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Melissa Calabrese, MA

Director, Energy Express; Academic Community Engagement Coordinator
WVU Center for Community Engagement

Melissa Calabrese is passionate about promoting healthy communities through positive student development, and she is grateful to have the opportunity to work with a dynamic network of motivated and creative individuals. She is committed to collaborative relationships, equitable teaching practices, and civic engagement. 

Through her work with the Center for Community Engagement (CCE), Melissa Calabrese supports faculty, staff, and students as they develop, implement, and evaluate their academic engagement with community partners. She facilitates academic community engagement workshops, supports the Service-Learning Faculty Advisory Committee, creates newsletters and Impact Reports, and finds and develops resources as needed. In addition, Melissa works with CCE team members to coordinate celebrations for students and staff engaged in community work.

In addition to her responsibilities as the Academic Community Engagement Coordinator, Melissa joined the Energy Express team as the Director in January 2024.  Energy Express is an outstanding summer reading and nutrition program for first to sixth-grade students in West Virginia.  It's goal is to prevent the "summer slide" by preventing the decline in reading skills among children during the summer months.   

Melissa holds a Master of Arts degree with a specialized focus in Higher Education, K-12 leadership, and research and evaluation from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Rutgers University. Some of her professional experiences include working as a 21st CCLC program coordinator, GEAR UP Site Director, and a New Student College Advisor. Melissa is a certified trainer of Youth Work Methods with the David. P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, and is also a Critical Friends Group coach with the National School Reform Faculty. She has developed and delivered workshops on topics such as embedding social-emotional learning in classrooms, and using design thinking processes for project-based learning. She has facilitated team initiatives, taught nutrition and water conservation, offered STEAM activities, and supported PhotoVoice projects with community members through programs such as NJPIRG, AmeriCorps, PBS, and the Chai Project.    

Outside of her work at WVU, Melissa is passionate about exploring the woods, riding her bike, getting lost in a book, and spending quality time with her family.