Melissa was born and raised in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo. She earned a B.A. in Communication and an M.A. in Communication/Latin America and Border Media Studies from Texas A&M International University. She worked as a reporter and Spanish Editor for the Laredo Morning Times, covering border and binational affairs for five years. Melissa has also worked as a graduate research assistant and served as the student coordinator for the first and second annual TAMIU Conference on Latin American Communication Research in Transnational Settings. Additionally, she has served as a public speaking instructor at TAMIU. Her research interests include international media, border studies, intersectional feminism, activist movements and the intersection between gender, class, and race.