Dr. Melissa McCollister

Title: Assistant Professor of Social Work
Dept.: Social Work
Office: Rasmussen Center 127

Prior to joining Grand View in 2023, Dr. Melissa K. McCollister practiced community social work in the areas of antiracism, anti-oppression, and multicultural community capacity building, LGBTQ+ advocacy, child welfare education and training, criminal justice reform, and social justice activism.


  • B.A.S.W in Social Work from the University of Akron (2003)
  • M.S.W. in Social Work, Advanced Standing, Macro Practice, from the University of Akron & Cleveland State University Joint MSW Program (2004)
    • Master’s Thesis: Death of a Child on a Child Welfare Workers Caseload: The Need for Critical Stress Peer Debriefing
  • Ph.D. in Human Services, Non-Profit Management, from Capella University (2014)
    • Dissertation: Emotional Intelligence and Agency Turnover Rates Among Metro and Non-Metro Public Child Welfare Workers

Grand View Start Date

  • August 21, 2023


  • Antiracism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging 
  • Child welfare
  • Criminal justice reform (NAACP-CR #4013 Chair, Criminal Justice Committee)
  • Community capacity building and community participatory action research
  • Grant writing, fundraising, program development, and program evaluation
  • LGBTQ+ populations and leadership (Executive Director and Youth Coordinator)
  • Social justice advocacy and solidarity (People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond)


  • Emotional intelligence (MSCEIT certification)
  • Motivational interviewing (NEOMED certification)


  • Faculty Community Engagement Award, Indiana State University, College of Health and Human Services, Terre Haute, IN, 2020
  • Leadership Institute Fellow Award, Indiana State University, College of Health and Human Services, Terre Haute, IN, 2019-2020
  • Project: Leading Efforts in the College and the Community to Implement an Antiracist, Antioppressive and Multicultural Community Impact Model
  • Faculty Case Study Competition Championship Award, Indiana State University, Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence, Terre Haute, IN Learning Connections Summit, 2019
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Alumni Award, University of Akron, School of Social Work, Akron, OH, 2015


McCollister, M. (2023). Addressing racism as a public health crisis: A civic duty. In H. Chandan (Ed.), Implications of marginalization and critical race theory on social justice (pp. 106-123). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-6684-3615-8.ch006


  • Playing professional steel tip darts
  • Painting, acrylic and oil
  • Playing guitar and writing songs


 What makes Grand View unique among other universities?
Grand View University stands out among other institutions by offering a unique combination of small class sizes, personalized attention from faculty, and a student-centered approach to learning and growth. For students who value working closely with faculty and peers in a supportive and collaborative environment, Grand View provides an ideal setting to thrive academically and personally.
 What is your favorite part about working at Grand View?
The students!
Melissa McCollister