Melissa Bennett is a descendent of the Umatilla, Nez Perce, and Sac and Fox nations. She joins Portland State University after serving for a year as an interfaith chaplain resident at the Oregon State Hospital where she specialized in the spiritual care of indigenous people. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University along with graduate certificates in Pastoral Care and Theological Studies. She is a published author with essays and poems appearing in a variety of anthologies and literary journals. Her Master's Thesis investigated the historical trauma of Native American/First Nations boarding schools and the role culturally relevant story plays in healing that trauma. She holds a B.A. degree from The Evergreen State College where her educational focus was indigenous studies and creative writing. Melissa is a member of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association, WordCraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and the Portland Inter-Tribal Canoe Club. She is dedicated to the well-being of indigenous people and passionate about advocating for the self-determination of Native communities. She is excited to be a part of the PSU Native American Student and Community Center and looks forward to bringing culturally relevant student centered programming to the NASCC.