Melody K. Waring

AM, University of Chicago, 2015; BA, summa cum laude Lawrence University, 2007

School of Social Work Building 126

Curriculum Vitae

Melody Waring

Melody Waring is in her fifth year of doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Social Work. Her research asks how social policy can alleviate the pressures of poor families navigating both unpaid family caregiving and labor force participation in low-wage jobs. Melody’s dissertation uses quantitative analyses of cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to investigate the stratified effects on labor force participation of caring for aging parents. Her dissertation is funded through the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College’s Dissertation Fellowship Program. In addition to her dissertation research, Melody has worked on research projects informing state and federal child support policy, on low-wage work in the public sector, and on TANF participation.

Melody received her A.M. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago in 2015. Her social work field placements included a workforce development policy and advocacy group, and supporting survivors of domestic violence navigate the order of protection process at the Cook County Courthouse.

Prior to starting her graduate education, Melody worked for seven years with nonprofits on the West Coast and in Central America, working both in international development and directly with refugees in the Seattle area. She developed expertise as a grant writer, program evaluator, and administrator. Melody also held a unique apprenticeship in Seattle to train afterschool service providers in racial equity and diversity, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These professional experiences led her to social work research, and she retains a clear focus on training and equipping front-line staff.

Melody has taught a required class introducing MSW students to the field of social work. In 2018 and 2019, Melody taught the Basic Statistics for Social Work class required for MSW students in the part-time program.

poverty; social policy; labor force participation; caregiving; family formation; gender and women’s studies; quantitative research; feminist research methods

Caring for Aging Parents: Stratified Effects on Labor Force Participation

Anticipated graduation: 2020