Mélena Laudig (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in the Departments of Religion and African American Studies and is also pursuing a Certificate from the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the history of African American religion and childhood in slavery and freedom and has been supported by the Effron Center for the Study of America; the Center for Society, Culture, and Religion; the Library Company of Philadelphia; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Princeton University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Yale College, where she was an Edward A. Bouchet Research Fellow.
On campus, she has worked as a Diversity Fellow in the Access, Diversity, and Inclusion Office; a Resident Graduate Student in Rockefeller College; a Co-Host for the African American Studies Podcast; a Graduate Fellow for the Crossroads Project; and a Graduate Liaison in the Religion Department.
Originally from the Texas Panhandle, Mélena is a first-generation graduate student from a low-income background who is passionate about working to create spaces where all graduate students feel seen, supported, and holistically well throughout their programs.