Hi, I’m Melanie Sonsteng

a PhD candidate at UCLA, a systemic violence and trauma researcher, a believer in participatory research, and a lover of the outdoors.

Current Projects

2018 - 2019

Educational Implications of Community Violence and Trauma: How Los Angeles Teachers are Dealing with the Effects in the Classroom


Survey research project that seeks to identify teachers’ awareness of and difficulties with traumatized students in the classroom. 

Research Methods

Mixed Methods
Survey Research
Qualitative Research
Participatory Methods (PhotoVoice, Asset Mapping)


PhD I University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Social Welfare
Dissertation: The (re)production of violence and trauma in high schools: How institutional policies and practices influence teacher and staff decision making

April 2022

MSW I Boston University, School of Social Work
Concentration: Community Organizing and Program Planning/Evaluation

May 2014

Research Software


Contact me for questions, consultation, or to collaborate on research for your school or community. If you are a student and would like to work on some of my projects please email me with your CV or resume.