Melissa R. Herman

Lecturer in Writing

Sociologist Melissa Herman teaches first year writing courses on the topic of multiracial identity development.  She specializes in teaching students to work in groups, particularly on writing projects.  Group work is common in the workplace and becoming more common in college.  Therefore, it behooves students to learn good techniques for doing group work, such as how to:

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·      identify group members’ skills

·      bring out all members’ good ideas

·      keep members motivated and on track

·      avoid the freerider problem


Melissa has also taught courses on racial/ethnic identity, adolescent development, inequality, education, and social psychology.  Melissa and her writing program colleague, Jennifer Sargent, are planning a course on affirmative action for Spring 2016.

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Curriculum Vitae
302-A Parker House
HB 6250
Institute for Writing and Rhetoric
B.A. Wesleyan University
M.A. Stanford University
Ph.D. Stanford University

Selected Publications

"Both personal and public:  Measuring attitudes toward intermarriage,” with Mary Campbell, Journal of Social Issues, (forthcoming in 2015). 

“I wouldn’t, but you can: attitudes toward interracial marriage,” with Mary Campbell, Social Science Research, 41, 343-358 (2012).

“Do You See What I Am?  How observers’ backgrounds affect their perceptions of multiracial faces.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 73, 1, 58-78 (2010). 

“Politics and Policies: Attitudes toward multiracial people and political candidates,” with Mary Campbell, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33, 9, 1511-1536 (2010).

“The Black-White-Other Test Score Gap: Testing Theories of Academic Performance Among Multiracial and Monoracial Adolescents,” Sociology of Education , 82, 1, 20-46 (2009).

“Phenotype and social class: an in-depth look at multiracial Hispanic youth,” with Maria Castilla, Chapter 12 in Multiracial Americans and Social Class, edited by Kathleen Korgen, New Brunswick, NJ: Routledge (2010).

“Ethnicity and Image: Correlates of Crowd Affiliation Among Ethnic Minority Youth,” with B B Brown, J V Hamm, and D J Heck, Child Development , 79, 3, 528-546 (2008).

“Racial Identification among Multiracial Youth: Implications for Adjustment,” The Handbook of Race, Racism, and the Developing Child , S Quintana and C McKowan (eds.) 203-225 (2008).

“Forced to Choose: Some Determinants of Racial Identification in Multi-racial Adolescents,” Child Development , 75, 3,  730-748 (2004).

“How Neighborhoods, Families, Peer Groups, and Schools Jointly Affect Changes in Early Adolescent Development,” with T D Cook, M Phillips, and R A Settersten, Child Development , 73, 4, 1283-1309 (2002).

“The Influence of Family Regulation, Connection, and Psychological Autonomy on Six Measures of Adolescent Functioning,” with S M Dornbusch and J R Herting, Journal of Adolescent Research , 12, 1, 34-67 (1997).

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Speaking Engagements

Duke University, Sociology Department, March 2009, “I wouldn’t, but you can: attitudes toward interracial marriage.”

Northwestern University, Psychology Department, October 2008, “Multiracial Phenotypes: Physicians’ perceptions of race.”

University of Illinois, Chicago, African American Studies and Sociology Departments, October 2008, “Ethnic Boundary Crossing and Social Exclusion: Perceptions of Multiracial Americans”

University of Iowa, Sociology Department, December 2007, “Multiracial Phenotypes in an Experimental Study: How observer characteristics affect perceptions of race.”

Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, October 2007, “Status and Stereotypes” a workshop on using Complex Instruction to combat status orders and stereotypes in the classroom.

Selected Works and Activities

Elected Positions

Council Member, Children and Youth section of the ASA, 2007-2010

Executive Council Member: Society for Research on Adolescence, 1996-98


Research consultant, Minority Student Achievement Network, 2002-2003

Consultant and guest speaker, Upper Valley Teacher’s Institute, 2005-2009

Research consultant to two studies of minority achievement and retention in math, science, and technology: Brian Pogue of Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, and Vicki May of DCAL (Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning)

Research associate, Inverness Research Associates, California Subject Matter Projects, 1994-1995


Consulting Editor, Child Development, Special Issue on Race, 2005-06

Article reviewer for the American Sociological Review, Child Development, Sociology of Education, Social Forces, Social Problems, Social Science Research, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, Self & Identity, Teacher’s College Record, Journal of Adolescence, and Social Psychology Quarterly

Grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation

Book reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Routledge Press