In the Center for International Programs, Melissa oversees all study abroad advising, manages relationships with foreign universities and study abroad program partners, and teaches the pre-departure orientation course. As a member of the Office of Academic Affairs, she chairs the International Education Committee (IEC), approves transfer credit for all coursework taken abroad, and serves on various college initiatives including the core curriculum implementation subcommittee, the ePortfolio (“Bear Tracks”) working group, and the interfaith initiatives strategic planning group.
Melissa is an active member of the Ursinus College Tau Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for which she served as Historian from 2011 to 2015. From 2001 to 2011 she coordinated all campus efforts for the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, and from 2011 to 2015 and 2017-2019 she served as the official campus Liaison.
Named “David A. Portlock Outstanding International Educator” by the Pennsylvania Council for International Education in 2017, Melissa contributes to the education abroad field in a number of ways. She has chaired (since 2013) the CAPA International Education Academic Advisory Board made up of advisors and faculty from 11 colleges and universities across the U.S. She was appointed to the Latin American Advisory Committee of Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) at Butler University after serving a three-year term on its Executive Committee of the National Advisors Council. She is a trained Quality Insurance Program (QUIP) peer reviewer for the Forum on Education Abroad. She has conducted external reviews of study abroad programs in Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Italy, and the United States.
In 2013 Melissa was awarded an International Education Administrators Fulbright in Japan, which coincided with her office assuming leadership of the American Studies Program which welcomes students and staff from sister school Tohoku Gakuin University (Sendai) to campus for a week each summer.
Formerly of the Modern Language Department at Ursinus, Melissa taught Spanish language and literature from the 100 to the 300 levels and the full sequence of the Common Intellectual Experience (CIE). In 2003 she co-directed the semester-long pilot Ursinus in Madrid (Spain) internship and study abroad program and each year hosts a reunion attended by half or more of the program alums (oftentimes plus their partners and children).
In the course of her 20 year career in international education, Melissa has collaborated on professional projects in Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, France, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, and Spain. She studied abroad in Madrid, Spain as an undergraduate and graduate student, and has witnessed the benefits of multiple study abroad adventures pursued by her own children, now ages 25 and 20.
Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis
M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College
B.A. in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia.