Melissa Barnett

Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation | View C.V.

Melissa Barnett, Associate Director for Assessment & Evaluation

Melissa joined the T+LL team in May 2015. As Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation, Melissa works with Institute faculty and staff to develop evaluation studies that answer their questions pertaining to program and pedagogical effectiveness. Melissa has extensive experience crafting unique surveys and rubrics, designing protocols for face-to-face interviews and focus groups, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data. Her interests include: program evaluation, research methodology, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and the academic experience of underrepresented groups and the first-generation in higher education.

Prior to coming to MIT, Melissa served as the Assessment Researcher/Research Manager in the Office of Undergraduate Education at Harvard College and as a Research Analyst in the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Much of her work at Harvard College involved designing, analyzing and reporting on internal assessments, while her work in Harvard’s Science Education department focused on designing, analyzing and publishing in peer reviewed journals on student achievement in college calculus. Melissa’s more recent co-authored publications appear in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, and the International Migration Review and focus on the effect of neighborhoods, student effort, and immigrant generation on success in college calculus. She and her colleagues also have a forthcoming article in the High School Journal that focuses on the effect of standardized tests in high school on success in college calculus.

Melissa has taught several undergraduate courses at schools in the Boston area, including Statistics, Research Methods, and Race & Ethnic Relations. Earlier co-authored work on immigrant incorporation and the use of meta-analysis to generate population estimates is published in Mobilities, the edited volume Mobile Bodies, Mobile Souls, and Sociological Methods and Research.

Melissa received her Ph.D. in sociology (with a focus on social stratification) from Florida State University and her B.A. in English writing from Denison University.