students and young adults as an education coordinator with Dandelion Public Welfare Platform, a nonprofit organization, in Qingdao, China. Her foundation year field placement was at Families Forward Philadelphia where she provided case management and empowerment to clients seeking to live independently and maintain housing.
Monica Yang is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Alan Lerner Fellowship in Child Welfare Policy. Monica is a second year student and Dean’s Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she is a board member for the Equal Justice Foundation and is an associate editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change. Monica has volunteered with the Street Law Project, teaching legal concepts and history to school-age children, and has participated and won awards in the Intramural Mock Trial Competition. Monica earned her Bachelor’s degree from Emory University in 2013 with a double major in International Studies and Philosophy. Post-college, Monica spent a year coordinating learning plans and teaching behavior skills in a New York City middle school through City Year. Monica brings her legal experience including Court Appointed Special Advocates and the Legal Aid Society to the interdisciplinary student cohort. At the Field Center, Monica hopes to engage in a solution-focused process to address systemic injustice for youth and improve her advocacy skills.