Melinda has twenty years of experience in substance abuse prevention, including seventeen years evaluating school and community-based substance abuse prevention interventions, and three years administering state substance abuse prevention grants. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and doctor of philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a passion for assessing, planning, delivering and evaluating effective evidence-based primary prevention strategies and collaborating with statewide entities to create healthier North Carolina communities. She is currently a Senior Research Associate at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and prior worked for the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, Community Wellness, Health Integration, and Prevention Section, and the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Chapel Hill Center.