Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University in Bloomington, where she studied study Human Development & Family Studies and French. Melissa is now a third-year law student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Melissa has long embraced a social justice perspective in her studies and in her out-of-class activities. She became particularly interested in human psychology as a high school student while participating in a long-term mentoring program with local grade school students. As a college student in Bloomington, Melissa’s desire to explore social justice and psychology continued. She worked at The Middle Way House, a domestic violence shelter, where she served as an advocate for abused women. Melissa spent the summer after her junior year in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she studied the psychology of early childhood education while working alongside teachers in Danish kindergartens.
During her first year as a Weaver Fellow, Melissa studied the intersection of law and psychiatry through her semester-long community placement at the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Veterans Treatment Court. Based on this experience, Melissa completed a research paper analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of criminal diversion dockets, particularly veterans treatment courts.
For her second year as a Weaver Fellow, Melissa will continue studying the intersection of law and psychiatry, but in a civil context with the Hamilton County Probate Court. Specifically, she will be studying the involuntary commitment procedures by observing intake procedures as well as court proceedings.
As a Weaver Fellow, Melissa hopes to continue developing a unique perspective of the intersection between legal issues and human psychology. Melissa believes that the Weaver Fellowship will foster an understanding of the legal system that will allow her to be a better advocate for her clients.