Dr. Melissa Gibson, professor in the Department of Communications, Journalism and Media and program head for the graduate-level Communication Studies program, was recently named Edinboro University's 2022 Advisor of the Year. Gibson was recognized for her advising skills and prolific contributions to campus programs, events and committees.
In 20 years of teaching at the college level, Gibson has taught more than 30 different courses ranging from freshman-level to doctoral-level courses in reporting, communications law, message design and integrated marketing communication.
Prior to her current position, Gibson taught courses in organizational communication, leadership and consulting at Western Michigan University for four years before returning to northwestern Pennsylvania in 2001. She held positions at Gannon and Mercyhurst universities before joining the Edinboro faculty in 2005.
Her specialties include organizational communication, leadership and executive training, integrated marketing communications and crisis management – which remains one of her favorite courses to teach.
Since arriving at Edinboro in 2005, Gibson has exemplified the University’s commitment to student success.
“As an alumna of Edinboro University, the quality advising I received as a student is what guided me to pursue my graduate degrees,” Gibson said in her Advising Philosophy submission. “That one faculty advisor made all the difference in my life, and I want to provide that same level of quality advising for my students.”
Edinboro graduate student Erika DePalma, who nominated Gibson for the award, said that Gibson is willing to work outside her regularly scheduled office hours to advise students.
“She has mastered advising students and ensuring their experience at Edinboro University was a positive and memorable experience,” said DePalma, who is pursuing a Master of Arts in Communications Studies. “She is always willing and excited to help students gather all the information needed to be successful.”
A desire to help others and a budding interest in crisis management led Gibson, a first-generation college student, to earn a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Edinboro in 1992.
She then earned her master’s (’95) and doctoral degrees (’97) in communication and business management from Ohio University.
In addition to her full-time teaching schedule, raising her daughter, Abby, and running her own food truck, Mel’s Mobile Diner, Gibson works with students at Northwestern High School, leads youth activities at her church, participates in a variety of outreach programs in her community and serves as a board member for Boro Women’s and Family Services.
She was recognized in January 2020 for her contributions to the community as one of Mercy Center for Women’s Women Making History. Previously, she was nominated for Advisor of the Year in 2014, 2015 and 2018 and Faculty Member of the Year in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
Through her desire to offer real-world experiences to students, Gibson also leads short-term travel programs to Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Greece.