Greer Mellon

Greer Mellon

Research Interests


Greer Mellon is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. Her research examines how the characteristics of organizations shape individual and organizational decision-making and contribute to social stratification. This work contributes to the sociology of education, political sociology, and research on inequality. Methodologically, her research uses a wide variety of quantitative methods including multilevel modeling, decomposition analysis, conjoint analysis, and two-way fixed effects analysis. Her research combines multiple sources of data including large-scale administrative data, web scraped records, surveys, and experiments. Her research has been funded by an NAEd/Spencer Dissertation fellowship.

Greer’s dissertation research examines the effects of school district leadership and governance on student achievement and district policy outcomes. One of her dissertation chapters examines variation in superintendent effects on student achievement, using a longitudinal dataset she constructed on superintendent employment tenures in 26 states matched to achievement data.

The subsequent chapters of her dissertation examine the role of partisanship in school district policymaking — whether school boards typically appoint co-partisan superintendents, and whether school boards are more likely to authorize tax and bond funding elections under Democratic majorities.

In addition to her dissertation research, Greer is currently working on several co-authored projects that examine educational inequalities in other settings. One project examines whether anti-Asian biases affect white parents’ school preferences (conditionally accepted at Sociology of Education). A second project examines how the college major decision process contributes to inequality in higher education outcomes for low-SES college students.

Greer also examines how organizations contribute to gender inequality in the labor market. She is currently working on a co-authored project examining the organizational factors that led to an increase in female representation on U.S. corporate board of directors since 2016.

Greer has an MA in Statistics from Columbia University, and an MPhil in Development Studies (International Development) from the University of Oxford, which was funded by a Euretta J. Kellett fellowship. She received her BA in History (departmental honors) and Art History from Columbia University. Before beginning her Ph.D., Greer worked in applied nonprofit and government research, and worked on research for the National Endowment for the Arts, Legal Services Corporation, the Digital Harbor Foundation, and Benenson Strategy Group.



  •    MA Sociology, Columbia University, 2018
  •    MPhil Development Studies, Oxford University, 2013
  •    BA History and Art History, Columbia University, 2011


  •      Introduction to Social Data Analysis II – Lab Instructor (1st Year PhD Course taught by Bruce Western), 2019
  •      Introduction to Social Data Analysis I  - Lab Instructor (1st Year PhD Course taught by Yao Lu), 2018
  •      Advanced Analytic Techniques, (taught by Greg Eirich), 2018
  •      Sociology of Schools, Teaching and Learning (taught by Teresa Sharpe), 2017

Courses Taught