UConn social work professor achieves two firsts as a Latina

Cristina Mogro-Wilson remembers that day in 2007 prefer it was yesterday. She had just lately stepped into a brand new job on the College of Connecticut when she overheard Latina college members within the hallway having a dialog in Spanish.

Because the daughter of two Bolivian immigrants, Mogro-Wilson heard Spanish on a regular basis in her family, however not often in tutorial settings. Up till that second, she had felt the necessity to disguise her Latin heritage.

“I used to be floored. For me, it was like the start of my journey to higher integrating who I’m and taking possession of my identification,” she stated. “I feel that’s why for me illustration issues so very a lot. Latina professors, we actually simply want our voices and experiences on the desk.”

Fifteen years later, Mogro-Wilson is the primary Latina to develop into a full professor on the College of Connecticut’s College of Social Work in its 75-year historical past. As well as, she has develop into the primary particular person of coloration to be named editor-in-chief of “Households in Society,” the primary journal of social work analysis in the USA, after a number of years as an editor.

Mogro-Wilson’s aim because the journal’s chief is to extend range among the many publication’s employees and readers. As the primary particular person of coloration to guide the journal, which launched in 1920, she doesn’t need it to take 100 years for an additional consequential change to happen. 

“By bringing in numerous voices, from totally different experiences, from totally different walks of life, totally different populations from underrepresented teams..all of these items are an necessary manner of simply widening our dialog and higher understanding the problems which might be plaguing our society,” she stated. “With out that, we don’t even know what inquiries to ask or how we go about answering them.”

Nina Heller, the dean on the UConn College of Social Work, stated Mogro-Wilson’s promotion speaks to her capacity to examine the analysis social work wants and the right way to carry various voices into the sphere.

“That is simply the subsequent step in what’s a extremely very, very spectacular profession,” she stated.

Mogro-Wilson’s milestone comes after 16 years at UConn. After getting her PhD at at SUNY Albany in 2007, she was employed on the Uconn Heart for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities as an help professor in residence earlier than transitioning to the College of Social Work the place she turned an affiliate professor in 2015.  

She determined to pursue social work whereas finding out psychology at Fairfield College, the place she labored with preschool-aged Latino kids and their households on the Head Begin program in Bridgeport.

There, she noticed how language and cultural limitations might impression a baby’s entry to high quality schooling. On the program, children had been positioned in preschool settings the place they didn’t converse the language. These with vital disabilities weren’t receiving the correct prognosis or care. English-speaking lecturers and suppliers had a tough time speaking with the children or dad and mom.

“I wished to make it simpler for youngsters and households [who] are experiencing a major quantity of points of their lives and their household lives, but additionally within the methods,” she stated. “I wished to intervene, not solely form of on the particular person stage, but additionally on the household,” she stated.

Her analysis focuses on figuring out systemic points and bettering the lives of Latinx households. She can be a college member in UConn’s Puerto Rican and Latin@ Research Mission, which goals to advance the well-being of Latinx communities by schooling.

She has studied Latino fathers and methods they will assist their children throughout instances of stress and uncertainty. Her work focuses on preserving Latin tradition, values and strengths to profit households, because it benefited hers. 

“Rising up in a bilingual house with two immigrant dad and mom, I noticed the significance of schooling and the household as being form of central to who we’re as a Latino group,” she stated.

Her father, who performed analysis for Normal Electrical, and her mom, a professor, would encourage her to attend faculty throughout summer season visits to Bolivia, the place it was winter time and her cousins had been nonetheless in class. 

“I really went to high school then year-round,” she stated.

Mogro-Wilson stated these strengths can simply be stripped away as Latinx households acculturate into the USA. One impediment she’s researched is the stigma round having an accent and talking English as a second language.

Alberto Cifuentes, a doctoral candidate and teacher at UConn’s College of Social Work, labored as Mogro-Wilson’s analysis assistant for 2 years. He stated finding out Latino fathers with Mogro-Wilson was illuminating and allowed him to mirror again to his personal upbringing, when his father, a Colombian immigrant, solely allowed him to talk English out of concern his son would face the identical discrimination he did.

“She cares a lot about Latino households and that’s the hallmark of her analysis,” he stated. “She’s ready to attract from her personal upbringing, and from her personal expertise. And I feel that is actually necessary. Her ardour for this work, it’s actually contagious.”

Cifuentes described Mogro-Wilson as empathetic and affected person. She taught him the right way to overview scholarly journals and would give him recommendation in regards to the job market and academia.

“She’s simply helped me develop into a greater scholar and a greater researcher, and I actually do recognize her continued steerage all through my early profession,” he stated.

Mogro-Wilson stated witnessing rising students assist communities is her favourite half about being a mentor. One among her foremost targets as a professor is to assist recruit and retain college students from underrepresented populations.

“It’s not likely about this particular person success, it’s about creating these pathways for doctoral, graduate and undergraduate college students to return up by the ranks,” she stated. “It’s about making it simpler for them to do one thing related and attain out to offer providers to communities that want it probably the most.”

When she first started her tenure observe, she had only a few position fashions with an analogous background: a younger Latina mom in academia. Now she may be that position mannequin.

“I feel simply seeding anyone like your self makes it appear potential and offers you a chance that you simply suppose could have by no means have been potential earlier than.”


Leave a Reply

Next Post

Recreation Day: No. 11/12 Nittany Lions Host Northwestern in Huge Ten Dwelling Opener

Fri May 5 , 2023
Soccer 9/29/2022 5:14:00 PM Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. on ESPN Story Hyperlinks UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 11/12 Penn State Soccer welcomes Northwestern to Beaver Stadium on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The competition, offered by the PA […]
Recreation Day: No. 11/12 Nittany Lions Host Northwestern in Huge Ten Dwelling Opener

A Great Place For Education