Omar Melchor-Ayala


PhD, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice Sciences

503-838-9219 |
MA 217

Personal Website

Why I chose WOU

WOU is my second home! This place was perhaps the most influential and transformation institution in my life. I love how genuinely student-centered the faculty and staff are here.

At WOU since



Everything that has to do with the outdoors! Especially exploring Oregon.

Fun fact

Like many of you, I am a first generation student (and a first generation immigrant)!


Patzcuaro, Michoacan It is beautiful, look it up!

Favorite book/movie

Too many to list! I love documentaries.

Office Hours

Office hours & online appointments available by arrangement.

Course schedule

Fall 2022

Areas of responsibility

Practicum Coordinator

CJS Faculty Senate Senator



Omar Melchor-Ayala, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Criminal Justice at Western Oregon University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Western Oregon University (2006-2009), a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (2009-2011), and a PhD in Sociology from Portland State University (2014-2019). Omar has been teaching at WOU for 6 years, and also taught at PSU for 3 years.
Omar is also currently the Practicum Coordinator for the Criminal Justice Department at WOU, and an academic advisor. Additionally, he is the Faculty Senate representative for the Criminal Justice Sciences division, and the division’s Curriculum Committee Chair. His main research area of interest is the overall immigration-crime nexus. Moreover, Omar worked at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility as an educator and mentor for two years.

Courses previously and regularly taught:

  • CJ 213 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ 219 Ethics and Leadership in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 451 Youth, Crime, and Society
  • CJ 461 Youth, Immigration, and Crime
  • CJ 409 Practicum
  • SOC 370 The Sociology of Deviance


BS Western Oregon University: Criminal Justice

MS University of Nevada in Las Vegas: Criminal Justice

PhD Portland State University: Sociology

Undergraduate courses taught

Introduction to Criminal Justice

Introduction to Juvenile Justice

Ethics and Leadership in Criminal Justice

Research and Writing in Criminal Justice

Research Methods in Criminal Justice

Youth, Crime, and Society


Youth, Immigration, and Crime

Publications and Presentations

National Conference Presentations:

Western Society of Criminology, February 2019. Honolulu, Hawaii
“The Effect of Age at Migration on Offending Among Immigrant Youth”

Western Society of Criminology, February 2018. Long Beach, California
“Effects of Existing Generational Classification of Immigrants and Immigrant Children in Research”

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, February 6, 2010; San Diego, CA
“Following the Lead of Barack Obama, CNN, and Ashton Kutcher: Police Department’s Use of Twitter”

Graduate Research Symposium UNLV 2010 Poster Presentation
“Following the Lead of Barack Obama, CNN, and Ashton Kutcher: Police Department’s Use of Twitter”

American Society of Criminology, November 5, 2009; Philadelphia, PA
“Homelessness to Jail and Back Again”

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