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Solving Society’s Most Pressing Problems

Fall 2016-  UCI Magazine

When Nancy Guerra interviewed at UCI for the position of dean of the School of Social Ecology, she didn’t mince words about her devotion to the subject. “I am social ecology,” she recalls saying. “Using an interdisciplinary approach to understand important social problems – and then working toward solving those problems – has been a central part of my whole career.”

Most recently a professor of psychological and brain sciences and associate provost for international programs at the University of Delaware, Guerra stepped into the role of dean on June 1. She’s new to UCI but not to the University of California, where she has been both a student and a professor. She earned a B.A. in psychology at UCLA and an M.A. in educational psychology at UC Santa Barbara before receiving a doctorate in human development and psychology at Harvard University.

Guerra was a faculty member at UC Riverside and also held a number of administrative posts, such as associate director of the Robert Presley Center for Crime & Justice Studies.

She’s an internationally known expert on youth development and violence prevention, including anti-bullying programs, and has been principal investigator for a National Academic Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. In addition, she has worked with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID and other international agencies on community-based program development and evaluation in several countries, among them Jamaica, Barbados, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

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