I am an Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at Texas Tech University. My focus is interdisciplinary, rooted in Cross-Cultural Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, and Human Development.
My research, teaching, and service have been shaped by diverse life experiences and by the people who have made those experiences possible. I have lived in different countries and cultures and thus, I seek to discover what lies beneath our multidimensional lives, to improve and advance the lives of underserved populations, and to serve academia, the community, and society at large.
My scholoarship focuses on the importance of individual characteristics, generational processes, and contextual factors in the etiology of risk-taking behaviors and deviance in youth, with a particular focus on ethnic minority and immigrant populations. My scholarship is interdisciplinary and based on a cross-cultural comparative approach that seeks to generate knowledge about minority populations and the particular characteristics of these understudied groups.
If we are to achive a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitury social fabric, one of which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
In essence, teaching for me represents a bi-directional process through which all individuals involved grow—they grow in knowledge and understanding, but also as compassionate human beings. My primary goal in the classroom is to transform the learning experience into a cross-cultural experience; thus I rely on a variety of visual and written materials that apply to real life situations.
My service is driven by my passion for learning from every person I meet, disseminating knowledge, sharing my expertise, and promoting awareness and acceptance for diverse populations. Since I arrived at Texas Tech, I have not only joined different groups and efforts aimed at enriching and advancing the experiences of students on campus, but also students and adolescents and families in the Lubbock community.
Recent Honors & Awards