As the Asia-Pacific Programs Director, Melissa directs the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program in western China and supports the American Language and Culture program which brings students from Asia to the US to promote cross-cultural exchange as well as VIA’s other short-term cultural and professional training programs throughout Asia and Silicon Valley. Melissa holds a master’s degree from Kent State University in Higher Education Administration and has served US and international students for more than ten years. Her experience in international education includes developing and implementing programs and services for international and exchange students, supporting education abroad programs, community building with diverse populations, advising F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant students, and building collaborative relationships with international partners. Her overseas experiences include travel to China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, & Xiamen), Vietnam, and other countries in Europe and the Americas. She moved to the San Francisco Bay area from South Carolina and grew up in Pennsylvania. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time at home with her family and her dog (Napoleon), listening to podcasts (current fav: Code Switch), hiking, and trying new recipes.