Current Leadership


linda-c-halgunseth-spring-2010Dr. Linda C. Halgunseth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut.  Her research focuses on parenting and children’s well-being across Latino and African American families. Dr. Halgunseth’s integrated review on Latino parental control was published in the special issue of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in Child Development.  She also published the Mexican Parenting Questionnaire (MPQ), a short parenting measure for use with Mexican immigrant mothers in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. Prior to working at UCONN, she worked as a research associate in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University, a research coordinator at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and as a director for youth and family programs in Centro Latino de Salúd, Educación, y Cultura.  She received a BA in psychology and Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin, and a MS and PhD in human development and family studies from the University of Missouri.

Chair Elect

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. 


rmbw_head-shotDr. Rebecca M. B. White is an Associate Professor of Family and Human Development in the Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University (ASU), where she is also Co-Director of the Latino Resilience Enterprise. In this role and institution she has had the very good fortune to be surrounded by wonderful colleagues, collaborators, and thinkers. She trained in family and human development and prevention science (ASU), and in Public Health (University of Arizona). Dr. White’s program of research examines Mexican-origin Latino adolescents’ development within cultural, neighborhood, and family contexts. Broadly, she aspires to engage in meaningful scholarship (research, mentoring, and service) geared toward promoting positive adjustment and adaptation among diverse Latino youths, families, and neighborhoods. To this end, she has published research in Developmental Psychology, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Journal of Child Development. She has engaged in mentoring emerging Latino scholars, including those in SRCD’s Frances Degen Horowitz Millennium Scholars Program. Finally, she has served on multiple editorial boards (Developmental Psychology, Child Development) and, regularly, as a conference abstract reviewer for SRCD’s Biennial Meetings. As Secretary of the Latino Caucus she would work to promote high-quality research with Latino children, youth, and families.


franco_ximena_0Dr. Ximena Franco is a Research Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She serves as the co-investigator for a research study focusing on the academic engagement and peer relationships for children ages pre-k through 5th grade in a local bilingual immersion school.  She also serves as a co-investigator in the North Carolina-Tiered Quality Rating Improvement System (NC-TQRIS) validation study.  Dr. Franco is also an Investigator on the study Nuestros Niños Program: Promoting School Readiness for English Language Learners funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, a randomized controlled trial study to test the efficacy of a professional development intervention for teachers of dual language learners (DLLs) in preschool programs. Dr. Franco served as the project director for a multi-site study focusing on language exposure and use among Spanish-English bilingual children and their relationship with children’s language development. Most of Dr. Franco’s research experience stems from working with ethnically diverse children and families within clinic, school and community settings.  Dr. Franco is interested in the study of socio-emotional development of preschool-aged DLLs and her work integrates children’s educational and family environments and is aimed at developing culturally robust assessment and intervention strategies.

Social Media Manager

Dr. Daisy E. Camacho-Thompson is a National Institute of Health T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the REACH Institute in the Psychology Department at Arizona State University. She graduated from the Psychology Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a concentration in Developmental Psychology and a minor in Diversity Science. Her research focuses on the academic achievement of underserved adolescents, with attention to social networks associated with academic resilience or desistance. Her dissertation focused on familial stress and parental involvement at school, home, and in organized after-school activities. Her postdoctoral work is examining the effects of a prevention program on parental involvement and academic socialization across adolescent development. She has served in several mentoring programs for underrepresented students, such as the Millennium Scholar Program, and both as the elected Latino Caucus student member and is currently a Student & Early Career Representative on the Equity and Justice Committee. She has received several service awards, the Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, and an NICHD Diversity Supplement.

Members at Large

carlo-gustavoDr. Gustavo Carlo is the Millsap Professor of Diversity and Multicultural Studies in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri. He is also Director of the Center for Family Policy and Research and founder of the Children and Families Across Culture Center. His broad interests are the parenting, personality, and sociocultural correlates of prosocial and moral behaviors. However, much of his research focuses on understanding the positive well being of Latino/a adolescents. His work highlights the interplay of parenting practices, culture-related stress, sociocognitive factors, and cultural values in predicting Latino/a youth prosocial behaviors. He has received research funding from numerous agencies including NIH and NSF, he is a Fellow of APA and APS, and has received numerous awards including a Research Excellence Award from the Templeton Foundation and APA. He has served as Associate Editor for Developmental Psychology and the Journal of Research on Adolescence. Dr. Carlo has published well over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has co-edited several volumes. His books include co-editor of the Handbook of US Latino Psychology (Sage), Health Disparities Among Ethnic Minorities (Springer), and Rural Ethnic Minority Families and Youth (Springer).

cynthia_garcia_collDr. Cynthia García Coll was the Charles Pitts Robinson and John Palmer Barstow Professor of Education, Psychology and Pediatrics at Brown University until 2011. She joined Carlos Albizu University in July 1st, 2013 as Professor and Director of the Institutional Scientific Research Center. In 2014, she was named Provost for Puerto Rico. She has published extensively on the sociocultural influences on child development with particular emphasis on at-risk and minority populations. She has served on the editorial boards of Child Development, Development and Psychopathology, Infant Behavior and Development, Infancy, Human Development and Developmental Psychology (Editor) and is currently Editor in Chief of Child Development and the book series on Child Development in Cultural Context of Oxford University Press. She has co-edited and co-written several books: Mothering Against the Odds: Diverse Voices of Contemporary Mothers; Nature and Nurture: The Complex Interplay of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Human Behavior and Development, Immigrant Stories: Ethnicity and Academics in Middle Childhood and The Immigrant Paradox in Children and Adolescents: Is becoming American a Developmental Risk? She has received funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health, the McArthur Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the WT Grant Foundation. Dr. Garcia Coll was the 2009 recipient SRCD’s “Cultural and Contextual Contributions to Child Development” lifetime award. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Norma Perez-Brena is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Strengthening Families/Strengthening Relationships in the Department of Family and Child Development, housed within the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University. Her primary interests lie in understanding the combination of social, cultural, and personal characteristics that influence the context where Latino and immigrant families develop.




Student Representatives

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.



Johayra Bouza is a fourth year doctoral student at the University of Miami Developmental Psychology program, working with Dr. Shearer and Dr. Greenfield. Before pursing a doctoral degree, she earned a master’s degree in measurement and evaluation. Her research examines the environmental influences that buffer the negative effects of poverty for low-income children of diverse background. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how families can support children’s academic and social-emotional development in early childhood. She is particularly interested in working within Latino population. Her master’s project examined the differential relationships between family engagement and children outcomes within a diverse Latino population. Additionally, she validated a family engagement questionnaire for Spanish-speaking diverse Latino families of preschool children. Recently, she received the Head Start Dissertation grant to develop and validate a measure of family engagement for ethnically diverse toddlers in Early Head Start, where more than half the sample identifies as Latinos. She has also worked within several interventions with for at-risk children and families. Currently, she the lead graduate on a cooperative agreement, funded by the Administration of Children and Families, focused on developing and implementing an inquiry-based coaching intervention with teachers and families in Early Head Start. Johayra has had several leadership roles during her graduate school career such as being the chair of the graduate student allocation fee committee, being the graduate student developmental track representative, and being the graduate student leader and coordinator of the South Florida Psychology Collaborative Mentorship Conference for over three years. She has served in the Latino Caucus in subcommittees such as the Membership subcommittee and the Finance and Fundraising Subcommittee. Johayra is looking forward to serving this upcoming year in the Latino Caucus Steering Committee as one of the Graduate Student Representatives.