Melissa has been an avid follower of politics since she first participated in Youth in Government in 9th Grade. As an undergraduate at West Virginia University, she spent a semester working as a legislative assistant for a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, and after graduating with a BA in political science, she interned for the West Virginia Democratic Party at the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. She then moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as a grassroots organizer for a non-profit public interest organization. Although she eventually stopped working in politics in order to spend more time with her family, she continued to diligently keep up with current events. In January 2014, she entered the master's degree program at Appalachian, and she subsequently began teaching American National Government and Politics. Melissa enjoys incorporating local current events into the class lessons to encourage students to get involved, and to realize their ability to effect change.
When she is not teaching or studying politics, Melissa enjoys hiking and traveling to national parks around the country. She has visited 24 of the 59 national parks so far, and she is always planning her next trip.