Born and raised in New Jersey, Melissa spent her summers at the Jersey Shore and fell in love with the ocean. After graduating from Watchung Hills Regional High School in 1995, she moved to Florida to study the ocean at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. However, during her undergraduate journey, Melissa discovered a passion for the field of student affairs when she was a resident advisor her junior year. So, she decided to finish her Bachelor of Science in Marine Science in 1999, then took a break from school to work in the field of student affairs.
With a few years of experience behind her, Melissa decided to pursue a Master of Education in College Student Affairs degree at the University of South Florida in 2002. During her two years there, she worked as a graduate assistant the Outdoor Recreation Program in the Campus Recreation Department, and loved every minute of it. In fact, she stayed on as a program assistant for an extra year after she graduated in 2004 to help lead adventure trips, ropes course groups, and oversee the rental center. Then, she moved on to work as an academic advisor in the weekend and evening program at St. Leo University in St. Leo, Florida, and ended up back at USF as an academic advisor in the School of Nursing. When her campus recreation family had an opportunity to create and oversee the new Sport Clubs Program as the coordinator in 2006, she happily returned.
Then, in 2007, her daughter was born and after some very tough reflection, Melissa decided to become a stay-at-home mom. This caused a need to move, and they ended up in Indiana, where Melissa returned to work in 2012 as the senior academic advisor with Marian’s online accelerated BSN program. After four years there, Melissa was drawn to Marian’s main campus because of the welcoming environment and commitment to the Franciscan values, and pursued an opportunity there where she now enjoys serving as the assistant director of adult and second-degree programs in the Office of Financial Aid. In her free time, she spends as much time as she can travelling and being outdoors at Indiana’s many beautiful parks with her daughter, husband, and dog.