UROP Mentor

Dr. Teresa Satterfield

UROP Research Team (2020-2021)

  • Kamaldeen Akorede
  • Alexis García
  • Benjamin Lesko
  • Irene López
  • Julia Tokatlian
  • Victoria Villanueva Guzmán

What is your research project?

Constructs of Race & Ethnicity and Latinxs' Perceptions of Discrimination

What are the goals of your research project?

The current project investigates ethnic-racial identity development in Latinx children, comparing their lived experiences and perceptions of discrimination with those of Latinx adults. We also examine identity correlations to academic achievement in young Latinx kids. This work is part of a larger research program on language, literacy and identity of bilingual children. Due to the pandemic, we've been focusing on adult data collection, but our aim to is examine age effects and to ultimately find ways to best support Latinx children growing up in the US. This research is closely linked to the community-based academic program for school-aged Spanish-speaking children, En Nuestra Lengua. www.umich.edu/~tsatter/ENL.

Why is this research important?

NOVEL FOCUS: Few studies on ethnic-racial identity examine language-usage as a central variable– although language is one of the primary features linked to US Latinx identity.

INNOVATIVE SURVEY INSTRUMENT: We created a unique Spanish-language identity survey and have distributed it nationally to adults. We had previously created the first US Spanish-language ethnic-racial survey for young children, and collected survey and focus-group data with school-aged Spanish-speaking children in Michigan.

UNDERSTUDIED POPULATION: It's also important to document Spanish-speaking children's development in non-Hispanic communities here in the Midwest.

INCLUSIVE RESEARCH COMMUNITY: Finally, this research attracts a large pool of UROP students–We're proud that since 2012, we've mentored 32 UROP students of color.

What drives you to conduct this research?

Many things drive me, but especially the numbers: Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, disparities in educational support have affected Latinx students and families. Latinx children continue to be the fastest-growing US demographic, but there is a lack of data on many linguistic, social, psychological aspects of their lived experiences. If nothing changes by 2050, these young Latinxs will make up the majority US population and will also have the lowest academic achievement.

Is there a Call to Action you would like to encourage?

ENL community-based program is free for all participants, and receives no funding from the UM. Instructors are community volunteers.


What resources would you recommend to learn more about your research topic?

Stateside, Michigan Public Radio https://www.michiganradio.org/post/saturday-school-works-stop-english-only-classrooms-stunting-spanish-speaking-kids

Michigan Impact Magazine https://impact.govrel.umich.edu/lsa-faculty-help-bilingual-kids-excel-in-school-connect-to-community/

Scholarly articles at: www.umich.edu/~tsatter/ENL