Languages: English and Spanish.
I am an immigrant to the United States, I grew up in Guatemala City. Both of my parents were exceptional, self-educated individuals: my father an accomplished artist and my mother a gifted seamstress. My brother and I are first-generation college students, and I was fortunate to receive certain academic opportunities that were unavailable to my friends and classmates. Opportunities, such as scholarships, are frequently provided to compensate for glaring faults within the education system — faults that I have witnessed repeatedly in many countries I have lived in or visited. I received my undergraduate training in special education and educational psychology from Universidad Del Valle and Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala City, and my M.A. and Ph.D. in early intervention and early childhood special education, under a Fulbright Scholarship, from the University of Oregon.
I specialize in the interdisciplinary study of family engagement practices in early learning settings examining the intersection of race/ethnicity, language, and disability. I joined the faculty of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2020 as an assistant professor. I am a current AAHHE Faculty Fellow (2021-2022) and ITOC Teacher Educator Fellow (2021-2022). Prior to my current position and life in the United States, I taught preschool and kindergarten for three years and spent five years working as a special education teacher for students with significant disabilities in Guatemala. I also worked as a consultant and lead a few national research projects for the Ministry of Education of Guatemala and other international nonprofit organizations.