Distinguished Alumna to Address Psychology Grads

Posted on 5/3/2016 11:29:49 AM

Picture of Dr. Melissa BellDr. Melissa Bell will give the commencement address to the students receiving PsyD, MA, and BA degrees from the Department of Psychology on May 7. Bell is a distinguished alumna of the Psychology Department. She completed the Psychology Honors Program, working with Gordon Thornton, and received her BA in 1996. 

Currently an associate professor and field placement coordinator at Chatham University, Bell holds a PhD in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD certificate in the study of women, gender, and sexuality from the University of Pittsburgh.

She is a licensed social worker in Pennsylvania with 10 years of post-master’s experience in psychiatric social work. Her training includes a 12-month post graduate fellowship at Yale University.  

Bell has worked in private practice and with eating disorder patients at Western Psychiatric Institute. As a faculty member at Chatham, her research focuses on access to family planning, the influence of politics and religion on social work practice, emotion dysregulation in psychiatric treatment, and the transition of military service women to civilian life.

She has participated in legislative action that focused on the assurance of access to emergency contraception in Pennsylvania hospital emergency rooms for survivors of sexual assault. Her research has appeared in Social Work in Public Health, Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, and Social Work Education: The International Journal. She has presented at several national conferences and she is a content advisor on gender issues for the documentary film Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home.

The Psychology Department graduation ceremony will be held at the Hadley Union Building Ohio Room at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2016.