Dr. Villagrana graduated with a PhD from the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. While at USC, she received a three year pre-doctoral research fellowship through the Council on Social Work Education funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. After graduating from USC, she completed a two year post doctoral research fellowship in health disparities at Arizona State University. Dr. Villagrana also worked as Chief Research Analyst for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and most recently as Chief of Research for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. She also worked for 12 years as a Children’s Social Worker for the same department. Dr. Villagrana’s research focus is mental health services for children and youth in the child welfare system, specifically with racial/ethnic minority children. Her work has been presented at national conferences and her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.