I joined the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University as Assistant Professor of Communication in 2009. I hold an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Communication and Urban Education from UCLA.
I am interested in how immigrant parents and their children address communication challenges related to social incorporation in the United States. My research focuses on the strategies these families develop, individually and collectively, to learn about and understand their local environments and to address their needs. How children and parents engage a wide variety of media as part of these strategies is a long-standing interest of mine. I employ mixed methods and community-based approaches in my work.
My book, Kids in the Middle: How Children of Immigrants Negotiate Community Interactions for their Families (Rutgers University Press, 2014) examines how children of immigrants broker language, culture, and media for their families at home and in local schools, healthcare facilities, and social services locations. I focus on how children influence their families' local experiences, as well as how their family responsibilities affect children's developmental trajectories.
I have also conducted research on media targeted to immigrant, ethnic minority and indigenous audiences, including a book co-authored with Drs. Matthew Matsaganis & Sandra Ball-Rokeach, titled Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers, and Societies (Sage Publications, 2011).
Currently, I have two research projects underway. One is an ethnographic investigation of how families headed by immigrant and U.S.-born Latinos navigate their interactions in the Bronx Family Court. The second examines how low-income Latino parents and children make decisions about adopting broadband, computers, and mobile devices when presented with programs designed to address digital equity issues, and how they integrate these technologies into their family routines and home media environments.
I teach courses in Family Communication, Mediated Communication Theory, Communication Research, Intercultural Communication, and Communicating Memory at the undergraduate level. I teach a graduate course titled Communication and Community Wellness.
I am teaching Children and Media (cross-listed between Comm and JMS) in Spring 2014.