Current Leadership


Dr. Lisa M. López is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Dr. López earned her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Miami and completed an NSF-funded post-doctoral fellowship in Language and Literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research agenda involves furthering our understanding of, and improving upon, the educational and environmental opportunities of Latino DLL children in the U.S. Her main research objective is to identify the developmental trajectory of school readiness skills for Latino DLL children while applying an ecological perspective to better understand this developmental trajectory. Her research has been funded by NIH, IES, and ACF, and published in journals focused on both education and developmental psychology. She has won numerous awards for her scholarly and community work with the Latino DLL population including receiving the 2015 Hillsborough Head Start Partner in Excellence Award, the 2015 ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Professor of the Year Award, and the 2014 USF Latino Community Advisory Board Hispanic Heritage Faculty Pathways Award. Additionally, her research article focused on the development of phonological awareness in DLLs received honorable mention as part of the JRCE Distinguished Education Research article award program in 2013. 

Chair Elect

Dr. Melissa Y. Delgado is an Associate Professor of Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona, where she is also the co-chair of the Latino Youth and Families Research Initiative of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families. She trained in family and human development and as a W. T. Grant Foundation post-doctoral fellow at Arizona State University. Taking a strengths-based approach, her collaborative program of research focuses on the mechanisms and adaptive cultural responses in youths’ settings (i.e., family, school, peer) that reduce racial/ethnic inequality (e.g., educational) and promote the positive development of US-Latin American adolescents, particularly adolescents of Mexican origin. She has published research in developmental and family journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Journal of Family Psychology. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research on Adolescence and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology and, regularly, is a conference abstract reviewer for family and developmental conferences, including SRCD’s Biennial Meetings.


Dr. Doré R. LaForett is an Advanced Research Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Senior Research Scientist at Child Trends. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Temple University. Her research focuses on young children’s school readiness and mental health within the context of families and early childhood programs, with a particular emphasis on low-income and ethnic/language minority populations. She currently is the Principal Investigator of a new study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences in the US Department of Education, called “BEE Project: Bilingualism, Education, and Excellence/Proyecto BEE: Bilingüe, educación y éxito.” This study examines the academic experiences and skills of Kindergarten – 3rd grade students attending Spanish/English dual language education settings. Her previous work includes studies examining academic engagement, peer relations, and home language in dual language education; evaluating a summer educational transition program for Spanish-speaking three-year-olds; adapting and testing a Tier 2 language and literacy intervention for Spanish-speaking pre-k students; and working on the Center on Early Care and Education Research – Dual Language Learners (CECER-DLL). Finally, Dr. LaForett has served as a founding member and peer-elected officer for the SRCD Latinx Caucus, and currently is a member of the publications and communications subcommittee.


Dr. Rosa I. Toro is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State).  She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC), and attended the University of California, Riverside where she earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology working under the direction of Nancy Guerra.  Prior to coming to Fresno State, she was a MacArthur Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and worked with Tama Leventhal at Tufts University on the development of a multi-city longitudinal study interested in examining the effects of housing on young children’s development.  Her research focuses on the effect of contextual influences (e.g. acculturation, housing, and neighborhoods) on Latino immigrant families with the end goal of identifying and highlighting resiliency factors in order to promote children’s development. In 2016, she was awarded a federal SC-2 grant from NIH for a longitudinal study seeking to examine the associations involving parent-child acculturation differences, family functioning, and children’s socioemotional and health outcomes.  She has served as a reviewer for journals such as: Child Development, Applied Developmental Science, Journal of Marriage and Family, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Journal of Research on Adolescence (serving as Consulting Editor), and Journal of Family Issues, as well as for the SRCD biennial conference.

Social Media Manager

Erika Hernandez is a Doctoral Candidate in Developmental Psychology at Virginia Tech, working with Dr. Julie Dunsmore. She is currently working on her dissertation, which is focused on intergenerational reminiscing in African American, Latinx, and Appalachian families. Her overall body of research has focused on the development of physical and emotional health, particularly for minority youth. Her work has been published in Developmental Psychology and Social Development. Erika is committed to the values of diversity and inclusion, and has been very involved in university and departmental initiatives at Virginia Tech, most notably in creating a mentorship program for underrepresented undergraduates in the Psychology department.

