August 16, 2021
Meet Our New Postdocs
Anabel Castillo brings a unique perspective to her role as one of the ECEI’s new Postdoctoral Fellows.
As child growing up in a small rural California town, she attended a Head Start program and her mom would later become a teacher in a Head Start classroom.
Castillo credits the program for both her own academic success and her mother’s.
“I feel like Head Start helped my parents with the resources to help with stress and nutrition and resources for physical activity,” she said. “All of those resources helped then shape my academic trajectory and propel my outcomes.”
Castillo, a graduate of the University of California, Merced, will spend the next year working with ECEI and focusing on her research.
“My long-term end goal is to help foster parents’ confidence to help them be partners with their teachers and work together to better impact their children’s lives,” she said.
Castillo is joined by Lukas Lopez, who will also be working as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute.
Lopez, also a UC-Merced graduate, earned his undergraduate degree from San Diego State University, where he went to play football.
After the first year he traded in his pads to become a research assistant and then lab manager of an infant and child development lab located on the campus.
His previous developmental psychology research was focused on smaller data sets. Working with the ECEI will allow him to take a more macro approach by looking at family structures and socioeconomic status, and education and care opportunities.
“All these things are pressures that are influencing the time parents get to spend with their kids to teach them language or to teach them about the world,” he said. “It’s important to look at these different factors that are influencing child development over time as kids mature.”