Melody Buyukozer Dawkins, PhD


Melody joined Slover Linett in April 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as a researcher. Among other projects, she is involved in our collaborative national study, Culture & Community in a Time of Crisis: A Special COVID Edition of Culture Track. Melody brings together training as a developmental psychologist and science communicator with experience in labor activism focusing on issues of fairness, access, and equity for marginalized communities. Melody aims to work on supporting arts and culture organizations in becoming relevant to diverse audiences and sparking meaningful social change.

Before coming to Slover Linett, Melody spent over ten years working with varied populations 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. Melody has published academic articles and book chapters, presented her research at conferences nationally and internationally, and participated in accessible public presentations at community events. She has taught developmental psychology research methods to undergraduate students in online, classroom, and lab settings. Additionally, she served as a mentor to undergraduates within the University of Illinois YWCA’s Women in Leadership program, and to high school seniors within the Illinois Science & Technology Institute’s Mentor Matching program. Melody also worked as a labor researcher, activist, and organizer for four years, focusing on gender justice and graduate employee rights.

Melody earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bilkent University in Turkey and her M.Sc. and PhD in developmental psychology, with graduate minors in social and clinical/community psychology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Melody is a hopeless bookworm, film enthusiast, traveler and photographer.