The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

Mel Ptacek, MPP/MBA'20

Mel Ptacek, MPP'20

Mel Ptacek is the Communications Coordinator for the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. Mel has worked in several fields, including higher education, policy research and analysis, statistical programming, and editorial and website services. She has longtime research and advocacy interests spanning social analysis, educational policy, labor and employment policy, data and technology policy, critical studies of disability, race, gender, and class, and national and international politics and economics. She has taught and published in fields such as history, sociology, legal studies, and human rights. 

Mel holds dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Business Administration degrees from the Heller School, a PhD in history from the University of California at Berkeley, and a BA in history from the University of California at Davis. Her work while a student at the Heller School emphasized educational and employment equity for women and for autistic people.

In 2021 for the Heller School's Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, Mel created the 7-Day Neurodiversity Inclusion Challenge.