Dr. Melody Shelton Williams earned her Doctor of Philosophy in English from Old Dominion University (ODU) in 2014. She also obtained her M.A. in English from ODU in 2009, and her B.A. in English from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2005. In 2019, she began work on her second doctorate degree, a Doctor of Ministry, at the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Dr. Mel has taught collegiately at multiple universities in the Tidewater region of Virginia for the last nine years and has also worked as a certified Department of the Army Senior Instructional Developer. In the fall of 2016, she joined the faculty of Norfolk State University as an assistant professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages.
Her research specialties are African American Rhetoric, ceremonial oratory and the preaching tradition of the Black Church, Black Cinema, and Literature. Her honors have included being awarded as a doctoral fellow from 2009-2014 by ODU, receiving the 2006 Black History in the Making Award from VCU, and serving as the honored keynote or guest speaker for the Batten Legacy Society, the Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation, U.S. Customs & Border Protection during the Obama administration, Richmond City Public Schools, and the Access College Foundation.
Dr. Mel’s community endeavors include serving at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church (Chesapeake, VA), completing leadership training with the Regent University T.D. Jakes School of Leadership, the Dr. I.V. Hilliard Unlimited Potential Initiative, and the ODU Women in Leadership Development Institute.
Dr. Mel has one fearless and talented daughter, Hope!