Anyon, Yolanda

Associate Professor, School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Sciences


University of California, Berkeley:

  • PhD in Social Welfare, 2012
  • Master of Social Welfare and Pupil Personnel Services Credential, 2008

Stanford University:                                                  

  • BA with Honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, 2000


My community-engaged research draws on critical theories and mixed methods to understand the roles of public schools and nonprofit organizations in youth development. Through research-practice partnerships, I study policies and processes that mitigate or contribute to opportunity gaps in these settings. I am especially interested in equity-oriented and youth-led approaches to program improvement and education reform. My current research projects focus on racial disparities in the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative justice, and participatory action research with young people. I teach classes on social work practice in schools, critical theories of child and adolescent development, and urban youth programs.

A unique personal detail about me is my name origin story. My family name, Anyon, was created by my paternal grandfather, Jay Timmianski, a first generation Russian American active in the communist party.  After experiencing job discrimination during the anti-communist/Russian “red scare,” he changed his last name to Anyon in hopes he would then have the same employment opportunities as “anyone” else (drop the “e” from anyone and you get Anyon). My parents named me Yolanda (Yoli for short) after a Chicana community organizer they worked with in San Diego, where I grew up.