New staff members appointed

Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff has been named chair of the advisory board of the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles.

Other new advisory board members include Diana M. Bonta, Randal Hernandez and George L. Pla.

Jennifer L. Magnabosco, Stephen A. Nuno and Lisa R. Esparza have joined the staff of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles.

ìWith the expertise of our new staff and advisory board members, the center will continue its momentum toward becoming the premier undergraduate research center focused on urban issues,î said Fernando Guerra, director of The Leavey Center and associate professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies.

ìGiven Mr. Soboroffís civic participation, he is a perfect advisory board chair for a center focused on students, research and civic action,î Guerra said.

From 1995 to 2001, Soboroff served as president of the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission. He is chairman emeritus of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, a former member of the Los Angeles Unified School District School Bond Oversight Committee and a former senior advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles.

Bonta is a healthcare executive with public policy credentials. At Kaiser Permanente, as vice president of public affairs, she oversees Southern Californiaís public policy agenda, leadership and public affairs, branding support and reputation man- agement.

Former director of the California Department of Health Services, Bonta received the American Public Health Association Presidential Citation Award and Hispanic Magazine named her to its list of 100 Leading Latinas. She has been nominated for or appointed to more than 24 positions in governance and advisory, and is a board of trustee for the Health Professions Education Foundation.

Hernandez is senior vice president and senior public policy executive for California at Bank of America. He has served on Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggerís senior staff as appointments secretary, as well as the chief of staff for the mayor of Long Beach.

Pla is president, chief executive officer and founder of Cordoba Corporation, an engineering and construction management firm based in Los Angeles.

He is a member of the board of regents of Loyola Marymount University as well as a Presidential Associate at the University of Southern California (USC) and co-founder of USCís Mexican American Alumni Association.

Magnabosco has been hired as associate director and senior research associate for the center. Prior to joining the center, she served as consultant to the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health. She has also been assistant director of the Center for the Study of Social Work Practice at Columbia University; associate policy researcher of the RAND Corporation; project associate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Mental Health Policy Research Network; and health science research/formative evaluation/survey specialist of the Department of Veteranís Affairs-RAND-UCLA Cen- ter of Excellence for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior.

Esparza is the centerís new director of development. For more than five years, Esparza was a manager for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). There, she was instrumental in securing funds for the ADAís signature events and partnering with Southern California businesses as well as government officials to fund diabetes research, education and advocacy.

Nuno has been named research associate for The Leavey Center. Prior to joining the center, Nuno was a research consultant and scholar with the center for nearly two years. He has served as a private consultant on research projects focusing on voting behavior, ethnic politics and Latino political behavior for several organizations.

The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles was established in 1996 to assist students, the university, and the community at large to become agents for change that leads to social justice.

ìUsing Los Angeles as a laboratory for understanding the urban experience, the center has become a university leader in producing highly regarded applied research, developing multidisciplinary courses and educational forums, and engaging undergraduates in civic action and social justice research,î says an LMU spokesman.

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