Melody Buyukozer Dawkins, PhD


Melody joined Slover Linett in April 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As a researcher, Melody has worked with clients such as the Library of Congress, Signature Theatre, Whippoorwill Arts, StoryCorps as well as our collaborative national studies, Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis: A Special COVID Edition of Culture Track and the qualitative wave of Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation.   Melody brings together training as a developmental psychologist and labor organizer focusing on issues of fairness, access, and equity . Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, Melody’s research philosophy prioritizes a community-based participatory approach to bring the margins to the mainstream via social research. Ultimately, Melody aims to work on supporting arts and culture organizations in becoming more equitable, community-oriented and responsive and supportive to diverse audiences.

Before coming to Slover Linett, Melody spent over ten years working with varied populations across Turkey and the United States examining the roots of our sense of fairness, equity, and attitudes toward individuals affected by resource disparities. Her doctoral research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program and was published as academic articles and book chapters. She previously taught developmental psychology research methods at the University of Illinois to undergraduate students and is currently serving as a research mentor to high school seniors within the Illinois Science & Technology Institute’s Mentor Matching program.

Melody earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bilkent University and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology, with graduate minors in social and clinical/community psychology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her personal time, Melody loves reading, photography, films and film critique, traveling and exploring her newfound interests in graphic memoirs, cooking and Just Dance.