Melissa is a Latinx first-generation college student from Huron. Her educational experiences and growing up in the Central Valley continue to fuel Melissa's research interests, which are in sociology of education, race and Latinx sociology. In 2017, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Philanthropic and Community-Based Leadership from California State University, Fresno. In 2019, Melissa completed her masters' thesis titled “Are You a Teacher? Educational Background and Earning a Teaching Credential Among California Latinx College Graduates.” She took comprehensive exams in sociology of education and race; as well as taught Soc 132: Sociology of Education in the 2021 Summer Semester. Melissa is currently working on her dissertation project which builds on Glenda Flores’ seminal scholarship to integrate intersectionality and the life course perspective to examine how Latinx’s educational pathways into or away from teaching differ by gender and how they are influenced by interpersonal connections, social factors, and educational institutional practices. Melissa is interested in examining how a culmination of experiences across Latinx individuals’ early life influenced them to go into the teaching profession or not.