Alumna Lends Unique View to School’s Board

February 19, 2014
by Maya Meinert
Tim Kring, left, with new USC School of Social Work board member Lisa LaCorte-Kring.

Lisa LaCorte-Kring, MSW ’94, has returned to the university as a member of the USC School of Social Work’s Board of Councilors, bringing with her a progressive perspective on social work practice and education.

LaCorte-Kring is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in family mediation with the Los Angeles County Superior Court for 10 years before transitioning into mindfulness training, or focusing attention and awareness based on meditation principles, after having two children.

“I found myself at home not working, but I’ve always been achievement-oriented. I was restless and couldn’t just be happy, even though I had everything associated with happiness – a beautiful family, house, my health,” LaCorte-Kring said. “I wasn’t happy in my own skin. But after studying mindfulness, which is now evidence-based, I’m happy to say that I can just be now.”

LaCorte-Kring teaches many kinds of mindfulness-based classes, including mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness in everyday living and mindful parenting. In this capacity, she facilitates support groups for cancer patients at the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and at the Benjamin Center Cancer Support Community in Los Angeles, Calif.

Prior to her career in social work, LaCorte-Kring traveled the world as an opera singer.

“I still wanted to connect with people but on a more real, grounded level, rather than through the arts,” she said. “I became a social worker because I really wanted to do something meaningful in the world.”

LaCorte-Kring said she would like to see more mindfulness research and education, and she hopes to bring some of that thinking as a member of the School of Social Work’s Board of Councilors.

“The underlying intention of mindfulness practice is the alleviation of suffering, and this dovetails beautifully with my deep and heartfelt work as a social worker,” she said.

And as an alumna of the School of Social Work, LaCorte-Kring would like to help USC’s aspiring social workers realize their professional goals.

“I feel a real connection and love for the school and what it gave to me,” said LaCorte-Kring, whose husband, Tim Kring, is an alumnus of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. “Once you become a social worker, you can’t help but care about future social workers and the evolution of the field. I want to be a part of broader change.”