Members at Large

Dr. Margarita Azmitia is a professor of psychology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala.  She received her BA and MA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She has served as an associate editor for Developmental Psychology and is a member of the UC Consortium on Adolescence Science. She researches the role of identity, close relationships, academic self-efficacy, and mental health in ethnic minority youth’s transition to and from college. Currently, she is investigating the educational and career pathways of Latinx and other ethnic minority emerging adults who are the first generation in their families to attend college and how the intersections between their gender, ethnic/race, social class, and sexual identities contour their everyday college experiences and career and life goals.

Dr. Mayra Y. Bámaca-Colbert is an immigrant scholar with expertise in Latino youth and families. She is currently and Associate Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her PhD in Family Studies and Human Development from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in Human & Community Development from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Her research applies a cultural-contextual developmental framework to answer questions about adaptive parenting, cultural influences, and Latino youth adjustment. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and is a Guest Editor for a Special Issue in Developmental Psychology focused on Hidden Populations. She has also served on the editorial boards for Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology and the Journal of Latina/o Psychology. She has received funding for her research from the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the National Council on Family Relations. Her research has been published in a number of outlets including Developmental Psychology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Family Process, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She has been a member of the Society for Research in Child Development since she was an undergraduate and she was a junior mentor for the Society’s Millennium Scholars Program in 2005 and 2007. As a minority, immigrant scholar, her goal as Member at large is to assist the Latinx Caucus leadership and members to develop strategies and programs that can further promote the Caucus visibility at SRCD and in the field of Developmental Sciences and to foster an inclusive scholarship of Latino research that integrates views from scholars in the United States and from Latin America.

Dr. Carola Suárez-Orozco is a Professor of Human Development and Psychology at UCLA. Her books include: Children of Immigration, Learning a New Land, as well as the Transitions: The Development of the Children of Immigrants. She has been awarded an American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Citation for her contributions to the understanding of cultural psychology of immigration, has served as Chair of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration, and is a member of the National Academy of Education.  

Student Representatives

Lorena Aceves is a Doctoral Candidate and IES pre-doctoral fellow at Penn State University in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She is  advised by Dr. Mayra Bamaca-Colbert and Dr. Dawn Witherspoon at Penn State. Lorena studies the co-contribution of familial and individual factor in promoting Latino youth’s educational achievement and attainment. Specifically, she interested in how familism values and intrinsic motivation and academic competence contribute to Latino youth’s achievement and in turn shapes their educational attainment trajectories. Lorena is very involved at Penn State (a predominately white campus) in the recruitment and retainment of under-presented graduate students and has most recently become a mentor for first generation students. As the daughter, of undocumented immigrants, Lorena has a deep appreciation and understanding of what the Latinx caucus stands for and hopes to continue to promote this group’s great work.

 Feliz Quiñones is a fifth-year doctoral student in Human Development and Psychology in the Education Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), working under the mentorship of Professor Sandra Graham. Her current research broadly examines how the neighborhood and school contexts inform middle and high school students’ experiences with racial/ethnic discrimination. She is specifically interested in the mismatch in the racial/ethnic composition between the neighborhood and school contexts and how this affects students’ experiences with racial/ethnic discrimination. She served as a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars mentor and helped found the Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship (GUM) program at UCLA. As a graduate student, she has taken advantage of various mentorship and service opportunities geared toward mentoring and building community with first-generation, low income, and underrepresented undergraduate students.

Franklin Moreno is a Doctoral Candidate in Education at U.C., Berkeley. His research bridges Latino experiences in Central America and the United States. He has been studying child and adolescent social-moral development related to exposure to gang violence in Honduras, where he has collaborated with the National Foundation for the Development of Honduras (FUNADEH). He is currently part of an international evaluation team assessing School-Based Violence Prevention programs in Honduras. Prior to his doctoral studies, he managed school programs at El Museo del Barrio in New York City, where he worked with school district leaders, parents and students on programs that focused on social justice both inside and outside of the classroom. He is committed to multi-disciplinary efforts that integrate research and application to deepen our understanding of the links between issues impacting Latinos domestically and globally.