Welcome! My name is Melissa Alcaraz and I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at The Ohio State University, and I am an affiliate of the Institute for Population Research. I grew up in rural Idaho, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. My own experiences and the opportunities that I have been given have informed my broader research interests and my passion for service and education. I received both my B.S. (2016) and M.A. (2018) in Sociology from Brigham Young University and The Ohio State University, respectively.

My research interests lie at the intersection of education, family formation, and migration; I am also interested in the transition to adulthood. I am primarily interested in how individuals make decisions about education, family, work, and migration within declining migration contexts – and how these decisions inform later aspirations and opportunities. Further, I am interested in how these decisions vary across gender and reduce or reproduce gender inequities. These research interests will be explored in greater detail in my doctoral dissertation.

If you would like to know more about my research interests and experiences, please click on the corresponding tabs or visit my department website.