Melissa Burwell

Melissa Burwell

  • Director of the Center for Student Success
Email Address:
Office location:
Todd Wehr Center 111


Melissa leads the Center for Student Success and oversees the development, planning, and evaluation of the center’s retention and persistence programming. Her work includes overseeing College Success Seminar, first-generation & international student programming, and Navigate, our Student Outreach System. Melissa works with our team of student success advisors who provide support and outreach to Carthage students as part of the Holistic Advising Model

In collaboration with a variety of campus partners, Melissa leads initiatives to support students on academic probation, first generation students, and international students in collaboration with the Students Affairs Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Prior to Melissa joining Carthage, she worked for as the deputy director and director of scholar programs for Wallin Education Partners, a college access and completion program based in Minnesota. Melissa also served as the director of strategic initiatives at the Minnesota Alliance With Youth, a youth development and drop-out prevention program.

Melissa began her career as a residence hall director and academic advisor at Messiah University and worked in career development, service-learning, and student activities at colleges in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Melissa recently completed her doctorate in educational leadership and learning at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minn. Her dissertation titled “Called to Lead: Women Leaders in Student Affairs” focused on the career development and leadership journey of women in student affairs at religious colleges. 

Melissa earned a Master of Science in counseling and college student personnel from Shippensburg University and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Gordon College in Massachusetts.

When not working at Carthage, Melissa loves to read historical mysteries, walk alongside the lake, hang out with her family (especially her niece and nephew), and plan her next trip abroad.


  • Ed.D. — Educational Leadership and Learning, University of St Thomas, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • M.S. — Counseling & College Student Personnel, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Penn.
  • B.A. — Sociology, Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.