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Thomas Ward

Associate Professor (Teaching) of Anthropology

Contact Information
E-mail: tww@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-8222
Office: GFS 120

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
 

Education

Ph.D. Anthropology (Psycho-cultural Studies), University of California - Los Angeles, 1987
 

Postdoctoral Training

Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco , 1987-1988   
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Associate Professor (Teaching) , University of Southern California, 2013-2014   
 

Other Employment

Court Certified Expert Witness on Gangs, Criminal & Immigration Courts, US, 09/16/1999-  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Street gangs, with a particular focus on Central American immigrant youth, conducted research since 1993. Also interested in Tibetan Bön Buddhism and Dzögchen (meditation), conducted research since 1995. Participated in a dark retreat (50 days) in June-July, 2009. Taught meditation class at a gang prevention/intervention program in Pico-Union district (Summer, 2013).
 

Research Keywords

Street Gangs, Urban Youth Gangs, Transnational Gangs, Central American Gangs, MS-13 Gang, Mara 18, Tibetan Buddhism, Bön, Dzögchen, meditation.
 

Research Specialties

Street gangs, transnational gangs, Tibetan Bön Buddhism.
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Other Presentations

"Central American Street Gangs", Beyond the Headlines, UCLA Extension, Westwood, CA, Fall 2014   
"Introduction to Meditation", Gang Prevention and Intervention Program, , Aztecs Rising, Leonard Rivas, Program Director , Los Angeles, CA, 2013-2014   
"Street Gangs and Communities", Anthropology Lecture Series, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California, 2012-2013   
"Central American Gang Members", Colloquium Series of the Princeton Center for Migration and Development, Department of Sociology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Spring 2013   
"Gangs and Juvenile Justice", USC Law Class, Professor Heidi Rummel, University of Southern California, USC Law School, USC LAW SCHOOL, Spring 2013   
"Gangs in Los Angeles", Trojan League of Los Angeles, Trojan League, Faculty Club, University of Southern California, Spring 2013   
"Wisdom and Compassion", What Matters to Me & Why, Office of Religious Life, USC, USC, Ground Zero, 2009-2010   
"Refleciones sobre ethnografia con mareros", Workshop on Anti-gang policies, University of Utrecht, San Salvador, El Salvador, 2008-2009   
 

Other Research

Conducted a 50-day dark retreat (meditation in solitary confinement) in Crestone, Colorado, June-July, 2009., 2008-2009   
Consultant, Study of MS-13 gang in US and El Salvador, conducted by Cheryl Maxson, Dept. of Criminology, Law & Society, UC Irvine., 03/27/2006-03/27/2007  
 

Publications

Book

Ward, T. W. (2012). Gangsters Without Borders: An Ethnography of a Salvadoran Street Gang. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
 
 

New Courses Developed

Mindfulness in Cultural Practices, GESM 120, Undergraduate GE course that examines mindfulness practices within multiple cultural and spiritual traditions., 2015-2016   
 

Service to the University

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

Speaker, Capital Case Defense Seminar, 2014-2015   
Key Note Speaker, "Central American Street Gangs: Myths and Realities," Beyond the Headlines, UCLA Extension, September 30., Fall 2014   
Key Note Speaker, Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, 3rd L.A. Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention Conference and Study Tour: "Addressing the Root Causes of Gang Violence," Los Angeles, California, May 14., Spring 2014   
Lecture and Book Signing, Los Angeles Book Festival, USC, April 12., Spring 2014   
Lecture and Book Signing, USC Bookstore, February 5, Spring 2014   
"Gangs in Los Angeles," lecture to the Trojan League of Los Angeles, Faculty Club, University of Southern California, March 13. , Spring 2013   
Guest Expert, Interview, Healing Honduras: Street Gang Truce, Inside Story Americas (ISA), Al Jazeera TV, May 29, 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2013/05/201352965329747769.html, Spring 2013   
Guest lecture and book signing, Saddleback College, April 24., Spring 2013   
Guest lecture, Pasadena Senior Citizen Center, Pasadena, Spring 2013   
Guest speaker, Colloquium Series of the Princeton Center for Migration and Development, Princeton University, Spring 2013   
Guest, Inside Story Americas, Gang Truce in Honduras, Al Jazeera TV, May 28., Spring 2013   
Guest speaker, Panelist, "Security in Central America: Outlook and Options," (Vecinos Lecture Series), Americas Society/Council of the Americas and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Houston, TX, Fall 2012   
Public Talk- What Matters to Me and Why? Trojan Ground Zero, USC, 2009-2010   
"Building a home in LA, City of Angels and AK-47s," The Age (Australia), April 19., 2007-2008   
 

