I began my counseling career as an undergraduate at UCLA. At the start of my sophomore year, I needed to find a job to help pay for school. Coincidently, the Student Retention Center was looking for a peer counselor. Up to this point, I had wanted to be a Math teacher; but, once I started working in counseling, I fell in love and there was no turning back.
I began studying ethnic identity development as a Master's student at UCLA. It was eerie how much models of ethnic identity were similar to my journey of identity development. So, when I decided to pursue my doctorate, I knew that my studies would focus on ethnic identity development in some way.
The idea of studying internalized racism occurred to me during my first year of doctoral study. After having spent the afternoon reading various models of identity development, I was walking home. For some reason, one of the theories of Dr. Janet Helms came to me. She proposes that the goal of ethnic identity development is to rid oneself of internalized racism. This was a fascinating concept to me. I began researching the topic and could only find literature on the topic of internalized racism in communities of African descent and little relating this construct to ethnic identity. I felt that by focusing on internalized racism and ethnic identity development in the Chicana/o and Latina/o communities, I could make a unique contribution to the counseling community.
My students at University of Colorado Denver:
I am deeply honored to play a part in helping students become counseling professionals. I hope that students leave my courses with a deeper sense of critical inquiry, a greater desire to live their lives purposefully, an informed view of what it means to be culturally literate, and a deep desire to become advocates for social justice.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- Counseling Issues and Ethics — CPCE 5330
- Multicultural/Diversity Issues in Counseling Individuals/Family - CPCE 5810
My research interests:
- Ethnic identity development
- Internalized racism
- Multicultural competence in counselor training
- Socio-political development
In my free time I enjoy playing with my two children or watching college football and basketball. I also collect guitars—my prize is a mini-jumbo, acoustic, steel string guitar that my cousin custom built for me (check out my cousin’s work http://www.delgadoguitars.com). I have also been known to play the guitar, but it is typically for my kids who don’t mind my bad singing.
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