Monica (she/they) is a sociology PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles and Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholar. Her research interests focus on the sociology of law, gender, and carcerality. Through qualitative research methods, she seeks to examine how the implementation of U.S. restorative and transformative justice practices — especially in response to gender-based violence — intersect with race, gender, and disability.
Prior to matriculating to UCLA, Monica received their J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. In law school, Monica worked at the California Asylum Representation Clinic, the East Bay Community Law Center, the UC Berkeley Center for Race & Gender, the ACLU of Southern California, and Public Counsel. Monica received her B.A. in Gender Studies from the University of Southern California and, after graduating, worked as a sexual health educator for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Following law school, Monica served as a two-year legal fellow in the immigrants’ rights program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, focusing on cases challenging the detention and deportation of Southeast Asian and other immigrant communities targeted for policing and immigration enforcement.
Outside of her doctoral work, Monica enjoys spending time with her cats, exploring LA’s foodscapes, hiking, and tending to her plants.