Melissa is a UX designer passionate about building trust and using tech for social good. Melissa has a specialty in trauma-informed design — she won a grant in 2017 to work on this topic together with a nonprofit. Since then, she has helped design for people who have experienced human trafficking, PTSD, substance use disorder, and serious mental illness. In 2023 she received the Service to the Citizen Customer Experience Trailblazer Award for her work on 988, our national suicide hotline, and related websites.
Melissa also teaches design to graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to others through her own company, Birdcall.
She has been working in the UX and content strategy field for more than 15 years. Previously she led the UX effort at the sports tech start-up Teamworks in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Prior to that role, she consulted on UX and content projects across the US for five years. She has worked with small startups as well as large organizations such as the U.S. Digital Service, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lenovo, Bloomberg News, and Duke University.
Melissa has a Master’s degree in Visual Communication from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is pursuing her doctorate in design at North Carolina State University, studying the intersection of technology and trauma.