Meghan, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology, studies education, children and youth, and inequality in the Global South. Before coming to CSU in 2008, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador and completed her Master s in Public Administration at the University of Washington studying the strengths and weaknesses of pro-poor agricultural policy and farmers cooperatives in Central America. She worked as a research assistant for the Center for Fair and Alternative Trade from 2008-2011 and is currently a research assistant for the Center of Disaster and Risk Analysis at CSU.

Meghan is completing fieldwork for her dissertation in El Salvador. Based on extensive qualitative research in three Salvadoran primary schools (two urban and one rural), Meghan's research examines the educational experiences and aspirations of middle school students in high poverty communities. She has completed more than 200 days of participant observation, focus groups with 160 students, and interviews with 20 teachers. She is currently interviewing youth who have dropped out of school, youth at high risk of dropout who have stayed in school, recent high school graduates, and the caregivers of these youth. The goal of this research is to identify factors that help poor students in rural and urban El Salvador maintain educational trajectories.

Meghan was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in 2013 in support of this research. She also has received dissertation research grants from the Rural Sociological Society (2011) and the Midwest Sociological Society (2012). She is very thankful for this support.