Melanie J. Gast, PhD

Associate Professor


Dr. Gast is an associate professor of sociology. She was previously an assistant Professor of sociology at DePaul University, and she received her PhD from University of California, Davis. She teaches courses on sociology of education and race/ethnicity. Her research focuses on how schools and community programs structure support opportunities for racial/ethnic minority youth and families. Her co-authored work examines information and resource gaps and the transition to college and includes a project on disparities in financial planning and preparedness for college. In other projects, she analyzes college counseling norms in a diverse, urban high school and the inclusion of immigrant youth and parents in urban community programs. She has published in journals such as the Du Bois Review, Journal of Adolescent Research, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Social Science Research, Teachers College Record, and Urban Education.

Research Areas
Sociology of Education
Urban Education
Community Programs

Teaching Areas
SOC 210 Race in the U.S.
SOC 450 Immigrants & Identity
SOC 454 Social Stratification
SOC 472 Sociology of Education 
SOC 675 Social Inequality & Stratification