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Graduate Students

Melanie Z. Plasencia

Race, Ethnicity & Aging, Social Stratification and Inequality, Social Networks, Urban Ethnography

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Bio & Research Interests

Melanie Z. Plasencia studies how race, ethnicity, class and gender affect the experiences of aging minorities in the United States. In her dissertation, Melanie explores the lives of older Latinos in order to understand how they envision, as well as redefine their well-being post-retirement.

Education:

PhD.    Comparative Ethnic Studies, University of California-Berkeley; Expected: May 2021

M.A.   Ethnic Studies, University of California-Berkeley

  • Certification in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

B.A.    Latino & Hispanic Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University; Summa Cum Laude

  • Minor in American Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies
    • Certification in Women’s Leadership, Institute for Women’s Leadership

Academic Affiliations:

  • Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty, Fellow, 2017. University of California, Riverside.
  • The Institute for Health, Health Policy and Aging Research, Visiting Scholar, 2016-2017. Rutgers University.
  • Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, Resident Scholar, 2014-2016. University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Honors & Awards:

  • Departmental Teaching Fellowship, 2019-2020.
  • Center for Race & Gender Research Grant, Fall 2019.
  • Second Place in Poster Competition, 2017 ICAA – USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging, “No Tengo Dinero, Pero Tengo Mucha Gente”: “I Don’t Have Money, But I Have A lot of People”: A Qualitative Exploration of How Older Latino Immigrants Age in Place in an Ethnic Enclave.
  • AARP Travel Grant for ICAA- USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging, Fall 2017.
  • New York Metro Leaders Graduate Fellowship 2017-2018
  • Rutgers University/Douglass Alumnae Fellowship for Graduate Study, 2017-2018
  • Tuition Scholarship, Columbia Center for Oral History Research Summer Institute, “Oral History & Aging: Transmitting Life Stories of Being and Becoming Across Cultures and Generations”
  • AARP Travel Grant for Aging in The Americas Conference, University of Texas, San Antonio, Fall 2016.
  • The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees (CACSSF) Grant for Graduate and Undergraduate Mentorship Program , 2016-2018.
  • UC Berkeley Cota- Robles Multi-Year Fellowship  2012-2015.
  • UC Berkeley Research Grant to Cuba, 2014.

Courses Taught or Assisted

Teaching Interests:

Latino history, racial formation, racial and ethnic relations, immigration, urban sociology, urban aging, social stratification and inequality, qualitative methods.

*Instructor

Contemporary U.S. Immigration

University of California, Berkeley, Summer 2020.

*Instructor

Latina/o/x Community

University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2020.

*Instructor

Latinos & Migration

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Spring 2018-

*Instructor

   Latin@ Diasporas in The United States and Introduction to Puerto Rican and Latino Studies

City University of New York- Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, Spring 2017-Fall 2017.

*Instructor

R1B: Latin@s & Community

University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2016.

*Co-Instructor

   Latino Documentary Film

University of California, Berkeley, Summer 2016.

*Discussion Section Instructor

   Introduction to Chicano History

University of California, Berkeley, Summer 2015 and 2016.

*Instructor

   R1B: Latinos and The Politics of Belonging

University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2016.

*Discussion Section Instructor

   11AC: Theories & Concepts in Comparative Ethnic Studies

University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2015.

*Instructor

   R1A: Latino Literature

University of California, Berkeley, Fall, 2014

*Instructor

   EDU198: Adjusting to the Research University for Community College Students

University of California, Berkeley, Fall and Spring 2012-2014.

*Discussion Section Instructor

   Introduction to Chicano Culture

University of California, Berkeley, Summer 2013.

Guest Lectures:

  • Graduate Student Keynote Speaker, Graduate Diversity Day, University of California, Berkeley, March 6, 2016.
  • “Developing an Interdisciplinary Study to Examine Ethnic Minorities in the U.S.”, Guest Lecture for Introduction to Ethnic Studies, Ethnic Studies Department.  University. St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA, Spring 2015.
  • “Lessons From the Field: Studying Older Latinos in Urban Communities,” Guest Lecture for Undergraduate Methods Course, Ethnic Studies Department.  University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2014.

Service to the Community:

  • Graduate Minority Outreach, Recruitment & Retention Project Director, Graduate Assembly at the University of California, Berkeley, Fall 2014- Summer 2016.
  • UC-Berkeley Transfer Student Center, Fall and Spring, 2013-2015.
  • Chicano Latino Student Development Office at UC-Berkeley, Fall and Spring 2012-2014.
  • Intern at La Casa De Don Pedro Non-Profit for Youth, Family & Health Services Division, Newark NJ, 2010- 2011
  • Field Volunteer, CENSUS, New Brunswick, NJ, 2010.

 

Select publications

  • “How Aging Latino Immigrants Make Ends Meet,” forthcoming.
  • “Review of Latinas in Milwaukee.” Latino Studies 15, no. 3 (Autumn 2017).
  • “Antonio Ibarria (1935-) & El Especialito (Union City, NJ) (1985-).” Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Offices. ABC-CLIO, under review.
  • “Robert “Bob” Menendez (1954-).” Latinos in the American Political System: An Encyclopedia of Latinos as Voters, Candidates, and Office Holders. ABC-CLIO, under review.
  • Why Latinas Do IT: A Qualitative Exploration of Women in Information Technology” NCUR Conference Research Proceedings for University of North Carolina, 2011. https://ncurdb.cur.org/ncur2016/archive/Display_NCUR.aspx?id=51632.

Professional Affiliations:

Latino Studies Association, American Sociological Association (section membership: Aging and the Lifecourse), Gerontological Society of America, Phi Beta Kappa.