Tina Plaza

Research Communications Specialist II

Tina Plaza headshot

Education & certification

B.A., Journalism, University of Texas at Austin

Tina Plaza

Research Communications Specialist II, Bethesda, MD

Tina Plaza is a research communications specialist II at Child Trends with over 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations. A former television reporter in Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, Tina uses the power of storytelling to present data and research findings. She works with research teams across Child Trends to produce videos that humanize subjects and make research findings compelling and accessible to the lay public.

Tina played a leading role in developing the Child Trends News Service, which was funded by the National Science Foundation to bring research about the well-being of children to a broader audience. In previous positions, Tina also attracted national attention to worthy causes for numerous nonprofit groups and served as media relations director for "Celebra la Ciencia," a National Science Foundation-funded project designed to engage Latino students and families in science.

As a former executive coach, Tina has coached an array of business, nonprofit, and government leaders on how to craft messages, develop persuasive talking points, and enhance their appearances in televised interviews. At Child Trends, Ms. Plaza prepares researchers for conference presentations and webinars and helps them communicate their findings to a larger audience more effectively and in a manner that resonates with non-researcher audiences.

Ms. Plaza is also an accomplished print journalist whose articles have been published in Spin Magazine, Progressive Magazine, and Miami Metro Magazine. Her article, "Let Me See Some Papers," about the racial profiling of Hispanics by the Border Patrol was recognized by the H.L. Mencken Awards.

Latino Children Start Kindergarten Behind in Math (2017)

This video highlights findings from a Child Trends analysis of data from a large, nationally representative sample of kindergartners, showing that Latino kindergartners trail their White peers by the equivalent of three months in math skills. The video also features interviews with stakeholders who suggest recommendations for closing this gap.

Minnesota’s Data Story (2019)

This video takes viewers to the town of Willmar, Minnesota, where state and local officials highlight the benefits of Minnesota’s Early Childhood Longitudinal Data System, as well as the impact data sharing has had on this small community.

Why home visiting supports matter for families and the workforce (2022)

This video features home visiting stakeholders in California—including families participating in a home visiting program—describing why home visiting matters and why strengthening the workforce is a key step in ensuring that families across the state can access and benefit from home visiting.

Video Overview of the El Camino Sexual and Reproductive Health Project (2023)

These videos highlight an evaluation of a sexual health promotion curriculum designed by Child Trends researchers in English and Spanish. The curriculum, which has been tested and found successful within a mostly Latino community, is unique in providing a roadmap toward achieving life goals for students and is not solely focused on preventing pregnancy.