Program Facilitator, FirstHand (Philadelphia, USA)
Melissa channels her passions for ecology and STEM outreach towards inspiring future scientists as a Program Facilitator with FirstHand. FirstHand is a free, multi-week out-of-school time (OST) program that provides project-based, mentored STEM education to Philadelphia middle and high school students. Prior to entering the education world, Melissa was a marine biologist studying the ability of crucial marine species to adapt in the face of a rapidly changing climate. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Temple University where she studied deep-sea corals, and her Master of Science in Biology from California State University, Northridge where she worked with Giant Kelp. Melissa taught introductory biology labs in the California State University system for two years, while also participating in extensive STEM outreach. She is looking forward to learning how to bring biotechnology innovations into the FirstHand Lab with the help of the Bio Summit community!