Melissa is the Postgraduate Research Associate for InSTRIDE. Prior to this position, she attended Muhlenberg College from which she graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate career she participated in many research projects that focused on the psychological effects of attending sleepaway camp, public perceptions of substance use disorders (SUD) and harm reduction treatment strategies as well as the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on individuals who experience SUD. While at Muhlenberg she was involved in their peer health advocacy group where she led vaccination campaigns within the college community for influenza and COVID-19. Through this she was able to connect with students and faculty and explain the importance and efficacy of immunizations. As a peer health advocate Melissa also assisted and led initiatives in which she helped to raise awareness of ways to practice self-care and maintain a good mental health. Furthermore, these experiences enabled her to write op-eds on important issues such as The Equality Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. The Allentown local paper, The Morning Call, even published an article Melissa wrote in which she called on Senator Pat Toomey to vote in support of The Equality Act. Ultimately, Melissa is passionate about public and global health issues such as substance use disorders and treatments (harm reduction approaches), the opioid epidemic, the stigmatization of infectious disease, SUD, and treatment approaches, the psychological impact stigmatized perceptions have, among many other topics. Melissa is eager to be a part of this team and the opportunity to help improve the health of communities and reduce the negative stigma so many face.
Education & Training
- BAMuhlenberg College, Public Health and Psychology (2022)