Rita M. Meléndez is a Professor and a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Research & Education on Gender and Sexuality. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University in 2000. In 2002, she earned a Masters Degree in Biostatstics from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies. She is the recipient of a National Research Service Award Research Training Fellowship (mentored by Anke A. Ehrhardt). She specializes in combined quantitative and qualitative methods in researching HIV issues as they relate to minority women and Latino immigrants in the US. She works with a number of CBOs in conducting HIV research as well as in conducting assessments and evaluations with their clients. Dr. Melendez is currently working on several research projects relating to the health and health care of Latino immigrants in the US. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Culture, Health and Sexuality, Women and Health, AIDS and Behavior, Journal on Interpersonal Violence, Salud Publica and Archives of Sexual Behavior.
- Quantitative and qualitative methods in researching HIV issues as they relate to gender
- Gender-specified HIV/ STD prevention programs
- Intimate partner violence
- Structural concerns of transgender people.