Melissa's background merges studio and graphic arts. She received a fine arts degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota Duluth and went on to work as a print and web designer for two firms in Virginia before teaching studio art, design and animation for six years. She received her Masters degree at Hollins University, culminating with an extensive interactive art installation focused on land use.

Melissa has created websites for non-profit groups including the children's rights organization AHALA ( and a home for sexually abused girls, KAMAMI. She was also involved with the formation of an indigenous artisan cooperative in Guadalajara, México called MNINI, and helped maintain its operation with web and print design. Melissa also worked as an instructor and created the site for Listen to My Pictures, a photo class for disadvantaged teens.

Currently Melissa is teaching journalism students how to incorporate web design, audio recording, photography and video into their work at Western Kentucky University, with web design and publication tools such as Wordpress and Dreamweaver.  She is also a designer for Illuminati Studios and creates web graphics, packaging designs, displays, booklets and advertisements for a wide variety of clients.