Morgan Montanez


M.A. Applied Cultural Anthropology, Oregon State University 2017
B.A. Cultural Anthropology, Sociology, University of Colorado Denver 2014


Rural Poverty, Persistent Poverty, Rural Health, Safety-Net Stigma, Safety Net Policy, Southwest Populations, Symbolic Capital, Race and Ethnicity, Hispanic Identity, Qualitative Methods, Survey Methods, Mixed-Methods Research.

Current Research

Morgan is a PhD candidate who studies rural minority-majority communities. Specifically, Morgan’s work deals with the intersectionality of isolation and infrastructure, access to aid programs and healthcare, race/ethnicity, and symbolic capital. Her forthcoming dissertation (expected defense: October 2023) “Inaccessible: Structural Inequalities, Isolation, and Neglect in a Rural Minority-Majority County in Northern New Mexico” is a qualitative work that discusses the impact that isolation, gentrification, and a lack of modern infrastructure had on Taos, New Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Morgan also works as a Project Manager at the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) in the Office of Research. With the SESRC Morgan is a qualitative and rural specialist— to date her work is split between two specialty crop grants (USDA-SCRI) and other agricultural or rural community projects. In this role, Morgan has written two forthcoming papers on environmental sustainability in hops with Lena Le, PhD. 

Morgan’s other research experience includes as a Survey Design Consultant with the SESRC’s Survey Design Clinic, as a Research Assistant with the SESRC, on a project looking at the impact of COVID-19 on rural mortality with Namrata Ray and Anna Zamora-Kapoor, as a Research Assistant with Anna Zamora-Kapoor working with the Add Health dataset, and working with Gleaner Nonprofits in rural Oregon for her MA thesis. In addition, she has helped on several applied research projects as a volunteer including with the community of Las Lagunitas, New Mexico in 2021, with Citizen’s Climate Lobby of the Palouse in 2020, and in evaluative reports to the nonprofits worked with in her PhD and MA research. Morgan is also an active member of the Rural Sociology Society where she just finished her term as Graduate Student Representative (2022-2023). 


Zamora-Kapoor, Anna, Luciana E Herbert, Morgan Montañez, Debra S Buchwald, Kaimi Sinclair. 2021. “Risk factors for elevated blood pressure and hypertension in American Indian and Alaska Natives, compared to three other racial/ethnic groups.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 23 (4): 717-724. Epub 2020.