Growing up in Highland Park, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, Dr. Fernando Guerra was no stranger to understanding politics and issues that arise in the city. After high school, Dr. Guerra attended the University of Southern California, where he received his bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Political Science. He furthered his education by earning his master’s degree and doctorate of philosophy in Political Science at the University of Michigan. Dr. Guerra is the founding director of LMU’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles (StudyLA), which opened in 1996 in reaction to 1992 LA/Rodney King uprisings. Riots. The undergraduate center focuses on public opinion research on LA. StudyLA has been researching groups in LA, such as Latinos, to further understand the issues they face in the city and to help effect social change.