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PARC at Loyola Marymount University – Statewide Evaluator

About Us


Psychology Applied Research Center at Loyola Marymount University (PARC@LMU)  


The Psychology Applied Research Center (PARC) at Loyola Marymount University is a grant-funded center that collaborates with a variety of community-based organizations and groups to inform social change and community empowerment through applied, action-oriented research, evaluation, and technical assistance. Under the direction of Center Director Cheryl Grills, Ph.D., PARC’s community-based participatory research and activism primarily supports social justice priority issues of underserved communities of color addressing inequity, disproportionality, and disparity issues.  

Approach to the CRDP Phase II Statewide Evaluation

A public health perspective supported by an ecological systems framework (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) undergirds PARC’s evaluation philosophy, praxis, and approach to the CRDP Phase 2 Statewide Evaluation (SWE).  This framework posits that individuals’ experiences and outcomes must be understood in the context of ecological systems. In other words, individuals are simultaneously impacted by multiple ecosystems, from the most intimate home ecological system to broader school, neighborhood/community, county, state, and national systems. The social-ecological framework provides a lens for a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between mental health and multi-level social and environmental factors (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Ungar, 2012; Umemoto et al., 2009). It encourages attention to risk and protective factors contained within each of the social/ecological realms. 

Complimenting the social-ecological framework is the role of culture (Trickett, 2009).  Culture provides the foundational frames contained within worldviews and guides interpretation of reality, and how to act in the world (Harrell, 2015). The SWE attends to culture and how it influences the evaluation of the CDEPs and CRDP Phase 2 as a whole.  

The SWE approach within this integrated model is: 

  • Multi-level: Data is collected across individual, organizational, community, and statewide levels. 
  • Community-based: Working in close partnership with the IPPs, TAPs, the EOA.   
  • Contextually and Culturally-situated: Explicit placement of culture within the CDEP, while also considering the intersection of culture, environment, and historical factors and how they influence CDEP organizations, community, and systems. 

Therefore, the SWE is a synthesis of culture and ecology in a nuanced, multidimensional understanding of culture and context in mental health delivery. 

Who We Are

PARC@LMU has a 15 person multi-ethnic and multi-disciplinary team who under the direction of Dr. Cheryl Grills have conducted a diverse set of multi-year national, state-wide, and local evaluations and research projects. 

Contact Us

Principal Contact Persons

Cheryl Grills, Ph.D, Principal Investigator  

Sandra Villanueva, Ph.D, Project Director  

Diane Terry, M.S.W., Ph.D, Project Coordinator