I am the son of immigrant parents and the value of family, culture and hard work were constant aspects of my socialization. I was raised in a culturally and linguistically diverse rural town in Southeast, New Mexico where diversity was a key aspect of our community. Early on I learned from my mother who often engaged in outreach and reinforced the concept of giving back to others. My formative years in New Mexico paved the road to my interest in serving diverse families and communities. While at Texas State University, I served as a missionary volunteer in Chicago with Latino children and their families. As a graduate student at Iowa State University, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies because of this discipline’s historical focus on the family system through a strengths perspective. I received my PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University where the emphasis of culturally and linguistically diverse families was critical to my studies. Throughout my graduate studies, I made it a point to continue to be actively involved in the community with a variety of families. As a professor for almost 20 years, I have continued to utilize the lesson that I learned from my family of giving back to the community. My goal has been to provide my students with the opportunity to not only learn in the classroom but, also to provide opportunities for them to be actively involved in their learning with diverse families and communities through a strengths perspective.
My Students at the University of Colorado Denver:
It is an honor to serve students at CU Denver and prepare them to work with culturally and linguistically diverse families in Colorado and at the global level. Through the use of human ecological and family systems perspectives, our students in Human Development and Family Relations (HDFR) will work as family therapists, community-based agency leaders and university and college advisors.
Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:
- Introduction to Family and Community Services—HDFR 2000
- Contemporary American Family Life---HDFR 1111
- Love, Family and Human Development---HDFR 2200
- Latino Families in Schools and Communities---HDFR 4040/5040
- Advanced Child Growth and Development----EPSY 5100 and
- Other courses in HDFR related to family dynamics and culturally and linguistically diverse families
My research interests:
My overarching research has focused on the intersection between underserved families, schools and communities and its impact on educational success of diverse families. Specifically, for almost 20 years, I have engaged in basic and action research with immigrant and multigenerational Latino families and their relationship with schools and communities and their educational success in the Southeast, Midwest and now in the Rocky Mountain region.
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