Dr. Melissa Michelson Joins Faculty

Dr. Melissa Michelson comes to the College as a Professor of Political Science. She joins us from a Faculty Fellowship at the Stanford University Research Institute for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Dr. Michelson previously taught at California State University, East Bay and Fresno, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Specializing in voter mobilization and turnout, and political participation and behavior for ethnic minorities, her forthcoming publication, “Majority-Latino Districts and Latino Political Power,” will appear in the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy.

Melissa is also looking forward to the release of her book, Mobilization Inclusion, co-authored with Dr. Lisa Garcia-Bedolla of UC Berkeley. This work describes results of a study from a grant funded by the James Irvine Foundation on getting out the vote in communities of color, including black, Latino and Asian minority communities in California. The key to successful mobilization is making people feel included, invite in a personal way, door to door conversation, receiving a call from a live person.

When asked why she came to Menlo, Melissa replied, “I chose to teach at Menlo College because my quality of life is important. I have four children, it's important for me to maintain a work- life balance. Menlo College is a small school where I can get to know my students and make an impact on their lives, not like lecturing a room of 400 people. I want to be at a small place that cares about the individual, not just a spreadsheet to grade.”

Dr. Michelson received her doctorate in Political Science and two master's degrees from Yale University and her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Columbia College, Columbia University.

“People don't realize how political science impacts their lives. Politics is important, and whether or not you go into business, you need to know about the world of politics. Students going into careers in finance and management need to know how government works.”