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Michael A. Medina

Assistant Professor

Dr. Michael A. Medina is an assistant professor of applied human development in BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. As a Latino first-generation college graduate, Dr. Medina is interested in the systems and contexts that support student success. His research examines the benefits of ethnic-racial identity development and diversity across social contexts. His work concerns what young people believe about their ethnic-racial heritage, what interpersonal and societal factors shape these beliefs, and what challenges youth may face in navigating a racialized society and educational system. He draws from growth mindset and positive psychology frameworks to highlight the unique strength and potential of diverse youth populations.

Dr. Medina is a recipient of National Science Foundation (NSF) and Ford Foundation Fellowships. He was recently awarded an NSF Rapid Grant to explore students’ ethnic identity development during the COVID-19 pandemic. He currently collaborates on a national study funded by the Institute of Education Science on the impact of diverse social spaces on student success.

Regarding dissemination, Dr. Medina’s work has been distributed broadly. This includes national media outlets such as Huffington Post and Psychology Today, peer-reviewed journals such as Child Development and Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and at numerous national and international conferences. His courses explore the educational experiences and challenges of diverse students, including topics such as positive youth development and anti-oppressive practices.

Pronouns: he/him

PhD, Education and Psychology, University of Michigan

MS, Psychology, University of Michigan

BS, Psychology, Brown University

SED HD 511: Social and Policy Perspective in Positive Youth Development

SEC CE 342: Anti-Oppressive Practice: Education & Applied Psychology

Ferguson, S., Brass, N. R., Medina, M. A., & Ryan, A. M. (2022). The role of school friendship stability, instability, and network size in early adolescents’ social adjustment. Developmental psychology, 58(5), 950-962.

Constante, K., Cross, F. L., Piceno, V., Medina, M. A., & Rivas-Drake, D. (2021). Latinx adolescents’ ethnic-racial discrimination and expected future barriers over time. Developmental Psychology, 57(6), 991-999.

Rivas-Drake, D. & Medina, M. A., (2020). Ethnicity and race as contexts for moral development. In Jensen, L. (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Development: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. New York, NY: Oxford.

Medina, M. A., Rivas-Drake, D., Jagers, R. & Rowley, S. (2019). Friends matter: Ethnic-racial identity and school adjustment among African American and Latino early adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2018.1524712

Mathews, C., Medina, M. A., Banales, J., Pinetta, B., Marchand, A., Agi, A. C.,…Rivas-Drake, D. (2019). Bridging critical consciousness and ethnic-racial identity during adolescence: intersections and future directions. Adolescent Research Review, 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s40894-019-00122-0

Medina, M.A., Nishina, A., Bellmore, A., & Witkow, M. (2022). Ethnic-Racial Identity and Friendship Diversity Across Contexts. Society for Research in Child Development. Salt Lake City, UT.

Medina, M. A. & Hall, A. (2022). Emerging Adults’ Daily Well-Being, Social Experiences, and Academic Persistence in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic. COVID Information Commons. Webinar series. https://doi.org/10.7916/dfp5-ke67

Medina, M. A., Rivas-Drake, D., & Umaña-Taylor, A. (2022). How Friend Diversity and Support Shape the Link between Racial Identity and Academic Adjustment. Society for Research in Child Development. Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Medina, M. A. & Nishina, A. (2021). Importance and Challenges Incorporating Multiracial Demographics in STEM. Understanding Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Virtual conference.

Medina, M. A., Nishina, A., Bellmore, A., & Witkow, M. (2021). Table for One: Lunch Time is Lonely for Students During COVID-19. Society for Research in Child Development. Virtual conference.