Other Service to the University

Gang Expert, Participant, Eurogang Conference, Professor Karen Hennigan, organizer, USC, May 15. , Spring 2014   
Panelist, "Gangs and Social Work," Hamovitch Research Center, USC School of Social Work, December 4., Fall 2013   
"Gangs and Juvenile Justice," guest lecture, USC Law Class, Professor Heidi Rummel, Spring 2013   
Guest Speaker, USC Trojan League, lecture on Gangsters without Borders, March 13., Spring 2013   
 

Service to the Profession

Review Panels

The Advancement Project, Anti-gang Initiative, 2007-2008   

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

Speaker, Capital Case Defense Seminar, Mitigating Gang Cases, with Ricardo D. Garcia, Esq. Multiple Conflicts Office-Major Cases County of San Diego, Monterey, CA, 2014-2015   
Interview with Tami Abdollah, ABC News, regarding gang violence. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/gang-violence-fears-children-fuel-rush-us-24690446 , Fall 2014   
Key Note Speaker, "Addressing the Root Causes of Gang Violence," Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, May 14., Spring 2014   
LA Times Book Festival, Lecture and Book Signing, April 12., Spring 2014   
Guest Expert, Interview, Healing Honduras: Street Gang Truce, Inside Story Americas (ISA), Al Jazeera TV, May 29, 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2013/05/201352965329747769.html, Spring 2013   
"Bill Aims to Stop Gang Violence," Callie Schweitzer, Daily Trojan, February 5., 2007-2008   
"Cross-Cultural Uses of Urine," MANswers, Spike TV, November 11., 2007-2008   
"Female Juvenile Offenders," Fox Television News, October 12., 2007-2008   
"On Culture," Anthropology Series, Coast Telecourse Systems, March 10., 2007-2008   
"Race-Based Gang Violence," Rogelio Mora, Telemundo, March 6., 2007-2008   
"Summit on Transnational Gangs," Annenberg TV News, March 5., 2007-2008   
"Transnational Gangs," Frank Stoltze, KPCC Radio, August 3., 2007-2008   
Guest Speaker, "Gang Violence Awareness Panel," Occidental College, April 21., 2007-2008   
Sponsor, Media Training for Gang Prevention/Intervention Workers, U.S.C., July 22., 2007-2008   
 

Other Service to the Profession

Faculty Master Talk, 'Gang Truces in Central America,' King Hall, March 3, 2015, 6:30 p.m., 2014-2015   
Expert Witness, Asylum Case, Brian W. Sullivan, Esq., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, for Erick Gomez-Alvarenga, United States Immigration Court, Philadelphia, PA, October 7. , Fall 2014   
Expert Witness, Asylum Case, Jesse Evans-Schroeder, Esq., for Wilson Enrique Lagos, Case No. 042-129-847, United States Immigration Court, Tucson, AZ, The Honorable Thomas O’Leary, July 2., Spring 2014   
Expert Witness, Asylum Case, Leon Hazany, Esq., for Edward Gonzalez Valenzuela, A092-146-887, United States Immigration Court, Philadelphia, PA, June 28. , Spring 2014   
Expert Witness, Criminal Case, Edward Esquedo, Attorney for Vladimir Osvaldo Valiente, Case No. 12-060078, A187 PC-Attempted Murder, United States Criminal Court, Los Angeles, CA, February 14, retrial. , Spring 2014   
Expert Witness, Immigration Case Parvin Wiliani, Esq., for Santos de Jesus Ramirez Rodriguez, A205-932-277, United States Immigration Court, Los Angeles, CA, April 29., Spring 2014   
Expert Witness, Immigration Case, Katherine DeGovia, Deputy Public Defender, for Byron Celis, Case No. PJ5j0629, Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA, The Honorable Robert J. Schuit, June 29. , Spring 2014   
Expert Witness, Immigration Case, Jeremy L. McKinney, Attorney for Oscar Rene Ventura, A205-165-676, Judge Pettinato, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Charlotte, NC, October 11. , Fall 2013   
Expert Witness, Criminal Court, Virginia, and four Immigration Cases, 2012-2013   
Expert Witness, Immigration Case, Leon Hazany, Attorney for Juan Carlos Rosales, CASE NO: A200-787-215, Judge I.J. Stancill, Executive Office for Immigration Review, Los Angeles, CA, May 22., Spring 2013   
Served as an expert witness in two death penalty cases, and two immigration cases involving members of street gangs. , 2009-2010   
Served as an expert witness in three asylum cases involving youth who were fearing persecution from gang members in Central America. , 2008-2009   
Participant, The Eurogang Conference, IX, Prof. Malcolm Klein, Organizer, University of Southern California, L.A., May 18-21., 2007-2008   
 
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