Gigliana Melzi

New York University

Gigliana Melzi is a Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology, and Affiliated Faculty at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University. Dr. Melzi’s work focuses on the intersection of cultural and linguistic practices and their relation to children’s early development and learning. In one line of work, Dr. Melzi has examined various discourse and linguistic features in the narrative and book reading conversations of Spanish-speaking mother-child dyads from diverse socio-economic groups. In another line of work, Dr. Melzi developed and validated a measure of family engagement for Spanish and English-speaking Pan-Latino families of preschoolers, examining the within-group variability as well as its relation to child developmental outcomes. In her latest work, Dr. Melzi developed and is assessing the efficacy of an intervention program that capitalizes on Latino families’ cultural funds of knowledge to support preschoolers’ reading readiness. Most recently, for her work on the DREME network, she is examining everyday family routines and practices in Spanish-speaking and Spanish-English bilingual homes that support early math learning. Dr. Melzi’s work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Administration for Children and Families, the Brady Educational Foundation, and the Brooke Astor Foundation.