Melissa is a Master of Theological Studies candidate at Harvard Divinity School, focusing on Islamic Studies. After graduating from Colgate University in May 2010 with a BA in Religion and South Asian Studies, she served as the Summer Intern at the Pluralism Project, where she has continued as a Research Associate while attending HDS. She participated in NAINConnect 2010 as a Young Adult Scholar. Melissa has spent time working in the Middle East, in Abu Dhabi as an elementary school teacher, and in Amman, Jordan, at the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center (JICRC), where her research and outreach emphasized Arab Christian-Muslim relations and faith-based diplomacy. Her academic interests include understanding the ways in which and extent to which religious traditions affect culture and identity on a local and international scale, with a developing focus on peace-building and human rights.