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Assistant Professor, Human Relations/Sociology
Melanie Lorek is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Human Relations at CUNY School of Professional Studies. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of cultural sociology and applied research, with a special interest in the relevance and commemoration of socialist and post-socialist societies and questions of social equity.
In one of her past projects she completed an applied quantitative evaluation assessing arts educational opportunities for NYC public school students. The study’s findings resulted in the release of $520,000 by the New York Community Trust to fund arts education for schools with high percentages of students who are English Language Learners, and helped shape the educational policies of the city's first cultural plan, CreateNYC.
In another project, published in Symbolic Interaction in 2018, she examined the ways in which East Germans strategically draw on or omit the German reunification from their personal life stories as a means to maintain a coherent and autonomous self.
She is currently preparing a book manuscript examining the ways in which the commemoration of East Germany’s socialist past is used to construct, build, and negotiate its present.
At CUNY SPS she teaches a broad range of courses and particularly enjoys teaching courses on research methods and quantitative analysis in an effort to demystify data for students and to share the joys of developing an evidence-based argument.
Her CV can be found here.