Michael H. Jang, M.A., Director

Michael H. Jang is a sociologist with nearly thirty years of experience in social science research.  As a Research Associate for ISA and the URSA Institute throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Jang conducted research in a number of areas including violent juvenile crime, public education, AIDS, substance abuse, and issues affecting Asian and Pacific Islander communities. In 1977, he founded Four Winds Research Corporation, a for profit research firm specializing in evaluation research, management information systems, and data analysis. In 1987, he became President of the URSA Institute.

From 1988 to 1989, Jang was the director for the evaluation of the State of California’s HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Project. He has also served on national advisory committees for National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.  Over the years, Jang has authored or co-authored dozens of articles, papers, and technical reports, and in 1998 he co-wrote the Atlas of American Diversity (AltaMira Press) with Larry Shinagawa.

Jang has devoted much of his life to community service. For more than forty years he has served the American Red Cross as a volunteer and a member of numerous local, county, and regional boards and committees. He currently serves the Red Cross as the Vice-Chairperson of the California State Service Council, and as a member of both the National Diversity Advisory Committee and the national nominating committee. Jang has also served on boards for the United Way, Edgewood Children’s Homes, and other organizations.

Geoffrey P. Hunt, Ph.D., Senior Scientist

Dr. Hunt is a social and cultural anthropologist, who has had 30 years experience in planning, conducting, and managing research in the field of youth studies, youth cultures and drug and alcohol research. Currently Dr. Hunt is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Analysis and Professor at the Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research (CRF) at the University of Aarhus. (Insert link). Dr. Hunt is Principal Investigator on a National Institutes on Health project on Asian-American men who have sex with men (MSM). This project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse is a continuation project on the culture of drug use in the dance scene begun in 2002. This initial project also encompassed three comparative qualitative research projects in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Rotterdam. A book based on this research “Youth Drugs and Nightlife” was published in November 2009 by Routledge.

In addition to these projects on clubs, drugs and the nighttime economy, Dr. Hunt and his team continue their work on youth gangs in the San Francisco Bay Area and are currently analyzing and writing up their research on gender and drug sales, a project also funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This study represents the latest project on youth gangs in the San Francisco Bay area, which began in 1990. Since then five additional studies have been completed.

Dr. Hunt has been involved in two large scale comparative international projects. The first project focused on the study of alcohol treatment systems in sixteen countries and led to the publication,  with Dr. Harald Klingeman,  of the book: “Cure, Care or Control: Alcoholism Treatment in Sixteen Countries” (SUNY 1992). A companion volume,  “Drugs, Demons and Delinquents: Drug Treatment Systems in an International Perspective” (Sage 1998), also with Dr. Klingeman,  examined the drug treatment systems in twenty different countries. Most recently, Dr. Hunt, along with Dr. Milhet from the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) in Paris and Dr. Bergeron from Sciences Po also in Paris, edited the book,  “Drugs and Culture: Knowledge, Consumption and Policy” (Ashgate 2011).

Sheigla Murphy, PhD, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Studies at the Institute

Dr. Murphy is a medical sociologist who has been researching various types and aspects of illicit drug use for more than thirty years. Currently, Dr. Murphy is the Principal Investigator for two National Institute on Drug Abuse grants to study non-medical prescription drug use (NPDU) and sales. The first project looks at 18 to 25 year old young adults’ NPDU and will provide much needed information about the nature of NPDU among young adults. This project’s focus is to examine the impact of NPDU on relationships, lifestyles and health and social consequences of use. The second project, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act mechanism, is a qualitative study of women (compared with men) who sell prescription drugs. This project’s goal is to gather information regarding the impact of gender on distribution practices and personal use patterns and, in turn, the health-related dangers for women who sell prescription drugs.

Dr. Murphy has been awarded grants from the National Institute of Justice and the National Institutes of Health. She was the 2006 recipient of the Senior Scientist award for her contributions to the field of substance abuse studies from the Drug and Alcohol Section of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Dr. Murphy has published numerous articles in Addiction Research, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Journal of Drug Issues, Contemporary Drug Problems, Qualitative Sociology, Qualitative Health Research and Social Science and Medicine concerning heroin use, methadone maintenance, needle sharing, needle exchange, cocaine selling, natural recovery from drug use, drug users in health care systems and women’s drug use, pregnancy and violence and drug sales. She is the coauthor (with Dan Waldorf and Craig Reinarman) of Cocaine Changes: The Experience of Using and Quitting, Temple University Press, 1991. Her second book (with coauthor Marsha Rosenbaum) is Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma Rutgers University Press, 1999.

Maya Jang, M.A. Administrator

Maya Jang brings a wealth of social science and administrative experience to the position of ISA Administrator. She holds a Master’s degree in developmental psychology from San Francisco State University, a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of California, Berkeley, and worked as a Research Assistant and Project Coordinator before becoming the Administrative Manager of Four Winds Research Corporation in 1996. She took over the position of Administrator for ISA in 1999.