Lalaine (Lainey) Sevillano is a doctoral student at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She obtained her Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Northridge in 2018 and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology (with a minor in education) from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. Her scholarship is noteworthy as demonstrated by the numerous scholarships and awards she has received, including a University Continuing Fellowship for 2021-22. Lainey is also a California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and a Chancellor’s Incentive Doctoral Program Fellow.

Driven by her intersecting social identities as a Pilipinx woman, immigrant, and first generation college student, Lainey describes herself as scholar-leader-activist. As a scholar at the intersection of social work and education, her research aims to eradicate mental health and education disparities for minoritized students such as herself. Her work has been published in Children and Youth Services Review and Social Work Research. Currently, she is a co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of a seed grant funded by the University Vice Provost of Diversity investigating how pedagogical caring strategies can enhance a sense of belonging for students who hold multiple minoritized social identities.

As a leader, Lainey has been at the frontlines of DEI efforts within and beyond SHSSW. During her first semester at SHSSW she was invited by the Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion to serve as the Doctoral Student Representative, a position she has held for the last three years. Last academic year, Lainey founded and is currently directing the inaugural SHSSW DEI Student Task Force. Recognized as a leader in DEI, she has also been invited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) to sit on their national Task Force to Advance Anti-Racism.

As an activist, Lainey has been invited to speak and write about equity and inclusion, social justice, and decolonization. In February 2020, she was featured in the CSWE’s Center for Diversity, Social & Economic Justice’s monthly Educator Resource. Her activist efforts also include her service as a mentor in programs such as the MSSW Mentorship for Students of Color program and Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program, spaces in which she hopes to extend the pipeline for scholar-leader-activists.

Professional Interests

Critical race theory, decolonizing; sense of belonging; internalized racism; culturally-responsive pedagogy; resistance; achievement; mental health; community-based participatory research; mixed methods