Assistant Professor of Sociology, DePaul University; CREO Postdoc Alumni
Melanie T. Jones Gast, the CREO Postdoctoral Research Associate for the academic year of 2010-2011, is an assistant professor in the Sociology Department at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Davis in 2009. She studies the links between racial/ethnic and class positions and processes that relate to social mobility, particularly among African American and immigrant youth and families. Her work consists of three main areas of research activity: (1) examining racial/ethnic and class disparities in college knowledge, access, and retention; (2) studying inequality in information and resources to navigate institutional pathways; (3) analyzing racial and ethnic boundary expansion in organizational and community contexts. Her dissertation work involved an ethnographic study of African American high school students and their approaches to gaining college information and support while navigating college options and admissions structures. Her teaching interests include racial/ethnic relations, social inequality, and sociology of education.