Dr. Esther J. Calzada has been appointed as the center director for the Texas Center for Equity Promotion (TexCEP). Dr. Calzada is the Norma and Clay Leben Professor in Child and Family Behavioral Health and the associate dean for equity, inclusion and accessibility at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Her scholarship focuses on the promotion of early learning and behavioral health in young Latinx children. She received her B.A. from Duke University and her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
TexCEP was founded in 2020 by Dr. Charles Martinez, dean of the College of Education. The center seeks to bring together a diverse set of interdisciplinary scholars from across the university whose research and practice examine and address inequities that impact education and health. TexCEP’s mission is to support and conduct high-quality applied research, disseminate evidence-based information and train future professionals regarding the nature, origins, contexts, effects and elimination of inequities in education and health.
As center director, Dr. Calzada will oversee the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of TexCEP in alignment with the center’s mission and values and in partnership with the steering and executive committees. Working closely with Dr. Martinez (who, in his role as founding director, continues to be integrally involved in TexCEP’s development and growth), Dr. Keryn Pasch, director of strategy and planning, and Dr. Esbelle Jowers, associate director of operations, Dr. Calzada’s goal is to increase the visibility and reach of TexCEP, both within and beyond the university by implementing strategies and establishing collaborations to promote equity-centered science.