Mellie Torres, Doctoral Student, Wins Prestigious AERA Minority Fellowship

Mellie Torres, a doctoral student in Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning, has been awarded the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellowship. The fellowship, offered to three applicants a year,provides support for doctoral dissertation research. The fellowship program aims to advance education research by outstanding minority graduate students and to improve the quality and diversity of university faculties.

Torres’ dissertation will examine how interrelated social identities such as race, ethnicity, and gender intersect to inform the academic identities of low-income Latino male students in urban schools.

I am interested in how Latino male students construct their masculinities and racial and ethnic identities, and how these constructs inform academic identity and academic performance,” Torres said.

Torres serves as a research assistant at Steinhardt’s Metropolitan Center for Urban Education, where she contributes to applied research, policy, and evaluation projects. A former Newark, New Jersey high school teacher, she recently attended lectures and seminars in the Centre for Graduate Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK, as part of NYU’s Mainzer fellowship in gender studies program.