Aida Isela Ramos-Wada
PRC Graduate Student Trainee — M.A., The University of Texas at Austin
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Aida Isela Ramos-Wada is a doctoral candidate in the department of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. Her general research interests are in Latino sociology and in the sociology of education and religion. Aida is interested in how social institutions like schools and churches help to structure the health and well being of Latinos in ways that stratify, but also promote resilience. Her past research has been concerned with the role of religion in shaping Latino attitudes towards social issues like same-sex marriage, cohabitation, and abortion. Currently, Aida studies the social problems that Latinos face in the U.S., particularly in the educational system.
Under the guidance of Dr. Robert Crosnoe, Aida’s dissertation, titled “The Problem of Quality: Pre-K Classrooms and Latino Language-Minority Children”, has two aims: (1) to estimate the degree to which the pre-K and K classroom environments of Latino language-minority children differ from the classroom environments of other child groups and understand how such differences contribute to or moderate group disparities in achievement across the transition into elementary school; and (2) to explore the challenges to and support for higher-quality classroom instruction and setting in schools serving the Latino language-minority population. These aims are conducted by a mixed-method strategy -- quantitative analysis from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to establish broad population parameters in aim #1 and qualitative methods composed of in-depth interviews with pre-K teachers and classroom observations to explore the nuanced mechanisms underlying these parameters in aim #2.
Her future research projects lie in the intersection of education and religion, including a research project funded by the Constant H. Jacquet Research Award that explores the role of faith-based organizations in providing social support to Latino youth in public schools. Her work has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Social Science Quarterly, Science Education, and in the Journal of Family Issues. Starting in the fall of 2013, Aida will be an assistant professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).