Dr. Melissa SwaugerMelissa Swauger, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, became a MARTI research associate in 2013. She holds a doctoral degree in Sociology, two master's degreesone in Sociology and the other in Public Policyand a bachelor's degree in Sociology.

Swauger's research interests include Girls' and Women's Studies, global service learning, inequalities in education and work, qualitative research methods, and engaging audiences outside of universities in sociological research and activism. She has published articles and/or presented papers at international and national conferences on the topics of working class girls' career aspirations, the intersection of race and class in mother/daughter relationships, international service learning opportunities for college students, human trafficking, and ethics in qualitative research with vulnerable populations.

Swauger teaches courses that enhance awareness and understanding of diverse groups and cultures. She has served as the instructor of record for the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research Summer Institute and has led offered service learning courses in Jamaica and Ghana.

Swauger practices public sociology by transcending university boundaries and ensuring her work reaches broad audiences. She has received several awards for her activism, including Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project's 40 Under 40 Award (2009), the University of Pittsburgh Women's Studies Department, Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement (2008), and the IUP African American Cultural Center's Fearless Diamond Award for Social Justice (2013).