University at Buffalo

Melinda Lemke

Melinda Lemke

Program Advisor, Education Leadership and Policy for Equity Minor

Assistant Professor


Specialty/Research Focus

Gender Studies; Educational Policy; Leadership; Mental Health; Politics of Education; Qualitative Research Methods

Contact Information
470 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: (716) 645-1090

Professional Summary:

Melinda Lemke is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy where she is a part of the educational administration and the economics and educational policy analysis programs. She is the program advisor for the education leadership and policy for equity minor, a Community for Global Health Equity fellow, and Gender Institute affiliate. Melinda’s research focuses on two substantive areas within the field of educational policy and leadership – the politics of education and underserved youth populations. She has researched curriculum policy formation and implementation, youth trafficking and immigration policy, and gender issues in education. Her current work focuses on educational policy and programmatic responses to displaced student trauma(s). Her teaching interests include critical/feminist critical policy analyses, interdisciplinarity, interprofessional collaboration and leadership for social justice. Prior to her position at UB, Melinda was a postdoctoral research associate for the College of Law and Criminology, Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People at Swansea University, Wales, United Kingdom. Melinda is an editorial board member of Leadership and Policy in Schools and brings a lengthy career in U.S. urban public high school teaching and administration to her work at UB.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, The University of Texas at Austin, Educational Policy and Planning; Women's and Gender Studies Concentration
  • MEd, The University of Texas at Austin, Curriculum and Instruction; Government Concentration
  • BSED; BA, Bucknell University, Secondary Education; History
Awards and Honors:
  • Graduate School of Education Faculty in Residence; University at Buffalo; 2018-01-29;
  • Community for Global Health Equity Seed Funding; University at Buffalo, 2017;
  • Community for Global Health Equity Fellow (Refugee Health and Well-being in Buffalo); University at Buffalo, 2017;
  • Division B (Curriculum Studies) Outstanding Dissertation Recognition Award; American Educational Research Association, 2016;
  • Politics of Education Association Outstanding Dissertation Award; American Educational Research Association, 2016;
  • Swansea University Research Grant Enabler (SURGE) Recipient; Swansea University, 2016;
  • Graduate School Named Continuing Dissertation Fellowship; The University of Texas at Austin, 2014;
  • Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Fellow; The University of Texas at Austin, 2014;
  • David L. Clark National Fellow in Educational Administration and Policy; University Council for Educational Administration, 2013;
  • Institute of American History Fellow; Gilder Lehrman, 2009;
  • Landmarks of American History and Culture Fellow; National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008;
  • James Madison Memorial Master's Fellowship; James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, 2003;
  • J. William Fulbright Foreign Fellowship; U.S. Department of State, 2001;
Journal Article:
  • Lemke, M. (2018). Educators as the “front line” of human trafficking prevention: An analysis of state-level educational policy. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 1–21. doi: 10.1080/15700763.2017.1398337 (online first)
  • Lemke, M., & Zhu, L. (2018). Successful futures? New economy business logics, child rights, and Welsh educational reform. Policy Futures in Education, 1-26. doi: 10.1177/1478210317751269 (online first)
  • Jabbar, H., Sun, W. H., Lemke, M., & Germain, E. (2016). Gender, markets, and inequality: A framework for examining how market-based reforms impact female leaders. Educational Policy, 1-42. doi: 10.1177/0895904816673740 (online first)
  • Lemke, M. (2017). Trafficking and immigration policy: Intersections, inconsistencies, and implications for public education. Educational Policy, 1-21. doi: 10.1177/0895904817719528 (online first)
Book Chapter:
  • Lemke, M. (2017). Addressing violence in schools: Feminist praxis and a pedagogy of risk. In J. L. Martin, A. E. Nickels, & M. L. Sharp-Grier (Eds.), Feminist pedagogy, practice, and activism: Improving the lives of girls and women (pp. 140-157). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Lemke, M. (2016). Building anti-bullying and socially just school spaces: Educational context, dynamics, and research considerations. In A. Osanloo & J. Schwartz (Eds.), Creating and negotiating collaborative spaces for socially-just anti-bullying interventions for K-12 schools (pp. ix-xxi). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  • Lemke, M. (2015). (Un)making the neoliberal agenda in public education: A critical discourse analysis of Texas high school social studies policy processes and standards. In K. M. Sturges (Ed.), Neoliberalizing educational reform: America’s quest for profitable market colonies and the undoing of public good (pp. 53-77). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
Book Review:
  • Lemke, M. (2017). Critical educational “alternatives” to foregone neoliberal conclusions: A book review of Imagining education: Beyond the logic of global neoliberal capitalism. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 15(3), 402-409.
Editorial and Review:
  • American Educational Research Association Annual Conference Reviewer
  • University Council for Educational Administration Annual Conference Reviewer
  • Leadership and Policy in Schools Editorial Board
Professional Service:
  • University Council for Educational Administration, University at Buffalo Plenum Representative

    Contact Information

    470 Baldy Hall
    North Campus
    Phone: (716) 645-1090