New Faculty Profiles

Anamika Barman-Adhikari, MSW, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Anamika Barman-Adhikari obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles and her MSW from California State University, Fresno.  Dr. Barman-Adhikari’s experiences in policy, research, and clinical services have coalesced in her current research goals and agenda. These experiences have collectively helped her to formulate a research agenda, which is devoted to the prevention of HIV and substance use among high-risk youth and other vulnerable populations. Her research interests are broadly centered on understanding the social-contextual determinants of risk behaviors among vulnerable youth populations such as homeless and minority youth. Utilizing an ecological approach, her work aims to assess how family, peers, community and the society at large define the contexts within which vulnerable youth function and how these contexts help to explicate the patterns of risk behaviors that these youth engage in. The goal of her research is to create prevention interventions that acknowledge these contextual environments and utilize ‘social network methodology” to determine how these new ideas can be disseminated and sustained using a “community based participatory research approach”.

She is a member of the Society for Social Work and Research, the Society for Prevention Research, and the American Public Health Association. Dr. Barman-Adhikari serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of LGBT Youth, and the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. Dr. Barman-Adhikari has published in the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Adolescent Health, and Journal of Family Issues, among other journals. Her teaching interests include social work research, statistics, and theories of human behavior and social environment.

She was born and raised in India but currently she resides in Fresno with her husband and daughter.


Iran Barrera, MSW, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

imageDr. Barrera spent his last five years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas – Pan American in which he taught courses on mental health and conducted research along the U.S. / Mexico border.

Dr. Barrera has extensive experience working with minority communities (African-American/Hispanic) in California and Texas. In 2005 he was awarded a minority fellowship from the Council on Social Work Education to study Hispanic mental health. His research interests include examining mental health literacy in Mexican-American communities and mental health care disparities in Hispanics. He also has experience conducting quantitative and qualitative mental health studies.

Dr. Barrera received his Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from California State University - Long Beach in 2003; his Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Texas - Arlington and La Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, México in 2008. 

Dr. Barrera was born in Santa Maria, California and was raised in Avenal, California.  He is the son of migrant farm-working parents from Texas and currently resides in Fresno, California with his wife and two children.


Gyanesh Lama, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor 


Gyanesh Lama’s work centers on poverty, and creating and testing innovations to advance social well-being. His teachings focus on equanimity, social innovations, and science-based approach to policy and institutional design.

Some of Lama’s current and past works include Mapping Poverty and Disparities in Central Valley, California; The Middle Class Project; Global Youth Save Project; The Himalayan Community Development Project. He has authored or co-authored peer reviewed articles in professional publication that include International Social Work; Child Maltreatment; Community Mental Health.

Lama was educated at St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu and Washington University in St. Louis. He was born and raised in the Himalayas of Nepal.