Martha is a first-year Family Science doctoral student originally from Quito, Ecuador. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in Human Development. Prior to UMD, she was a preschool teacher in her native hometown and the close relationship with her students and their families triggered her pursuit of a PhD degree. Martha’s research interests are family studies in the context of health, specifically parent-child interactions and parenting practices that will foster optimal social, cognitive and physical development among low-income Hispanic populations in the US. She is also part of the LAVA Lab at the University of Pennsylvania geared toward community science initiatives addressing issues at the intersection of poverty, ecology, conservation, health inequalities, and educational inequality. On a personal side, Martha enjoys reading, cycling and traveling with her husband.