Name: Melissa Ortiz
Program: Sociology of Education
Research Interests: Suburban schooling; sociology of education; Latinx education; Latinx youth; race and education; educational access and opportunities
Principal Advisor(s): L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy
Research description/bio: Melissa is a first-year, full-time Ph.D. student in the Sociology of Education program. She is interested in exploring the contemporary educational experiences of Latinx students attending schools in the suburbs undergoing rapid demographic change. More specifically, she hopes to investigate how place and race interact to mediate interactions between school staff and Latinx students and consequently, how these interactions affect Latinx students’ educational experiences and goals.
Her previous experiences include working as an Applied Research Analyst at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for High Impact Philanthropy, a Research Project Coordinator at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and as an Academic and Research Specialist at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Most recently, she worked at the Centro de Cultura, Arte, Trabajo y Educación (CCATE) in Norristown, PA, as the Youth Leadership and Research Manager.
Melissa holds a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University, and an M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in the Education, Culture, and Society program. Originally from Los Angeles, Melissa likes to study ballet, bike ride, and read in her free time.