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Melissa R. Michelson, PhD

Dean of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Political Science, Menlo College

Dr. Melissa R. Michelson is a nationally recognized expert on Latino politics, voter mobilization experiments, and LGBTQ rights. She is the award-winning author of six books, including Mobilizing Inclusion: Transforming the Electorate through Get-Out-the-Vote Campaigns (2012) and, most recently, Transforming Prejudice: Identity, Fear, and Transgender Rights (2020). In her spare time, she knits and runs marathons.

Dr. Michelson is Dean of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Menlo College. Her academic work is solidly based in activist scholarship. Whether the focus is on members of the Latino, LGBTQ, or other marginalized groups, she uses her research to motivate greater equality and justice for all. Dr. Michelson went to graduate school to become a teacher and delights in leading classroom discussions, but also to write books that might make a difference, inspired by her undergraduate professor at Columbia University, Dr. Charles V. Hamilton. She has since written six books and dozens of journal articles and book chapters and is a nationally recognized expert in Latinx voter mobilization and LGBTQ politics.

Dr. Michelson’s current projects include ongoing research on how best to motivate Latinx citizens to vote, how to reduce prejudice against members of the LGBTQ community and against people living with HIV/AIDS, how best to motivate members of hard-to-count populations to participate in the 2020 Census, how best to motivate poll workers on new and developing vote technology, and many other smaller projects. More than a quarter century after completing her PhD, she is still excited by new research ideas and eager to dive into new literatures to learn more.

Relevant writing:

Recall vote highlights California’s geopolitical divisions” in The Associated Press

Getting Lots Of Political Messages On Your Phone? Welcome To ‘The Texting Election‘” in NPR

Why The GOP Might Not Turn Off Conservative Latino Voters” in FiveThirtyEight

State Expertise: Calif.
Speaks: English

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