Areas of expertise: Residence life, social justice/oppression reduction education, learning outcomes and assessment, organizational change and restructuring, conflict mediation, mental health counseling and crisis management in higher education; building student and academic affairs partnerships
Melissa Giles is currently the Associate Director for Residential Life at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She brings over twenty years of experience in Residential Life, University Housing, and social justice education and consulting. She also instructs a seminar in learning outcomes and assessment for College Counseling and Student Services graduate students at CSUN. Prior to California State University, Northridge, Ms. Giles served as the Associate Director for Residential Life at Wright State University as well as a private consultant around issues of social justice.
During her time at California State University, Northridge she has completed numerous learning outcome and assessment projects, participated in the planning, design and opening of new residential buildings designed specifically to impact freshman student success and engagement, created partnerships with academic affairs such as multiple, successful living learning communities, remedial math and writing interventions, a residential academic mentor program, and other various student retention and persistence initiatives.
Her professional skills include facilitation of social justice education, learning outcomes and assessment, organizational change and restructuring, high level conflict mediation, mental health counseling and crisis management in higher education and building student and academic affairs partnerships.
Ms. Giles is a member of ACPA – College Student Personnel Administrators International and has served on the annual conference planning committee as a co-chair of the Access Committee for Persons with Disabilities; Member of the Pre-conference Workshop Planning Committee; and Sponsorship Coordinator for the Commission for Social Justice Educators. She is also active in WACUHO (Western Association of College and University Housing Officers) and is currently serving as a Co-chair for the Annual Conference Programs Committee. She previously served the GLACUHO (Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers) region as Chair of the Committee for Social Justice (now the Inclusion and Equity Committee), a committee that she helped to create. She has presented numerous workshops for regional and national meetings at ACUHO-I, GLACUHO, WACUHO, and ACPA.
Ms. Giles holds a Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling and Student Affairs in Higher Education from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and a BA in Communications/Advertising from Depaul University in Chicago, Illinois.