Melissa M. Edwards. M.Ed., NCC

Student Development Coordinator
Phone: (205) 665-8104


Master of Education • University of Montevallo • 2013

  • Major: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Bachelor of Arts • Samford University • 2006

  • Major: Journalism/Mass Communication
  • Specialization: Broadcast
  • Minor: Spanish


University of Montevallo Montevallo, AL

Student Development Coordinator—TRIO Upward Bound Program (2013-Present)

  • Provides group and individual counseling based on student needs and/or IEP, and facilitates personal exploration activities for students’ growth and development
  • Collaborates with referring agencies and community resource providers and parent(s)/guardian(s) to ensure continuity of support for students
  • Provides guidance on and assistance in alternative education programs for secondary school dropouts that lead to the receipt of a regular secondary school diploma or equivalent
  • Identifies local partnerships, events, and collaborations for expansion of community service and cultural enrichment opportunities for students
  • Schedules and supervises cultural enrichment events
  • Schedules and supervises community service projects
  • Maintains contact with target high school counselors, parents, and students
  • Schedules and coordinates annual recruitment presentations with 8th grade counselors at target schools
  • Plans and supervises student ambassador and peer mentoring programs
  • Plans and implements career workshops, guided career exploration assessments and activities for program participants
  • Plans and coordinates special events/programs as well as fundraising events to promote participants’ student scholarship fund
  • Provides financial empowerment workshops and enrichment meetings for parents throughout the year
  • Collaborates with TRIO staff on campus to provide transitional support, career exploration, and mentoring opportunities for all participants
  • Develops and coordinates the UB Alumni Program and the Parent Advisory Council
  • Supervises college students seeking internship or mentorship opportunities within the Program
  • Complies with federal regulations, as stated in program grant proposal

Jobship/InternTRIO Upward Bound Program (2012-2013)

  • Provided support and encouragement for students and parents as well as individual and group therapeutic counseling sessions
  • Provided personal growth and career development opportunities at Super Saturday tutoring dates and throughout the week
  • Accompanied students for Cultural Enrichment and Community Service events, logged student credits into Student Access database, and maintained back up documentation
  • Maintained counseling documentation and records of student contact
  • Communicated with students frequently via Upward Bound Facebook page, Instagram, & Remind platforms
  • Responsible for scheduling tentative dates for Fall 2013 Cultural Enrichment, Community Service, and Professional Career Day
  • Planned summer personal development leadership groups & training with Ambassadors as well as the scheduling of all Evening Programming activities
  • Planned and implemented summer Community Service/Cultural Enrichment, the Mr. & Miss Upward Bound Competition, & Team Challenge for Summer 2013
  • Developed and implemented Fall 2012 Professional Career Day

SafeHouse of Shelby County Pelham, AL

Special Assessment Intervention Liaison Specialist/Community & Outreach Case Manager (2010-2013)

  • Acted as a liaison between Department of Human Resources staff, the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the shelter program to provide optimal voluntary client services and case management
  • Assisted with goal formation, budgeting, financial assistance, community resources, and financial empowerment education to help clients to become safe, self-sufficient through housing/shelter placement per ACADV and DHR guidelines
  • Provided outreach services within the counties of Coosa and Clay at local DHR offices including case management/advocacy to survivors of Domestic and/or Sexual Violence
  • Educated DHR workers and community partners on the dynamics of DV and trauma informed approaches to working with survivors as well as SafeHouse services
  • Trained new DHR employees on rural outreach/SAIL Program
  • Implemented Shelby County Emergency Solutions Grant and the Greater Birmingham Foundation Community grant per policy in work with survivors maintaining housing or in threat of homelessness due to Domestic Violence
  • Assisted individuals and families with on-going needs for safety and services including Protection from Abuse orders, emergency shelter, referrals to legal services, Crime Victims Compensation, relocation and transportation services, and development of individualized safety planning
  • Accompanied clients in obtaining Protection from Abuse Orders and advocated on client’s behalf with Circuit Clerk and/or Circuit Judge
  • Collaborated with IAW enforcement on proper protocols and procedures for conducting Lethality Assessments and provided necessary support for implementation
  • Served as part of the DV/SA on-call team for residential services and provided hospital accompaniment to survivors of sexual assault

 Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Shelter Advocate (2008-2010)

  • Provided direct services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault including client intake, advocacy/support talk, crisis intervention in residential facility, as well as maintenance of client files per policy
  • Served as an advocate to children of domestic violence by way of support talk, recreational activities and positive modeling
  • Provided support and advocacy for individuals calling the crisis call hotline and maintained entries in Alice database
  • Translated documents for Hispanic clientele and assisted case manager in communication with Latino clients
  • Trained new advocates on daily shelter operations and hotline procedures per policy and procedure

Previous Experience 

Alabama Public Television Birmingham, AL

Research Intern (2005)

  • Responsible for script revisions of the documentary, Alabama Ballet: The Making of Romeo and Juliet
  • Collected contact information and archival information/records/images from the Alabama Department of Archives & History regarding civil rights research for the documentary, Justice Without Violence: The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Assisted with editing menu features for the Thornton Dial DVD and with distribution of completed documentary packages
  • Responsible for audio/video production aspects of SciKids program at Camp Cosby
  • Served as a production coordinator for APT’s Edventure Day at the McWane Center

Samford News Network Birmingham, AL

Producer—Samford After Hours (2004-2005)

  • Responsible for organizing news stories, editing and writing scripts as well as creating graphics
  • Responsible for pre-production in creating the rundown that includes making decisions regarding camera angles, news judgment, anchor placement and use of graphics
  • Converted scripts to teleprompter
  • Shot video and edited for the production of multiple broadcast packages, VO’s and VOSOT’s as well as for the creation of the show opening and credits
  • Captured the CNN Feed for use in the show
  • Responsible for updating/informing anchors and technical director of changes and making sure that all studio cameras and microphones are functioning properly before the show
  • Edited the show in post-production with the insertion of graphics and exportation to DV tape

WVSU-FM 91.1 Birmingham, AL

Community Relations Assistant, News Reporter, Music Host (2004-2006)

  • Collected and presented 91 News, a daily newscast aired daily
  • Conducted interviews with musicians, scholars and agencies for Inside Samford
  • Maintained community relations projects such as live promotions for station fundraising, creation of newsletters, routine website maintenance
  • Wrote promotional spots for the theatre department productions
  • Edited audio packages for on-air play and hosted daily air-shift on FM 91.1
  • Controlled all aspects of live feed/control board for Coach’s Show/sporting events for the Samford Athletics Department

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Counseling Association
  • American Counseling Association
  • Alabama Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel
  • Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel
  • American Association of University Women
  • Shelby County DHR Quality Assurance Team Member, 2013
  • Shelby County Coordinated Community Response Team (2011-2013)


  • Certified in facilitation of Allstate Financial and Career Empowerment curricula via the Allstate Foundation
  • Received HUD certification to conduct housing habitability inspections
  • Trained by licensed professionals on Mental Health/Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence via Open Doors grant
  • Trained by Terri Pease of the National Network to End Domestic Violence on Trauma Informed Services
  • Trained by Allstate Foundation to teach the Allstate Financial and Career Empowerment curricula to survivors
  • Completion of development training with the Alabama Coalition Against Sexual Violence
  • Completion of development training with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Completion of Rape Response Training via Birmingham Crisis Center

Civic/Community Affiliations

  • Oak Mountain Missions Ladies Auxiliary
  • Project Homeless Connect
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


  • University of Montevallo Alpha Epsilon Lambda Graduate Honor Society
  • University of Montevallo Sigma Chi Iota
  • Samford University, Cum Laude
  • Linly Heflin Scholar
  • Rotary Club Scholarship Recipient