Contemporary Latinx/Hispanic Leaders in School Psychology
Martha Bernal, PH.D
Martha Bernal is best known for being the first Latina toreceive a Ph.D. in psychology in the United States and for her overall contributions to multicultural psychology. In her autobiography, Dr. Bernal described over 20 years of efforts to increase multicultural training in clinical and counseling psychology. Her research contributions were similarly aligned and focused on empirically-based interventions in child development treatment, specifically Mexican-heritage children's development of ethnic identity.
She also focused her research on how children process information about ethnicityand form their first impressions of ethnicity through socialization by parents, other adults, and peers.
Star Vega, PH.D
Dr. Star Vega is best known for being the first Latina toserve as the California Psychological Association (CPA) president. Prior to serving as president, she completed her doctorate degree at the University of Southern
California in clinical psychology. Dr. Vega's dissertation was one of the first to examine the effects of culture on psychological assessment. She remained active in the
psychology community and received numerous awards recognizing her efforts within the community and beyond
throughout her career. Dr. Vega was recognized as being the voice of the Latino and psychological community.
Carmen Inoa Vazquez, PH.D
With over 25 years of experience as a clinician, teacher, research, author, and experience in both Spanish and English-speaking populations, Dr. Carmen Inoa Vasquez is recognized as one of New York City's most prominent Latina psychologists. Dr. Vasquez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic before moving to the United States at 16. After graduating from Queens College, she obtained her Ph.D. from the City University of New York.
George I. Sánchez, EdD
As the first Latino psychologist, Dr. George I. Sanchezwas recognized as the father of Chicano psychology. He received his doctorate from the University of California,
Berkeley, and was a faculty member of education at the University of New Mexico. Later, he was a professor of Latin American education at the University of Texas,
Austin. As an advocate for social justice and activist for the rights of Chicanos, Sanchez was known for his contributions on the topic of intelligence testing of Mexican American children. Through his publications,
Sanchez was the first to argue that IQ tests lacked the validity to assess children of Mexican descent.
He argued that Chicano children did not have the same experiences or English-language proficiencies as the majority group children on which these tests wer standardized. In 1940, Sanchez became the national
president of League of United Latin American Citizens, LULAC, a civil rights organization for Latinos in the United States.
Melba Vasquez, PH.D
Dr. Melba Vasquez began her career in psychology afterbeing encouraged to apply to the University of Texas's doctoral program. Born and raised in Texas and as first-generation student, Dr. Vasquez did not consider a doctorate but was on the path of obtaining her doctorate soon after being encouraged. During her graduate training, she was among the first cohort of Minority Fellowship honorees at the American Psychological Association (APA). Upon graduating, she worked as a psychologist at UT Austin's counseling center and directed the internship training program. Dr. Vasquez
also taught in counseling psychology doctoral program at Colorado State University, followed by Texas. After 13 years, she decided to hold her private practice while remaining dedicated to her contributions in scholarship,
mentoring, professional leadership, and advocacy.
She served various roles in APA governance, including serving on the APA Board of Directors and chair several boards,
committees, and task forces. In 2011, Dr. Vasquez was elected the first Latina president of the APA. Today, Dr. Vasquez is the Executive Director and a practicing psychologist at Vasquez Associates Mental Health
Trainers of School Psychologists
Carlos Albizu Miranda, PH.D
Carlos Albizu Miranda, Ph.D., was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, and lived most of his life there. After completing is Bachelor of Arts in Education and Psychology, Albizu joined the United States Army. Shortly after serving, he returned to work as a psychometrician for
the Veteran's Admiration and subsequently served as chief of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education Center in Puerto Rico.
Later, Carlos Albizu pursued graduate studies and became one of the first Hispanics to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology from Purdue University. After returning to Puerto Rico, Albizu became a professor at the University of Puerto Rico. There, he became increasingly concerned with the circumstances Puerto Ricans faced as Latinos due to the commonwealth status with the United States. In the United States, Puerto Ricans were marginalized because of their culture, language, and skin color. Albizu founded the Instituto Psicológico de Puerto Rico in 1966, intending to provide culturally appropriate training in clinical psychology. In 1971, the name changed to Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies.
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