Melody Fisher

Melody Fisher, pictured in a scenic campus setting.
Photo by Megan Bean

Immersed in a self-motivated lifelong passion for learning, Melody Fisher’s career at MSU is a testament to her thirst for knowledge. An assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Communication since 2014, the Jackson native said education roots run deep in her family.

“Education was extremely emphasized and present in my childhood.  Both my parents received graduate degrees and both are retired educators,” Fisher said.  Her father, a high school administrator, and her mother, a college librarian, enrolled Fisher in nursery school on a college campus.  “I always knew that I would attend college…I was exposed very early in life.” 

Now, Fisher said facilitating the learning process for students “absolutely gives me an adrenaline rush ─ when my students understand the instruction and when they realize their potential.”

Capitalizing on her quest to provide a high quality learning environment for her students, Fisher participated last summer in a two-week intensive research project, exploring techniques to help students connect classroom instruction with “real-world” practices.

She was one of 10 professors nationwide selected to participate in the Plank Educator Fellowship program, which bridges the gap between education and public relations practices, providing professors with up-to-date application of the material they are teaching. 

“As educators and researchers, sometimes we can lose touch with the practice, so this was a way that I could be immersed in a department and connect that ‘real-world’ experience back to campus,” Fisher said, noting her assignment to the Discover company in Chicago helped deepen her teaching and research skills.

In addition to being a champion for her students, Fisher also seeks to enhance the lives of her co-workers.  Last winter she worked as a co-principal investigator of a $57,000 National Science Foundation grant seeking to empower minority female faculty members.

A third-generation Tougaloo graduate,  Fisher previously worked as a professor and mass communication department chair at Tougaloo College, north of Jackson, and as the assistant director of the multicultural center at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Fisher received her Ph.D. in 2012 with an emphasis in mass communication and her master’s degree in 2003 in public relations ─ both from the University of Southern Mississippi.  She received her bachelor’s degree in English in 2000 from Tougaloo College.

Fisher has easily acclimated to life as an MSU Bulldog and “really enjoys the SEC experience,” sharing it with her son.  “Tailgating is also a one-of-a-kind, on-campus experience,” Fisher said.

Fisher and her 12-year-old son Jacob enjoy attending church, watching football and basketball games, and Starkville dining.