Yvonne Caldera, Ph.D.
The Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) program extends a heartfelt thanks to Professor Yvonne Caldera, Ph.D., for 28 years as a researcher, teacher, mentor, and innovator. Caldera retires this August after a career studying parent-infant relationships, infant care, father involvement, children's play and gender, and parenting.
Caldera's ground-breaking research, En Sus Manos, was one of the first studies to focus on middle class Mexican-American families. Caldera's team interviewed parents at home about childcare and filmed parent-child interactions. One of the noticeable results was how much fathers were interested in parenting. Caldera and her colleague edited a volume on Mexican American children and families
Caldera also supported HDFS Latinx and Hispanic students, serving a founder and mentor for the Minority Scholars Discussion Group and founding the Human Sciences Ethnic Minority Student Organization. Students met regularly to discuss articles which had a deep and lasting impact on those who were exploring their ethnic identity.
One of Caldera's longest-lasting legacies is to have initiated the Texas Tech Early Head Start program in East Lubbock. She was the Principal Investigator of the founding grant which served 32 families in a community center in East Lubbock. Creating this program required great persistence, vision, and passion for families with young children, a challenge that few universities take on!
Today TTU Center for Early Head Start (CEHS) is a nationally accredited Center providing childcare, health screenings, parent education and prenatal care to 96 families in a building owned by the university in East Lubbock. The advantages of the partnership with TTU are numerous: Texas Tech faculty and graduate students offer expertise in professional development. Students at TTU have the benefit of infant-toddler lab classes and practicum placements. And CEHS offers a variety of opportunities to researchers in areas such as early literacy, parent involvement, nutrition, playground design, family finances, allied health, and counseling.
What an extraordinary legacy!