Luis H. Zayas
Steve Hicks School of Social Work Dean and Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy. Photo by Montinique Monroe.

Background: Born in Coamo, Puerto Rico

Interests:  Studying the effects of immigration detention on the mental health of immigrant children and their parents.  How deportation affects U.S. citizen children whose parents must leave the U.S. and the children who go with their parents to the new country or are left behind.  Advocacy for immigrant, refugee, and U.S.-citizen children.

Focus: Dr. Zayas’ research and clinical practice have always focused on disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and racial and ethnic minority families and children. Whether it was in children’s physical rehabilitation, child and adolescent mental health, or primary care clinics, he was always drawn to the unique challenges of these populations but particularly their strengths as individuals and families. He is now deeply involved in the plight of immigrants and refugees from Mexico and Central America.

Fun-facts: (a couple of options/ideas below)

  • First job: Bussing tables at an airport
  • Favorite book in college: All the King’s Men
  • Favorite movie: None or many
  • Favorite type of music:  Jazz, Latin Jazz, Salsa

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