Melanie is inspired by the adults in her family who have returned to school, including her mother-in-law who earned her bachelor's degree from UMass UWW at the age of 63.

melanie desilva, marketing

Melanie manages marketing, communications and recruitment efforts for the University Without Walls (UWW). Prior to joining the UWW staff she served as a non-profit executive director.

She is inspired by the adults in her family who have returned to school to complete their college degrees, including her mother, who earned her AS in nursing in her 40s, her step-mother who earned her BFA and MFA in her 50s and her mother-in-law, who earned her bachelor's degree from the UMass University Without Walls in 2003 at the age of 63.

She comes from a long line of proud UMass Amherst graduates- Uncle Howard studied advanced dairy farming techniques here in the early 20th century; Aunt Ruthie spoke fondly of the cosmetology course she took at the Amherst campus during the Great Depression; her parents- History and Education majors- met in the back of Psych 100 and remember watching Julius Erving play before heading to the NBA; her brother graduated with a degree in Finance; her sister-in-law with a degree in Apparel Marketing; her mother-in-law with a focus in landscape architecture and healing gardens through UWW. And it was here that she met the father of her children while they were both resident assistants in Southwest residential area. Carrying on the tradition, her 17 year old daughter was recently accepted to the UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honor's College as a Psychology and Pre-med major for fall 2018 admission.    

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educational background

  • B.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst, Summa Cum Laude; Double Major: Social Thought & Political Economy, Communication; Minor: Women's Studies 
  • M.A., Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst

academic interests

Arachnology; public policy; political science.  

personal interests

Melanie's life is probably quite similar to many of yours. It includes racing around in the morning, driving a little too fast to work, working hard, driving a little too fast home, eating dinner, listening to her daughters fight about ridiculous things, some sighing and eye rolling, listening to the news and oscillating between rage and grief, a little housework, a little tv, and then waking up and doing it all over again. When she has time, she enjoys doing nothing, being left alone, gardening, listening to NPR, watching the birds, yoga, funny, smart TV, really bad TV, laughing, engaging in democracy, trying to figure out how to be vegan, and spending time with her husband, daughters, three rescue dogs, one mouse-killing cat, a chubby, elderly guinea pig, a snake and a tarantula.