Member Spotlight: Gustavo Carlo, Ph.D.

Professor, School of Education, University of California, Irvine; current SRCD Governing Council member (2021)

 What does the Latinx Caucus mean to you?  

The SRCD Latinx Caucus is instrumental to making SRCD and developmental science more inclusive and equitable. Along with our partner SRCD Caucus groups, the SRCD Latinx Caucus has helped shape the future of SRCD towards a science that works for, and informs us, about all children and youth. I am inspired and moved by the dynamic and talented junior and senior scholars in this group. The increasing numbers of scholars in the Latinx Caucus serves notice to the progress of culturally inclusive, strong scholarship in SRCD.  

Do you have a mentor or mentors who have been instrumental to my career and, if so, whom and how?  

Mentors have been the lifeline of my career. Although none of my formal mentors were of Latinx heritage, I was extremely fortunate to have a “team” of caring and generous professors who guided and mentored me from my naïve beginnings as an undergraduate psychology student, through my graduate training and evolution into a junior scholar, and, finally, as I navigated the numerous career-related intersections that I faced as Latinx developmental scientist. Mentors, for me, include those who were formally listed as mentors but also importantly includes the numerous other informal mentors who served as wise teachers, strong advocates, and who supported and encouraged me.   

What words of wisdom might you pass on to someone on their very first day after deciding to get a Ph.D. in developmental science or related? 

Engage and focus. Engage means taking advantage of as many learning opportunities as possible, networking and connecting socially, allying yourself with positive and supportive persons, taking the initiative and not waiting for things to come your way. Focus means not allowing negative others or events to derail you from reaching your career and life objectives We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to others, which is a lose, lose endeavor. Everyone is on their own unique trajectory and you will pave your own road. Set your own high (but realistic) standards and expectations, execute your best effort, expect some loses and some wins, and, over the long haul, you can and will succeed. Graduate school is difficult and stressful but also a critical period that sets you on your career trajectory.  

Who inspires you?  

I am driven by the many social injustices and inequities, and the unnecessary suffering of so many persons in our communities. The persons who inspire me are the countless number of people who struggle each day to right those wrongs. Some of those persons who are contributing to those efforts are fellow SRCD colleagues and students—and that inspires me greatly. 

The 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month theme from the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers is "Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope.' What brings you hope?  

In spite of the great suffering and numerous challenges that many Latinx families and children face each day, what brings me hope is the equally powerful efforts by so many others to provide help, comfort, and assistance to these families.  What gives me hope is the voices of our more unified and organized communities that are becoming increasingly louder and stronger such that others can no longer afford to ignore us or to mistreat us. What brings me hope is that many of those who are the positive shapers and shakers of our social, economic, and political systems and institutions are increasingly persons of Latinx heritage. We are a strong, beautiful and culturally-rich community to be reckoned with now and in the future.  


Visit the

 Latinx Caucus website

to learn about benefits, networking opportunities, and more!