Dina C. Castro is a professor and the Velma E. Schmidt Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Education, University of North Texas (UNT). Prior to joining UNT in 2014, Dina was a research professor at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University. She also held various research positions, reaching the senior scientist level, at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dina’s scholarship focuses on high-quality early care and education for children from diverse cultural, ethnic, and language backgrounds, and those living in poverty. She has directed or codirected various research and evaluation studies of national relevance. A highlight of her career has been serving as director of the Center for Early Care and Education Research—Dual Language Learners (DLLs), a federally funded national research center. In addition to her productive research agenda, Dina has been actively involved in national, state, and local early childhood initiatives. Some examples include presenting policy briefings before the U.S Congress to offer recommendations on DLLs’ early care and education; participating in the National Taskforce on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics; being appointed by the governor to help develop North Carolina’s first early learning standards, and serving for over 10 years on the board of directors of North Carolina’s Orange County Partnership for Young Children. She was elected to a four-year term as a Governing Board member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 2017. Dina is lead author of the book New Voices ~ Nuevas Voces: Guide to Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Childhood, and has published numerous articles, book chapters, and reports.