Melissa joined Vantage in 2016 through its intern program and is now the Research and Data Science Lead, where she brings an analytical approach to leveraging data, client deliverables, and research projects. Melissa is also the lead graduate student on ground-breaking, NASA-funded research that models team dynamics for long-distance space exploration such as Mission to Mars. In 2018 and 2020, Melissa was awarded the Illinois Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship, which supports graduate students who research space-related topics. In 2018, she was also recognized as a 24 Under 24 Leader and Innovator in STEAM and Space.
Raised in Florida, Melissa attended the University of Central Florida, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is also a graduate of DePaul University, where she obtained both a Master’s degree with distinction and her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Melissa’s research interests include team composition and relationship development between team members over time. Beyond work, Melissa volunteers with the Jewish United Fund (JUF) and at Chicago Lights Tutoring. She is a director on the executive board for the Hornik Family Foundation, which funds agencies and projects that benefit communities in need. Melissa is also an active member of the Junior League of Chicago.