Carmen R. Valdez, Ph.D.

Carmen R. Valdez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Carmen R. Valdez, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work. She has a joint appointment as associate professor of community engagement and health equity in the Department of Population Health, Dell Medical School. Prior to this appointment, she was an associate professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), where she worked for 12 years. At UW she co-led the Latino Equity Collaborative (LEC), an advisory board of community and academic partners that leverages social capital, community experience, and university research and resources to address educational and health equity for Latinos in Madison and across the state. LEC secured funding to collaborate with state educational agencies to evaluate the formal and informal roles of language aides in urban and rural schools as they bridge between Latina/o immigrant families and schools.

Valdez has a special interest in understanding family stability and stress. She is associate editor of the journal Family Process. In her family research, she examines the role of social policy, neighborhood, and family factors on immigrant personal and family health, as well as developing community-based, family-focused interventions for Latino immigrant families. At UW, she led a dissemination and implementation project to scale up her family-focused intervention for Latina/o families affected by maternal depression, Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths). The program is currently being implemented in select schools in Milwaukee and Madison. She has also led a case study of immigration policy and its role in health, focusing on following longitudinally four families in Arizona.

Valdez is also interested in mentoring health equity scholars and junior faculty of color. At UW, she was the faculty director of the Advancing Health Equity and Diversity (AHEAD) program, of the Collaborative Center for Health Equity, UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. In this role, she led five affiliated AHEAD program directors in developing a community of scholarship in which authentic leadership, research career development, and networking opportunities were offered to early to mid-career health equity scholars at UW. She looks forward to continuing and expanding these endeavors at The University of Texas at Austin.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Community-based participatory research, family interventions, immigrant health, mental health


  • Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.Sc., Loyola College in Maryland
  • B.A., Universidad Centroamericana, El Salvador



Social Work Building (SSW)


Mailing Address

The University of Texas at Austin
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd
STOP D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358