Melissa joins the Poorvu Center as an Associate Director of Teaching Development and Initiatives. As a first generation college graduate, she is particularly interested in helping develop safe, inclusive and equitable learning spaces for all students. Prior to the Poorvu Center, Melissa worked at Stanford University as a Lecturer in the Graduate School of Education’s Teacher Education Program where she earned the excellence in staff award. Additionally, she served as the Project Director of the Stanford Hollyhock Fellowship, a nationwide program for early-career teachers striving to improve the quality of their teaching and contribute to a reduction in teacher turnover in high schools serving vulnerable student populations. Before her eight years at Stanford, Melissa taught high school for 15 years, served as department chair, and was recognized for various teaching awards in Kansas City, Boston, and New Haven. She earned her B.S. in secondary education at Kansas State University as a Presidential Scholar and her M.A. in English at the University of Kansas.