Member Spotlight: Linda Citlali Halgunseth, Ph.D.
Why did you decide to choose Developmental Science as a course of study or career?
I chose Developmental Science because of my strong interest in parent-child relationship research. I always knew I wanted to understand parenting and the ways it supports children’s social and emotional development. However, it wasn’t until graduate school that I realized the important role of context and culture when understanding parenting, parent-child interactions, and child development.
Who inspired you and why (and/or who inspired you to go into your chosen field of study)?
In graduate school, I read Raymond Buriel’s work on parenting and child development in Mexican immigrant families, and I remember feeling excited because I could see my Mexican immigrant mothers’ parenting and my experiences being raised by her reflected in his work. It inspired me to conduct research that continues to provide insight into the Mexican and U.S. Mexican parent-child relationship context. In addition, my research was guided by: (a) Dr. Cynthia Garcia Coll's work on immigrant paradox and her interrogation of the deficit model when studying Latinx families; (b) Carola Suarez-Orozco's work on children of immigrants; and (c) Josefina Grau research on Latinx parenting.
Do you have a mentor or mentors who have been instrumental to your career and, if so, who and how?
Mentors and role models who have supported me and inspired my research on Latinx child development are Cynthia GarcÍa Coll, Margarita Azmitia, Gustavo Carlo, Barbara Rogoff, Stephen Quintana, Francisco Villarruel, Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, Rosalie Corona, James L. RodrÍguez, and Carmen Valdez. They have mentored me throughout my career directly and through their research.
What advice would you give to a Grad student beginning their Ph.D. studies in Developmental Science or related?
Join the SRCD Latinx Caucus! The Latinx Caucus provides opportunities for leadership, and you will have access to the best mentors in the field.