Leadership and Staff

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Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
sanjan [at] berkeley.edu

Martín Sánchez-JankowskiMartín Sánchez-Jankowski is Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Professor of Sociology. He also leads ISSI's Center for Ethnographic Research and co-leads the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science and economics. His research focuses on inequality in advanced and developing societies and has been directed toward understanding the social arrangements and behavior of people living in poverty. He has studied urban gangs within U.S. low-income neighborhoods, resulting in the book Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society (1991). Subsequent studies have been directed at education, some of the results being reported in a book co-authored with five other Berkeley faculty entitled Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996); and the social order of neighborhoods, with those results being published in Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Resilience in Poor Neighborhoods (2008). His most recent book is Burning Dislike: Ethnic Violence in High Schools (2016). He is currently engaged in comparative field research on poverty among indigenous groups within the U.S. and Fiji.

Associate Director 

Christine Trost
ctrost [at] berkeley.edu

Christine TrostChristine Trost is Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.  In addition to helping direct the overall research mission of the Institute, she is the Academic Coordinator for the Center for Right-Wing Studies and Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, and she leads the second year of the Graduate Fellows Program. She also serves on the Advisory Committe of Native American Student Development. Trost holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley. She has written journal articles and edited volumes on topics related to political ethics, campaign practices, and civic and political engagement, including co-authoring (with Irene Bloemraad) "It's a Family Affair: Intergenerational Mobilization in the Spring 2006 Protests," American Behavioral Scientist (December 2008); co-editing (with Alison Gash) Conflict of Interest and Public Life: Cross-National Perspectives (Cambridge, 2008); co-authoring (with Matthew Grossmann) Win the Right Way: How to Run Effective Local Campaigns in California (Berkeley Public Policy Press, 2005); and co-editing, with Jonathan Bernstein and Adrienne Jamieson, Campaigning for Congress: Politicians at Home and in Washington (Institute of Governmental Studies Press, 1995). Her current research examines right-wing activism in U.S. politics. She was co-editor of a volume (with Lawrence Rosenthal) on the Tea Party, Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party (University of California Press, 2012).  She is also co-editor (with Lynn Chancer and Martín Sánchez-Jankowski) of Youth, Jobs and the Future: Problems and Prospects, (Oxford University Press, 2018). Prior to her position at ISSI, she led the research arm of UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies' Improving Campaigns Project (from 2001-2004), and she has taught American Politics courses at UC Berkeley and Mills College. In 2008 Trost received the Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award for her work as a member of the Berkeley Initiative for Leadership and Diversity Steering Committee. 

Assistant Director

Deborah Freedman Lustig
dlustig [at] berkeley.edu

Deborah Freedman LustigDeborah Freedman Lustig is a cultural anthropologist whose research has focused on gender and education in the United States and Kenya, where she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2004-5. Lustig earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her articles about teenage mothers have been published in the journals Anthropology and Education Quarterly and Childhood and in the edited volume Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation:  Implications for Policy and Practice (Columbia University Press, 2009). Her recent research on risk and violence among young adults coming of age in Oakland, California has been published in Children and Youth Services Review and in the edited volume Education and the Risk Society: Theories, Discourse, and Risk Identities in Education Contexts (Sense Publishers 2012) and is available here. From 2006-2011 Lustig coordinated the research and training activities of the Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Violence Prevention, a project of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. In addition to helping direct the overall research mission of the Institute, she is the Academic Coordinator of theBerkeley Center for Social Medicine, the Center for Ethnographic Research and the Center for Research on Social Change, as well one of the Training Coordinators for the Graduate Fellows Program.  To read more about Dr. Lustig click here.


Events and Communications Manager

Shari Sollars
sollars [at] berkeley.edu

Shari Sollars is ISSI's Events and Communications Manager. She previously worked at UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies and for the College of Engineering’s inaugural Girls in Engineering summer program. She spent several years teaching ESL both abroad and in coastal California’s agricultural communities.  She ran a small nonprofit community organization in Pescadero, CA, and served on the town’s municipal advisory board. Shari received her MA in English/Creative Writing from CSU East Bay. She has an undergraduate degree in History from New York University with a focus on Holocaust Studies.


Graduate Fellows Training Coordinator

David Minkus
minkus [at] berkeley.edu

David Minkus has been a Research Associate and Coordinator of the Graduate Fellows Program at the Institute for more than three decades. He is currently engaged in preliminary research on access to employment and training within the informal economies of Latino ethnic enclaves.  Over the past fifteen years he has worked in research, training and consultant positions involved in design and evaluation of programs targeting at-risk youth and their families in school, after school, and community settings. He completed a one-year study of “Best Practices among Youth Serving Programs in Berkeley (2003-04),” for the City of Berkeley.  David is also the principal author (with Michael Omi) of an Evaluation of the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas School of Business’ (YEAH) Program for Bay Area high school students. David has also engaged in extensive research on travel behavior and social impacts of transportation systems within the Bay Area.  He was principal author of a variety of studies of travel behavior patterns and barriers to use of public transportation.  These include studies of the impacts of BART on Bay Area lifestyles and social institutions; the Golden Gate Park Users Transportation Surveys; and the San Francisco Downtown Shoppers Survey.  He was also principal author of the market feasibility study for the MUNI Market Street Historic Railcars.

Computer Specialist

Charles Brown  
captcb [at] berkeley.edu

Student Assistants

Arianne Amparo

Ariel Gans

Amy Vuong

Karla Zamora

Advisory Board

Jane Mauldon (Chair), Associate Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Neil Fligstein, Class of 1939 Chancellor's Professor of Sociology

Amani M. Allen (formerly Nuru-Jeter), Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Community Health Sciences

Michael Omi, Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies

Laura Stoker, Associate Professor, Political Science

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
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