Melissa K. Ochoa investigates the intersections of race and gender, specifically the context in which sexism is experienced among different racial groups and genders through daily interactions. Her research connects the micro-level displays of power in gender to a larger, oppressive system. Systemic forms of sexism have continued for thousands of years ensuring women’s lower status in society, although these forms have varied throughout time and culture. Dr. Ochoa is looking to understand the normalization of sexism by studying which actors embrace, perpetuate, and contribute to these sexism frames and the ways in which they do it.
She has a PhD in Sociology and a Women’s and Gender Studies certificate from Texas A&M University. She obtained two undergraduate degrees, Psychology and Public Relations & Rhetorical Advocacy, from Purdue University in 2009.