Professor Melissa Chessher has more than 20 years experience in the magazine field as both a writer and editor. She has worked as a travel writer, being sent to Tahiti, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, England, and Scotland for travel stories. She has written about important women’s issues, including treatment that seeks to rehabilitate sex offenders, the long-term health consequences of sexual assault, and workplace discrimination faced by breast-cancer survivors. She also possesses experience as a culture writer, being sent to interview actors, book authors, and singers, and as health writer. Her work in the health area includes pieces that explore everything from the neuroscience of eating to the role hormones play in men’s health, body image in young girls, and the science of happiness. These articles have appeared in more than a dozen national consumer publications, including Marie Claire, Self, Health, Shape, Fitness, Men’s Health, and Parents magazines.
As an editor, she worked on the launch of Real Simple, the largest magazine launch in Time Inc history, and Gusto, a healthy living magazine for Latin American women. She currently works as a contributing editor for More magazine and has held several magazine-staff positions, including fitness editor and staff writer at Cooking Light; executive editor of Weight Watchers magazine, and senior editor of American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines. She is also the co-editor of Looking for Lockerbie, a collection of images and essays that seek to redefine the site of the Pan Am 103 Disaster, a terrorist act that claimed 35 Syracuse University students’ lives.
She is the chair of the magazine department and director of the graduate program in magazine, newspaper and online journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She teaches classes in magazine writing and editing and received the Senior Class Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006. That same year her investigative feature for Self magazine on the challenges faced by women who work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer was part of a special issue publication that earned a National Magazine Award in the category of personal service. A native Texan, she received her M.S. in international journalism from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she also earned a B.S. with a double major in English and journalism.