Yanira Rivas Pineda de Melendez is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on crime, the criminal justice system, and political participation in marginalized Latino communities. Yanira is currently conducting field research for her dissertation titled, “Crime-Ridden and Heavily Policed: Political Involvement in two Los Angeles Public Housing Facilities.” Using quantitative and qualitative tools for data collection and analysis, Yanira’s dissertation includes a community survey, participant observation, elite interviews, and interviews with community residents. She has been in the field since January 2018 and will utilize the Fund for Latino Scholarship award to finalize all field research by December 2018. Yanira is the recipient of numerous research awards including the UCSB Chicano Studies Institute Research Grant, UCSB Humanities and Social Sciences Research Grant, UCSB Department of Political Science Graduate Research and Training Grant, and the APSA Fund for Latino Scholarship Grant. She has been a Graduate Division Dissertation Fellow, Graduate Opportunity Fellow, SAGE Fellow, and a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellow. When Yanira is not in the field, she enjoys teaching for the political science departments at UCSB and Santa Monica College and spending time with her undergraduate research assistants discussing her research and political science in general.