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McNair Scholar 2012Merone Melekin

Merone Melekin is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Global Studies and Leadership. Her research interests revolve around injustices embedded within international policy, as well as her research interests include: public policy, international development, globalization, human rights, social justice, racial disparities, and the gap in education at both a national and global level. She plans on getting her Master's in Public Policy with a focus on international development and following the route to get her Ph.D. in Political Science. Merone aspires to work globally across many intersecting fields as she digs deep into the injustices within international policy, primarily with a focus on the global south.

Merone Melekin photo
Mahatma Ghandi stated, 'If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.' My dream is to cure the disparity of educational gaps across the world and work towards uplifting our generation of leaders because as the infamous Nelson Mandela once stated, 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'

Research project

The Deterrent Effect of Reverse Discrimination Litigation in the Public Procurement and Contracting

Abstract: Federal rules mandate that recipients of US Department of Transportation (US DOT) funding for highway construction projects set Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goals for their overall procurement and contracting activities. These goals are controversial because they putatively favor women and minority owned firms over white male owned firms. This project tests the hypothesis that legal challenges of “reverse discrimination” have an adverse impact on the setting and the attainment of the DBE goals. Under the conceptual framework of the deterrence theory, we primarily aim to test the deterrent effects of legal challenges and sanctions on the grounds of reverse discrimination upon the setting and the attainment of DBE goals. The research team collected from the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), major court decisions and state ballot initiatives for 50 states for 10 years, from 2001-2010. The team tested the hypothesis that DBE goals and goal attainment are lower in those states with adverse court decisions and successful ballot initiatives restricting race-conscious public programs. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Samuel Myers serves as Chair of the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. Dr. Myers received a B.A. in Economics in 1971 from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1976 Dr. Myers received a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Myers expertise is in Microeconomic policy analysis, racial inequality, government procurement and contracting; modeling of disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) and emerging small business enterprise (ESBE) programs, racial disparities in drowning and competitive swimming and in academic performance, evaluation of anti-racism programs.