Melissa is a History doctoral student at the University of Notre Dame, where she studies sacred places, popular religion, and interfaith dialogue in North America in the long twentieth century. Her current research explores the history and theology of interreligious pilgrimages, especially places such as el Santuario de Chimayó and Lac Ste. Anne that are held sacred by Catholics and Indigenous Peoples.
Melissa is from Loganville, Georgia. In 2011, she received her Bachelor of Arts in honors anthropology and peace studies from the University of Notre Dame. From 2011-2014, Melissa worked as a school librarian and teacher at Saint Michael Indian School. In 2017, Melissa received her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. While at Harvard, she was a Junior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions. For 2020-2021, Melissa was a Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study PhD Fellow. Currently, she is a Richard and Peggy Notebaert Premier Fellow and a Kellogg Doctoral Student Affiliate.
Cross-boundary engagement facilitates transformative understandings and dialogues at pilgrimage sites and in research. If you are interested in collaborating with Melissa, please contact her at email@example.com.