Mellisa’s sixth grade superlative was “Mellisa wants to bring countries together.” Although it took decades to have the language for it, Mellisa always knew she wanted to assist people in finding common ground.
Starting her teaching early, Mellisa spent three years as a classroom teacher in Prague, Czech Republic. Realizing that students learn best by experiencing lessons rather than rout learning, Mellisa started to design her lessons to address all learning styles in a fun, interactive way, designing classes that focused on developing critical thinking skills. Mellisa was able to broaden her skills with teaching opportunities in the Palestinian Territories, Egypt and Nicaragua.
Upon returning to the United States, Mellisa started a journey that would alter the course of her life; the School of International Training Graduate Institute introduced her to the theories of experiential learning and training design. While studying Service, Leadership and Management and focusing on Conflict Transformation she was able to cement her educational pedagogy. Mellisa stayed on with SIT after her classwork, facilitating programming with World Learning’s Leadership Programs. Highlights of her tenure include working in the Washington D.C. office, traveling with international youth throughout the United States and facilitating programming in Iraq, Serbia and Turkey.
After living out of a suitcase for most of her life, Mellisa settled in Burlington, Vermont in 2012 where she has made a home and community. Mellisa directed two youth centers in Burlington for four years- one which she started! Effective staff training was paramount to a powerful, supportive environment for the middle and high school youth and Mellisa ensured all her staff were well trained in various communication, conflict and morale boosting activities.
Mellisa found kindred spirits at the UVM Adventure Ropes Course, where she started facilitating programming in 2017. While she doesn’t often venture up in the trees, her happiest moments are facilitating problem solving activities with groups and watching individuals come together as a team.
Recently, Mellisa made the decision to focus full-time on Iceberg Consulting, LLC, to build her dream of a business facilitating positive communication.
When not working, Mellisa enjoys various arts, animals, Vermont, travelling and laughing.