Melissa Venegas


Welcome! ¡Bienvenidxs!

I study sociolinguistics and critical pedagogies at UC Riverside*, where I am a PhD candidate (ABD) in Hispanic Studies. I examine language and race in Spanish instruction in order to develop critical and locally-based approaches to language education.

I earned my B.A. in Spanish and Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I then attained my post-baccalaureate teaching certificate for Spanish K-12 and my M.Ed in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. I completed my M.A. in Hispanic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where I am currently a PhD candidate (ABD).

*UCR Land Acknowledgement, Developed by UCR Native American Student Programs:

Related to our mission of being a global leader in developing and creating a transformative experience for current and future world-class change agents, we have a responsibility to continually self-educate, reflect, and listen to the histories and people in our areas.

Including Tribal land acknowledgments in practice, and understanding and acknowledging history, is not only respectful and educational, it is the justice-oriented advocacy necessary for continuing the work of dismantling the devastating effects of settler colonialism in our society.

As an institution physically located in Southern California, we at UCR would like to respectfully acknowledge and recognize our responsibility to the original and current caretakers of this land, water, and air: the Cahuilla [ka-wee-ahh], Tongva [tong-va], Luiseño [loo-say-ngo], and Serrano [se-ran-oh] peoples and all of their ancestors and descendants, past, present, and future. Today this meeting place is home to many Indigenous peoples from all over the world, including UCR faculty, students, and staff, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on these homelands.

Please take a moment to acknowledge and reflect on the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous peoples of your area from which you are physically joining us today. If you are unfamiliar with the original and current caretakers of the land, water, and air from your area, we highly encourage you to take the time to self-educate, reflect, and listen to these histories.