Melissa graduated from Cornell University and quickly entered into a graduate program at George Washington University to complete a Master of Public Health degree before departing for the Peace Corps in 2004. Since this time, Melissa has worked with a variety of NGOs leading to overseas work in Togo, Morocco, India, South Africa, Rwanda and most recently South Sudan.

In 2010, Melissa felt a draw to visual storytelling and spent the summer at Maine Media Workshops completing the Documentary Photography Residency program. As the Director of Communications for PSI-South Sudan, these skills proved invaluable and the desire to enhance her visual storytelling capabilities lead her to Ohio University School of Visual Communications' MA in Photojournalism in 2014. 

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