Member Spotlights


Sarah Killoren, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Missouri

I really enjoy being involved in the Latinx Caucus. I think it is an important way to network with other Latinx developmental and family scholars. I also think that the position statements and papers, such as the research-to-policy paper on the negative consequences of separating immigrant families at the border, can have a strong impact on policy and public opinion.

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Juan José Giraldo-Huertas, Doctoral Candidate (University of Reading, UK) and Full-time Faculty & Department Chair of Psicología del Desarrollo y la Educación (Universidad de la Sabana, Colombia)

I am honored to share a place with all my colleagues and inspiring researchers in the Latinx Caucus. The caucus is an opportunity to highlight our work and research projects and to foster future alliances to improve the livelihoods of children in vulnerable conditions.

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Sabrina A. Mendez-Escobar, M.S., Full-time Faculty & Assistant Department Chair, Harry S Truman College

I strongly affirm that health and wellness precede academia. The challenges ahead will require much attention to the former in order to get any research completed. As such, I am going forward as someone who has had to overcome challenges that have taught me how cultivating relationships and caring for others is a huge part of the process. Pa’lante!

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Dolly Rojo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Mount Saint Mary’s University

Now that I study language in a research context, I’ve learned that bilingualism and biculturalism are arguably inseparable, and not just for my mom. For my mother (and now for me, too), speaking Spanish “came with the package” of being Mexican. To her, this is a part of our identity, and so, if we lost this skill, it would be as though we lost a part of ourselves. In attending both national and international academic conferences, I realize too that this concern and passion for maintaining heritage languages is neither unique to Mexicans nor to immigrants.

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Andrea Romero, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Full Professor, University of Arizona

There is a need for collective strength to bring voice to these issues on a national stage. Moreover, there is a need for unique perspectives that come from familiarity with the Latinx population to help identify and interpret pressing issues.

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Erika Hernandez, Doctoral Candidate, Virginia Tech

My advice to someone starting out in this area is to understand that it is perfectly fine to be interested in a research topic because it impacted your personal life. That’s where passion originates.

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headshot of Maria S. Carlo

Maria S. Carlo, University of South Florida

The caucus brings together researchers who are working toward a more nuanced understanding of the Latinx experience. It helps to break down the false homogeneity of the Latinx category by providing a forum in which attention to within-population variability is encouraged.

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KORALY PÉREZ-EDGAR

Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Penn State University

My mentors and I shared seemingly little with respect to our life experiences and the path that led us to research. However, they each took me on for who I am, didn’t ask that I turn myself into a clone, and gave me the confidence to continue my work. These are the mentoring experiences that I try to inculcate with my own lab.

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Lucía Alcalá

Acquiring new knowledge is always tied to the expectation of utilizing it to provide help when needed. These findings provide evidence on the importance of contextualizing children’s learning process based on community values and developmental goals.

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Elisa Rachel Pisani Altafim

Elisa Rachel Pisani Altafim

My parents were my first mentors through their teachings and life examples. My father taught me the importance of research and the art of asking questions and getting answers in science, and my mother the passion for children. I want to help families be protective factors for children’s development, in the same way, that my family was for me.

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