Melissa Santana-Rivera studies 20th-Century U.S. and Latin American History. Her research interests include American immigration history, race and ethnicity, and social and cultural history. Melissa is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico and an MA in History from DePaul University.
Her dissertation, “Chicago Immigrant Rights Activism from the 1930 to the 1970s,” explores the shared agendas of Latino immigrant groups and social reformers that transformed the socio-political landscape of immigrants in Chicago. It concentrates on how Latino immigrants groups contributed to the city not only as workers and clients of settlement houses but also as participants of reform movements.