Melissa is the DLC’s Assistant Director for Special Projects. Recently, her work has shifted from a web and social media focus to a broader role supporting a variety of initiatives to improve systems across campus.
As part of her work to strengthen institutional collaboration, Melissa serves as a liaison for Sheila Cameron, the Director of Organizational Development at Middlebury College. In this role she helps bring staff development resources and opportunities to the MIIS campus. One example is the DiSC profile, a self-assessment for student groups, faculty, and departments that examines behaviors and tendencies to improve teamwork.
Although many of the tools and workshops she provides currently have a staff focus, Melissa would love to expand these offerings for students in the future. She also sees a potential opportunity for DLC graduate assistants who are interested in higher education to help support her in this work and gain insight into administrative processes.
Another of her current projects is helping to facilitate the Organizational Transparency and Information Sharing (OTIS) task force that began in January 2016 and is wrapping up its initial phase in May. It identifies communication gaps at the Middlebury Institute and broader Middlebury enterprise and proposes solutions to address them. Melissa has found it very interesting and says she appreciates its inclusive approach to getting staff involved in finding ways to resolve larger organizational issues.
She has also been working on the Dean’s Seminar with a team of faculty and staff lead by Kent Glenzer and Renee Jourdenais. This year and a half long project is broadly focused on starting conversations about pedagogy at MIIS, specifically thinking about how we can learn from current professionals. The hope is that by asking them what skills they wished they had gained before they entered the field, we can improve how we educate at MIIS.
Finally, this semester she got involved in the newly established Campus Arts Committee, which is investigating gaps in MIIS’ informal marketing strategy. One of their aims is to better reflect students’ transformative experiences through the art displayed on campus. The committee’s work has just begun, but Melissa hopes it will continue in the long term.
This summer, she is excited to think more comprehensively about the resources available to the MIIS community and create a more comprehensive plan for how to best serve the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. She believes her current work is still closely tied to the DLC’s mission to foster an inventive mindset, creative focus, and desire to constantly improve.