Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences Faculty Member Retiring

Stephanie Shine

May 24, 2022

Yvonne Caldera, Ph.D.

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!