Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Melissa Moffett graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1994 with a major in English and minor in Asian Studies which she then utilized for the next three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. Her initial post with the Peace Corps was in a remote village teaching English as a second language and training local teachers. Later, she worked at the National Center for Educational Development in Kathmandu as a trainer of teacher trainers where she helped establish the curriculum for teacher education programs, national exam questions, and programs used by all Peace Corps teachers in Nepal. She obtained a Master’s degree in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington Tacoma and currently teaches Humanities at Industrial Design, Engineering, and Art School (IDEA).
In addition to her already demanding job, Melissa coordinates the Service and Study Tour Program for Tacoma’s three small schools of choice: IDEA, Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA), and the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) and has led numerous student groups to Nepal to volunteer with the Women’s Protection Center safe home, build a science lab in the remote village where she once lived, and will soon work with an earthquake recovery effort on schools in Gorkha district. She has also led student trips to Lao PDR and Cambodia to volunteer in schools and on an ecotourism project as well as a domestic trip to work with the Farm-to-School Lunch Program on Lopez Island, WA. Melissa is a human rights advocate who actively teaches human trafficking awareness and prevention to her students both in class and through experiences in Nepal and she currently serves as the board president for the Friends of the Women’s Protection Center Nepal. Her dream is to one day start a small, public high school focused on Global Studies and create opportunities – similar to the Service and Study Tour Program – for students to intern and study abroad for an entire semester in either their Junior or Senior year.