Dr. Meléndez is Assistant Professor of Planning for Engaging Diverse Communities at the University of Oregon’s School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management. As a learning scientist/urban planner, he investigates participatory processes as contexts for adult learning in community settings. Dr. Meléndez’ research explores the interrelation among the environment, participants, and language, and how each of these components works to facilitate participation and learning in democratic activity such as participatory planning and budgeting processes.
As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Meléndez’ novel use of qualitative methods to research democratic activity pushes the boundaries of theory and concept building in the areas of civic engagement, learning, and participation. His work and research focuses on communities usually absent in decision-making processes, such as Latino/a/x immigrant communities, and he seeks to combine theoretical and practical solutions for community-development settings.
Additionally,Dr. Meléndez leads half-day professional development workshops for improving teaching effectiveness for instructors in the social and applied sciences at the annual Urban Affairs Association conference. Dr. Meléndez received his doctorate from the Learning Sciences program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a co-discipline in Urban Planning and Policy.