A conversation with the 2019 EDUCAUSE DEI Leadership Award winner.
Melissa is Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer at Michigan State University. Her role oversees University Human Resources, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, Real Estate, Sustainability, Information Technology, Procurement, University Stores, and Campus Mail Services. She also serves as the president of the Michigan State University Foundation, whose mission is to support MSU achieve its economic development goals through the commercialization of student, faculty, and staff intellectual property.
She has also worked at Stony Brook University, University of Oregon, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Melissa, recipient of the EDUCAUSE 2019 DEI Leadership and EDUCAUSE 2012 Rising Star Awards, is a Frye Leadership (now Leading Change) Institute Fellow. She served on the inaugural EDUCAUSE DEI Advisory Committee, was a Senior Reviewer for EDUCAUSE Review Online, served on the EDUCAUSE 2012 Conference Program Committee, and was a member of the EDUCAUSE Professional Development Advisory Committee, including a year as committee chair. Melissa also served as co-chair for the Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC).
Melissa has served on a number of other committees and working groups, co-authored articles, and has presented at EDUCAUSE conferences on various topics such as developing aspiring IT leaders, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the IT profession. Additionally, she served on the InCommon Steering Committee, as a Board member on the NYSERNet.net and NYSERNet.org boards, and is currently chair of the Merit Network Board of Directors. She completed her PhD in Biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Bachelor's degree in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley.
The EDUCAUSE Awards Program, under the guidance of the EDUCAUSE Recognition Committee, brings peer endorsement and distinction to professional accomplishments in higher education information technology.
Increasing the retention of IT employees from diverse backgrounds will require effort. But the benefits to a campus will be much greater than the investment.